Many parents will be heading away on holidays with their children in the coming weeks. Whether you’re travelling by train, plane or automobile, travelling with children can seem like a daunting prospect. However, with a few easy tips you can start your break off with stress free travel.
When you are booking your break, choose somewhere that has baby equipment provided. You don’t want to be carrying a highchair, travel cot or stair gate with you.
If you have a baby, check that the milk or food that you need will be available at your destination. If it’s not, research for suitable alternatives or look at what you can take with you. If possible, identify the nearest shops to your accomodation where you can source food and bottled water.
If possible, choose an overnight flight. That way you can encourage your child to sleep at least some of the time.
If you have a young baby, the safest way for them to fly is in their car seat. Therefore it makes sense to take the rest of your travel system with you instead of a separate pushchair.
If you are taking your own pushchair choose one that can be folded easily and is lightweight to carry. You might want to consider taking a cheap umbrella fold one with you, in case of any damage or loss in the aircraft hold.
With toddlers, explain to them what is going to happen at each stage of your journey. They will be much happier if they know what to expect. There are plenty of ‘going on holiday’ stories you can use for reference.
Try to keep at least one hand free in case of escape attempts. Use a sling or wrap with babies and toddlers plus look for bags that can be carried on your body. If your child has their own luggage check that they can push or pull it, in advance of travelling.
When you are packing your travel bag, ensure that you have included a change of clothes for each child and possibly for you too! Nappies, wipes and nappy bags should be easily accessible in your bag and put some spares in any other travel bags coming with you!
If there are any key medications taken by your family, put them in your travel bag rather than your luggage. It can be useful to have a copy of the prescription or a doctor’s note with you in case of any queries.
It goes without saying that you’ll need to take things with you to entertain your children. Before you go, wrap up any crayons, books or stickers etc as it’s an extra attention grabber to unwrap things! Take some familiar items to distract from any nervousness your child may have about travelling or new situations.
If you are flying, take something with you that your child can suck on during take off. This could be a dummy or bottle for babies or a lollipop for a toddler (with appropriate supervision)
Try not to take notice of other passengers around you. There are plenty of horror stories of people on planes being ride to families. In the most part though, people are understanding of the situation, especially if they can see that you’re trying your best!