My Top Ten Tips on Travelling with Kids!

It is no secret that travelling with kids can be difficult, especially if you are on public transport of some kind and have other passengers to consider.

Being a mum of six, I have seen it all. Been delayed for hours in a crowded airport, trying to stop a toddler running up and down the aisle on the train and trying to calm a scared child on an aeroplane, but I do have some valuable tips to share.

  1. Prepare them for the journey. Kids over the age of one have a fair idea of what is going on, so it is wise to explain what is going to happen. They may initially get over-excited, but should calm by the time the journey arrives. Mine like to spot signs for the destination we are travelling to.
  2. Be Prepared – I am not saying you need to pack everything but the kitchen sink, but I recommend you take an extra couple of nappies and a change of clothes for those little emergencies. If you are clever you can disperse these things in the kids hand luggage and I highly recommend getting a Trunki for children under the age of 10, as they can use them as sit and ride toys whilst you wait plus they are small enough to class as hand luggage. Do check an online baggage allowance finder to check the size and weight of your baggage before you travel – you don’t want any nasty surprises!
  3. Take some toys / games / books. Travel sized games are perfect, as are colouring / activity books and some pencils and a tablet, plus headphones, loaded with films or their favourite TV program. Avoid toys that require lots of little parts.
  4. Take drinks / snacks – when my children are bored they like to eat so I pack raisins, grapes, biscuits to keep them going but avoid sweets. If you are flying you are unable to take baby food and drinks in the hand luggage, but most airports sell it once you are through customs, so make sure you have some money with with.
  5. Hand sanitiser and baby wipes for day are essentials, especially when you are out and about in the great outdoors with no facilities on hand for a clean up
  6. Make sure you book accommodation that is suitable for your family. Check they provide the equipment you need, such as travel cots, as this will save you dragging them along with you.
  7. Take your time! Kids love to explore their environment and rushing them is likely to cause a meltdown so where possible take your time and give them a chance to get comfortable in their surroundings.
  8. Don’t forget the First Aid Kit – you can buy ready made first aid kits from the supermarket which don’t take up much room in your hand luggage. I always add sachets of calpol, piriton and some paracetamol for us parents too.
  9. With teenagers the best way to avoid a soul-destroying sulk is to involve them in the planning of the holiday and ask them for input on what they’d like to do.
  10. Don’t park too far from your destination and make them walk. If flying I highly recommend using a service like APH where you simply drive to the terminal and head straight to the check-in desks while your car is parked for you and returned to you on your arrival home!

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317 thoughts on “My Top Ten Tips on Travelling with Kids!

  1. Take lots of colouring and pencils and games. All new in the pack so it’s exciting. And I put pens etc in little zip sandwich bags so they are easy to find, and not hard to lose!

  2. car games to keep them occupied and stop for a leg stretch and little run around to let them let off abit of steam and to have a drink and snack.
    Also if they don’t travel well a change of clothes/wipes / couple of carriers always handy too.

  3. Leave the house before you really need to, better to be early than late because you need to stop at every services for wee breaks

  4. Let them pack a little bag each , something to play with , maybe colouring book or reading book a snack and something to eat

  5. Best tip for travelling with children is take things that will keep them amused and be up front about travel times and any potential glitches.

  6. Bring as much stuff as is reasonably possible to occupy them! DVD Players, tablets, books, food etc., and be prepared to play games yourself too.

  7. Make sure you have a good supply of entertainment, Colouting, Ipad for movies/programmes etc. Something they are into and will enjoy doing. We sometimes try to plan to leave around nap time/bed time when possible xx

  8. Play games with them, play bingo, make out sheets with different things on them that they might see on there journey and give a small prize when they win.

  9. I always take books and toys with me, and I like to check if there is a play area at the airport (most airports do) so they will be tired when they getting on to plane and sleep straighaway x

  10. Take lots to keep them occupied, Tablets are good to download films on, Books to read to them and toys they enjoy playing with. A simple sing song also is good mine love it x

  11. Depending on the type of journey but when and where possible we tend to leave early hours/sunrise kind of time, that way the kids stay asleep and there is no traffic jams, we always do this when we go camping or caravanning

  12. Break up long car journeys with regular stops for running around – makes it so much less stressful for everyone involved! Also give them a bag with some colouring things, a couple of favourite (not noisy!) toys and some low-sugar snacks plus water to keep them going in the car.
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  13. Take plenty of supplies – drinks, snacks, toys, books. Then make sure you don’t bring them out all at once so they don’t get bored of everything too early.

  14. Take loads of stuff to keep them amused, also if they are small take a sling, they are much better than a buggy especially for walking around the airport

  15. Lots of breaks! Gives everyone plenty of opportunity to go to the loo, stretch their legs and you can always schedule the stops somewhere fun so that it’s part of the trip!

  16. We have just been away and borrowed a friends Trunki. We packed sweet for taking off and landing. A good tip is to wrap presents and open one every half hour. Keeps them amused and it doesn’t have to be big just little animal figures, colour/sticker books etc.

  17. Wet wipes! Oh, so many wet wipes. And drinks, snacks, toys. Also, be prepared to sing the same nursery rhyme over and over and over again when you realise it’s the only thing that’ll make them happy. Sigh.

  18. I snack them up and pre load the ipad mini with games, a few colouring books and off we go. And try not to ever let them know that mummy hates boats and flying freaks me out. All part of the fun.

  19. Be prepared – make travel a game – have puzzles and tasks lined up in abundance to while away those boring hours

  20. I would have to say take plenty of patience with you, remember they are little people too and a short period of time travelling to them can seem so so so long, be prepared to be attentive to them when possible sing play observation games etc.

  21. Prepare for different games! If me and my 2 year old daughter are travelling by car we play a game of how many birds we can spot!

  22. Make a activity pack. Use a folder and fill it up with different coloring pages, sticker books and pages, puzzles etc. Lots of breaks and snacks and have there favorite CD on hand so you can have a good sing along. 🙂

  23. Take lots of books, toys, music to keep them occupied. Also take a spare set of clothes and some zip lock bags ~ these are really handy for car sick kiddies and you can zip it up without it spilling everywhere!!!

  24. Take spare clothes for both of you (I had a baby with severe travel sickness – yuck!) & just don’t stress about is, when they are little they don’t know it’s anything different & only get upset etc. because they are picking up on your anxiety xx

  25. Pack snacks and drinks and make sure you have extra clothing and blankets in case of a breakdown. Especially in cold weather.

  26. If travelling long distances, set off at your child’s bedtime if at all possible. Warm the car and put your child(ren) in their nightwear before setting off, once you get to your destination, you can put the children straight to bed. An added bonus is that the roads are often quieter too.

  27. It depends on what form of travel,if it’s in the car then I spy,songs,and see who spots the first cow etc.I’ve found that books in the car can make children car sick so it’s best avoided.If you’re travelling by car or train books can be useful,sticker books or drawing books,if they’re new they’ll keep them amused for hours x

  28. pack a few “surprises” in your carry-on… wax crayons, little colouring book, dot-to-dots, stickers (which they could win by guessing “eye-spy’s”, etc ….. on longer flights, download a few child friendly games to your phone, tablet which do NOT require an internet connection to play 🙂

  29. Was going to be silly and say “leave them with grandma”! I break the journey into chunks, so with flying I tell him to look out for planes, then once there focus on the next bit etc etc….we are lucky our son is pretty well behaved, either that or he is saving it all up to become a monster….lol

  30. Always take something to keep them occupied (colouring books, stories, travel games etc). Boredom equals grumpy kids.

  31. Travel at night as children will sleep through most of it if not mine always take there kindles as well as snacks and drinks x

  32. Usborne do some great activity cards for children who are travelling. There are some for car journeys and some for general travel. They are wipe clean cards that come with a pen. They are fantastic. Lots of games and activities. Keep mine amused for hours. No more “are we there yet?”

  33. take there favorite toy,but make sure its on secure, so not to loose it! easy snacks to eat and water to drink, hand wipes too!!

  34. The greatest thing you can take – whether at the airport, sightseeing or getting from A to B – is extra time. Toddlers love to explore and don’t care for the time pressures of travel, so you’re more likely to all retain your cool if you factor the faffing, gawping, stalling, toilet stops and tantrums into your timeframe.

  35. Make your travel toys last, so try not to bring them out until your child asks for them or gets bored. They’ll probably be amused for quite a while with just looking around, talking to others, and having some one-on-one time with you. When you do get out toys, get out one at a time so that each has a period of novelty. It’s fun to have some (or all) wrapped as gifts. The wrapping won’t add significantly to your load, but it will provide a little extra excitement and entertainment for your child.

  36. Bring snacks, small activities, and some books. Unless the rules have changed in the last year, you can bring a reasonable amount of baby food and formula/breast milk in bottles. You just get stuck going through enhanced security checks and might have to taste it in front of them. I brought some baby food when my daughter was 8 months old and switched to dry snacks and empty cups when she was older.

  37. be sure to pack a change of clothes and wet wipes 4 mucky hands and something to keep them busy like crayons and a drawing pad

  38. Factor in a lot more time that you need & plan a pit-stop or two so they can get out & run around. Have snacks & games organised for the car. With all that hopefully all can arrive at the destination without being too flustered!

  39. plenty of snacks and drinks available and i try and travel early in the morning so the kids are still half asleep and take a nap in the car

  40. Some form of entertainment and a lolly pop. Keeps my little one amused for a little while and then try colouring, reading. Even playing pretend games or travel games x

  41. take lots of individually wrapped up small presents, like games, pencils, colouring books, snacks. its as exciting opening the packages as it can be playing with the contents.

  42. Help them pack their own travel bag which includes actctities like i spy sheets, colouring, puzzles and also sing lots of songs in the car!

  43. Break up the journey and take lots of travel games..etc to occupy them, as well as games you can play “off the cuff” like i spy!

  44. Activities and snacks, if your doing a night flight keep your night time routine as much as possible when I did a 8hour night flight with my daughter when she was younger I let her have her dinner on the plane got her in to PJs and gave milk while read her bedtime story just like at home she slept the whole way

  45. We haven’t had a trip abroad yet but in this country we break the journey up with a stop for lunch and a walk round somewhere

  46. Plan your route with a stop off where the kids can stretch their legs.. A pub with a okay area or a park are ideal

  47. Stock up on small novelty amusements they have not seen before, a new book and new model a new game a new colouring book etc, keep producing every time you feel they need a boost. Has served me well including a trip to the America pacific coast..

  48. I encourage them to read but also use as a chance to have a long conversation about all sorts of things you might not when you don’t have a captive audience

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