Travelling can be a tiring experience even when everything goes right. Long, snaking queues, boring waits and shrinking seats can combine to turn enjoyable anticipation into irritable frustration.
How do you make travelling with kids easier?
Tips to take children travelling on airplanes:
- Take children to the washroom before boarding the plane. You often the aisle pathways blocked with air hostesses and their trolleys.
- As far as possible, book direct flights when you travel with young children. It’s better to get off the flights instead of dealing with red-eye layovers
- Keep small packets of snacks like crackers and sweets to help minimise motion sickness and blocked ears
- Pack some books to read or a small game for children to amuse themselves with. This is especially useful when you have to wait in the airport just before boarding a plane
- Opt to give your hard-earned money to airlines that offer child-friendly services like kids’ meals etc. Ask for information before you make a booking
Tips to take children travelling on trains:
- Get to the station a little before time (you should always allow for unexpected delays when you travel with young children regardless of mode of travel) and talk to the children about the trains and ask them to read the information boards
- Take along a small jigsaw puzzle or game to play during the ride. Make sure that your game is not noisy or disturbing to other passengers
- Bringing along your own food is a more cost-effective alternative than buying some on board. In addition, you can bring along some favourite foods so that fussy eaters aren’t left hungry
- As far as possible, try and book entire sleeper compartments if you are travelling as a family. This gives you your own private space and greater freedom to relax than a shared space with other co-passengers
Tips to take children travelling on road trips:
- Before starting out, sit down with a map and plan your route so that you make time for stops along the way for restrooms and food
- Try and stop off at picnic sites or parks where you can enjoy a family picnic instead of sitting at impersonal restaurants and cafes
- Chat with your kids along the way. You can consider playing verbal word games or ask family trivia to keep them interested
- Take along CD players and bring some audio story books for your children to spend their time
With a little planning and organisation, you can keep the stress of travelling with kids to a minimum. What tried and tested tips would you add? Share them with us in the comments below!