TRAVELLING WITH KIDS
Top Tips to keep you all sane on the plane…and beyond!
Travelling with kids has got to be one of the most daunting yet rewarding things you can do as a parent, and as a family.
My husband and I have been travelling with our children since they were ickle bubbas. My daughter was very little when we first took her on a plane and I’ve written more about that here.
Flash forward a few years and they are now quite a bit bigger. 6 and 9 at the time of writing! (uh, hello, where does the time go????)
Disclosure: I am in no way a Doctor and any tip mentioning medication is based on my own use. Please check with your GP before giving your child any new medication!
Thankfully, they are still excellent travellers (even if I do say so myself!). They are used to 10+ hour flights, to falling asleep in awkward positions and to the odd bit of turbulence. I’m one lucky Mamma.
If you’re not in the same boat, or you’re only now starting to entertain the thought of travelling with your kids, and are in need of a few top tips to make it all that little bit easier…then read on…
TOP TIPS FOR LITTLE TRAVELLERS
- Put aside a special ‘travel bag’ or get a little cheapy back-pack to build the excitement
- Ask them to select some of their favourite small toys or games and put them aside a month or two before. (That way when you get them out again on the plane they will be excited to see them and play with them again #winning)
- Invest in some travel friendly games! We love Story Cubes and Zip-It in particular. Anything that is compact will do the trick.
- Let them choose a book to take with them the week or so before you travel. A visit to the book shop is always a good idea, but again, it will build excitement and enjoyment for the trip ahead if you go just before the big travel day. If they are a little anxious about travelling for the first time, fun shopping excursions like this can help relax them
- Let them pick a few of their favourite snacks to pack in their travel bag. A small pack of cookies, some raisins, a banana etc. Nothing too big as they have to carry it, and nothing that can’t be eaten before arrival. Some things such as apples or other seeded fruits aren’t allowed through customs checks. Also don’t pack to much sugar. It’s in your best interest if they take a few naps on the plane instead of bouncing off the cabin walls on a sugar-high!
- Leave the electronics at home. Most planes these days have ample kids’ shows and movies on the in-flight entertainment system
- Take a pillow. My son isn’t actually that fussy and will use the pillow provided, but my daughter is like her father…she takes her own pillow with her every time she travels!
- Take something warm! Planes in particular can get very cold, so always take a cosy sweatshirt or cardigan to snuggle up in
- Depending on your child’s age, give them a blank notebook and encourage them to keep a travel journal. An A5 one will do so that it’s not too heavy to carry. Take a little pencil case with basic stationary supplies too so that they can write and colour down all their holiday memories
- Take your own child size headphones. The headphones supplied on planes don’t tend to fit in little ears too well. Rather take a decent pair that is worn over the head!
AND FOR YOU BIG ‘UNS…
- Make sure to take advantage of online check-in wherever possible. It’ll shorten the amount of time with kiddos have to stand around waiting in queues. It will also improve your chances of getting good seats and seats together!
- Pre-book the kids’ in-flight meals. This will ensure they get their food first
- Let them help! Include them in what you’re doing. Let them push the trolley if they’re big and strong enough! Let them be part of the adventure and let them (where appropriate) take responsibility for their belongings
- Once through passport control and baggage check, buy some water and maybe some Imodium* and Calpol. If you have a long flight ahead and your child gets an upset tummy or a temperature, it’s good to be prepared. Try to avoid taking these through security as you may have issues.
*only for kids age 6 and above!
But most of all….
RELAX and HAVE FUN!
Travelling as a family is such a wonderful adventure. My kids grow and learn so much from each journey and I am eternally grateful for all the travelling opportunities we have had over the years!
If you’d like to print out a handy checklist of all the above, please click here!
I hope this inspires you to get out there and travel, or makes the journey easier for you and your kids. I’d love to hear all about it!