Travelling with kids
TRAVELLING WITH KIDS
We have recently returned from a family holiday to Lanzarote. It was a wonderful week away from all this nasty wintry weather and a chance to spend some time as a family, as my husband is currently deployed.
The trip was fantastic but it got me thinking… Travelling with kids is great fun but it can be full on, stressful and rather scary at times. We have been fortunate enough to have travelled lots with our children and would love to share a few tips and tricks that have saved us. So whether you are off somewhere sunny or on a road trip to see grandparents we have put together this blog to try and ensure your journey goes as smoothly as possible.
I never travel anywhere without snacks. They are such a good distraction and break up any long journey. Look for individually packaged items with few crumbs (malt loaf, raisins and fruit bars are ideal). This way you can keep some packets for later. I always pack a few snacks in the kids backpacks and then keep some in mine too. This way they get the independence of choosing when to have their snack but you always have a back up! Take refillable water bottles and remember to empty them before going through security (they will always refill these on the plane too).
I always pack the children's backpacks the night before and they aren’t allowed to look inside until the jouney begins. (If I let them do it we end up with nerf guns and random plastic tat!).
Here are a few things that work really well
- Note pads and pens
- Blue tac (great for modelling and not messy like playdough
- Audio CD’s put on an old phone or ipod
- Wikkistix these are great for modelling and games.
- Card games (Uno and Top Trumps are our favourites)
- Little cars: I always go to the charity shop and get a range of different vehicles. The kids love that they are new and they are great for playing whizzing round the tray table (sorry to the person sitting in the seat in front!)
- Post it notes. Not sure why these are so attractive to small people but they are so useful and great for a game of ‘Who am I?
- Toys they haven't seen for a while or new ones (again you don't have to be extravagent but a quick trip to the charity shop to drop off some old toys and pick up some new ones works really well)
Sometimes its not practical to get all the toys out and so its good to have a couple of quick games that you can play with the kids. I have listed a few below:
- I’m thinking of an animal in my head: Take it in turn to think of an animal the rest of the players have to ask you 10 questions to see if they can guess what it is. You can only ask yes/no type questions. E.g. Does it live in the sea?
- The shopping list game: The first player starts with “I went to the shops and I bought chocolate” the next player continues and adds their own item “I went to the shops and I bought chocolate and a ball”. Continue until someone forgets an item from the list
- The alphabet game: Can you take it in turns to get all the way through the alphabet thinking of: boys names, girls names, countries etc.
- Word association game: You start with any random word and take it in turns to say words that are associated with that item. So it might go “fish, water, drink, mouth, teeth, toothpaste…
- The story game: Take it in turns to tell a story, the first person introduces the setting and the characters, the second person describes a problem, the next person provides the solution and the last person provides an ending. Or if there are less people alternate between you.
4. Change of clothes
As the mother of a travel sick child I never travel anywhere without a spare t-shirt for him and me. It takes up very little space if you fold them up into a drawstring bag. Hopefully you won’t need them but if you do you will be eternally grateful that you didn’t have to sit for the rest of the 5 hour flight covered in vomit, (trust me, I have and it’s not nice).
Look around the house for little draw string bags (the re-useable ones they do in the supermarket to get your veg in are fab for this.) This way you can organise everything into bags and just grab the one you need.
6. Travelling with Under 2’s
- Multi-use products can be an absolute life saver on long jouneys. Saving you so much space. Our multi-use cover won silver in Mother and Baby best travel product under £30. It can be used as a breast feeding cover, blanket, a safe car seat cover for nap times, bib, high chair cover. You name it we cover it. It can also be placed over the baby bassinets provided for babies on long haul flights. www.covermebaby.co.uk/shop
- Nappies and wipes
- Books with flaps so they can interact with them
- Toys they haven’t seen before
- Curiosity bag with items like a straw, peg, spoon, toothbrush, cup, etc
A pen, a plastic bag, a plaster and a small plastic army soldier… the possibilities with this combination are endless 😄