Travelling with young children

For anyone who has ever sat for hours on a plane getting kicked in the back by a bored toddler, the thought of having to travel with a child will fill you with horror. The fact is, however, that if you want to go on family holidays then travelling with little ones is unavoidable, but this doesn’t have to be a stressful experience if you follow a few simple rules.

One of the major mistakes that parents make when travelling abroad is, if they have a flight through the night or in the early morning, trying to keep their children awake under the misconception that they will sleep on the plane/coach/train. This is rarely the case as children get over tired and become grumpy and fractious, and getting them to sleep when they get to this stage is a nightmare.

Firstly, try and arrange your travel so that it is at a reasonable time of day, where planes are concerned this can be particularly difficult however, so if an awkward time of travel is unavoidable, put your children to bed a bit earlier.

They have no concept of time and go by routine, so if their downtime and bath are a bit earlier they won’t be aware of it. Leave it until as late as possible to wake them and they should be generally good natured throughout the travel.

Another reason for kids acting up is boredom, so make sure you have plenty of things with you to keep them occupied. Favourite books, handheld games, colouring books and pencils will all take their mind off the fact they are in a strange place. While they might be curious at first as long as they have familiarity around them the interest will soon wane and they will settle down for the journey.

If you are driving a long distance with children considering investing in a DVD player where the screens attach to the back of the front seats. Take a long their favourite films and you should have very little trouble with them. If you are taking a coach or train try and get a seat with a table so they have somewhere to rest on to draw or play.

Travelling with young children needn’t be problematic, and my taking these few tips on board you can ensure that you will all arrive at your destination stress free and ready to start your break or holiday.