Whether you’re going on a staycation, abroad or even just a day trip it’s really important to be organised, especially when you have children as you want to make everything as easy, fuss and stress free as possible. Of course children being children random things can crop up that you hadn’t even thought of or prepared for, there is always that eventuality!
As we live quite far from close relatives we often have to travel long distances in the car, we’ve had a few weekends away but have yet to take the children abroad. The main reason being that our passports ran out a few years ago and we haven’t got round to renewing them – we also haven’t sorted the boys passports out at all. It’s definitely on our ‘things to do’ list as it would be amazing to take them away on their first aeroplane next year and we have been looking at family friendly holidays with Tots to Travel.
With all this in mind I’ve put together a few of our top tips for travelling with your little ones within the UK in the car and on day trips. I’ve also added a few tips for travelling abroad, as a reminder for me for when we do get away.
No matter where you are taking the children, it’s really important to plan ahead and get as organised as you possibly can. We like to pre-book our accommodation early so we know we have somewhere to stay. Also sort out your travel plans – how are you going to get there?
Travelling by car
If you’re travelling by car check the roads before you depart. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a traffic jam for hours when you have children sat in the back of the car. It once took us 10 hours to get from outside of London to Manchester as the roads were ridiculously busy and the trip took longer as we had an eight month old in the car – let’s just say it was the journey from hell!
If you do have younger babies you need to ensure you make frequent stops as it’s not good for them to be in their car seat for more than a couple of hours at a time. They need to be able to have a good stretch and respite from their seat. If you’re pre-checking your route it’s worthwhile noting down service stations or places you could stop off at on the way.
Don’t forget to fill the tank up either and check your tyres and oil levels.
This is probably common sense. It’s always worth having plenty of snacks and water in the car and of course the all important changing bags with extra nappies, baby wipes and spare clothing in case of emergency!
For us we try and make our car journeys as fun as possible. We make sure we have plenty of music in the car that we know the boys will like. We have a few nursery rhyme CDs that we have a sing-a-long too. We also play ‘spot the yellow car’ or ‘spot the lorry’, silly games like that to keep them occupied.
As mentioned further above we have yet to take our boys abroad but below are a few tips we’ve been given for future journeys, including:
- Checking the whereabouts of your passports and put them somewhere safe where you’re unlikely to forget them. There’s nothing more stressful than a last minute panic before you set off to the airport on where you’ve put your passports. Also check the dates in them too and renew them in plenty of time if neccesary.
- Allowing plenty of time to get to the airport as normally you need to have checked in two hours before your flight
- In flight entertainment – make sure you take plenty of items to keep your children entertained at the airport and on the flight. Sticker books have been recommended to us!
Wherever you’re heading make sure you’ve got your keys, wallet/purse and your phone (with charges). This is the final check we always do before leaving the house, and also remembering the children!
I’m sure I’ve probably missed a few important tips off so I’d love to know what your top tips are for travelling with your children?
Disclaimer: Collaborative post.