Hands up if moving around has become a bit of a military operation! Tetris style puzzles to fill the car, roof box and every footwell is heaving! Stuff literally everywhere?
I can remember my first holiday with a little person, it wasn’t really a holiday – just a change of scenery and actually a lot more stressful than being at home! Having to be one step ahead all the time, where would we be at food time, would they have a highchair, is the path accessible with a buggy? And why does the buggy have go to ‘outsized luggage; on a different luggage belt at the airport – always the furthest away from where you actually are!
Well here are my tips for travelling with kids:
– Prepare, always. Make up a folder of everything important, tickets, passports, hotels, insurance, booking confirmations, postcodes – literally everything. I’m in Liverpool right now and before we even set foot on the train I knew where we were going, platform numbers, toilet stops the whole lot.
– Entertainment – lots of it! Make up a bag of things to do, puzzles, games, colouring, play doh what ever works. On a very long car journey (6 hours, 3 children) I bought bargain bits and bobs, wrapped them up and they got something new for every hour we were in the car – just a card game, audio story to listen to, book etc but it helped a lot!
– Google – everything! I spend some time before we go anywhere checking out the important stuff, child friendly places to visit, recommendations, where to eat and most importantly the answer to ‘Can I go to the toilet?’
– If you are going somewhere geared up for kids call in advance, they will probably have most of the bulky items there, so you can cut down on the packing.
– Travel, if you can at a good time. Can you feed and then jump in the car whilst they sleep for a bit? Does a night flight work for you? Lots of my friends travel late in the day, do tea as a pit stop and then get kids into PJs in the car. For me it’s too late and I’m falling asleep with them, we travel best first thing.
– Keep an ‘essentials’ bag – wipes, nappies, few toys, bottle, dummy etc so you don’t need to take everything to the baby change.
– Use travel apps, I have just discovered the trainline app which give real time information. So I knew as we left the house the train was on time, which platform I needed to be on and which platform I needed to change to in Birmingham – saved a lot of faffing about.
– The most important thing of all, make amazing memories. Things won’t be as slick as when you holiday with just adults, sunbathing, seeing the sites and enjoying a long lunch. It’s all much more practical and time bound but we travel to places and enjoy activities that I wouldn’t of done before.