Travelling with children, whether it be a weekend away or weeks away, is a bit of a mission! These little people require some serious prep! I thought I’d share my experience of travelling with my two aged 5 and 3. This little blog aims to give you some, hopefully helpful, tips . Disclaimer: In no way am I saying I have cracked it! This isn’t perfected – I’m not even sure that the perfect way to travel with kids exists! I just thought I’d write this so that you might get some tips and also to make a place where you could leave a tip/ trick that may have worked for you. I would certainly love to hear them.
We booked a holiday and as the time crept closer I was faced with the daunting hurdle of packing. In my head it was just a mountain of washing, snacks, outdoor clothes, swim wear, what will we need before we go? What needs washing?……well where do I begin….. The endless lists, the moments at 3am when you suddenly remember a trillion other things that should be added to the list. I’m such a list kinda girl! And then I divide the list into family members and then realise that some things we all need so then I write that under each person like PJs, socks, toothbrush… I’m sure there must be an easier way!
A lot of my relatives live overseas therefore my two have been on quite a number of flights already. At February half term we went away and before we left I went into ultra ‘let’s get organised’ mode. I tried desperately to think of ways to occupy these two small children on the trip in order to save my sanity. Here are a few I came up with:
Travel times: If you can, then think carefully about flight times. When is best for you but also when is best for the children? On our way back we booked an evening flight, that way our holiday was that little bit longer and it also meant that we could tire the children out during the day, in hope that they would sleep on the flight. For us this worked and Benny slept most of the flight. Emilie was asleep during take off and didn’t wake until we landed! I read my book for 2 hours! Bliss! However if your kids don’t sleep easily outside of the home then maybe avoid a night flight!
Books & Sticker books: My 2 love books, so I bought them a new book to take on holiday. This way we had something new and exciting to read on the flight and as a bedtime story whilst away. You can get great “I spy” books for a variety of different places and journeys which children can tick off items in – my 5 year old loves to do this. Sticker books are also fab and so easy to get hold of cheaply. Stickers are a great and easy resource in the confines of a plane seat!
Here is a link to the ‘I spy’ books:
Aqua books: These are amazing and we love them. Colouring book that just requires a tiny bit of water, it then dries and you can start again! Mark making made easy and without the mess.
Snacks – I think I filled half the hand lugguage with snacks. I even split them into 2 bags, one for each child. That way it saved the arguments and when it’s gone it’s gone. Another good point to make is to take an empty bottle/ beaker and fill it past security. Most airports now have free water tanks where you can fill bottles before a flight.
iPad – we made sure we had downloaded a few programs for the children to watch and it kept them entertained for a while on the flight. My 2 love Paw Patrol and Hey Dugee at the minute. Children’s headphones can be picked up quite cheaply too!
Time- I know this is so much easier said than done but allow plenty of time. The faff of bags, hand luggage, security checks, passport control and the many toilet stops needed all take so much time. Also take the time to watch the planes! The children loved looking at planes! The ones taking off and landing and the excitement and mystery that an airport brings.. where are people off to and why?
Burn off some energy– In the past we have sussed out an empty gate or area where the children could just run around. Some airports have playgrounds and even soft play areas which have been fab!
Have fun, take in the experience (one day you’ll look back and miss travelling with little people who found everything magical!) and don’t forget to make lists!
I would love to hear of your tips, what have you done/ tried and tested with your children on a flight? Or a long journey? Please share as I would love some tips myself!
Thank you for reading.