Top tips for Travelling with Kids!
With the summer holidays well under way, many of us will be planning on at least one long distance car journey with our children. While the little ones may love the idea of a fun day trip or vacation, the reality of the car journey will be far from exciting. Those 5 little words, ‘are we nearly there yet?’ will undoubtedly be haunting you just half an hour into the journey, as the mixture of excitement and boredom gets too much for them.
Moaning won’t be the only thing to consider before setting off on your journey, though. Ensuring you are prepared will help you to minimise stress throughout the journey, helping it go as smoothly as possible.
Here are our top tips for travelling with Kids!
You should always ensure your child is in the correct age-appropriate safety car seat, which is suitable for their weight and size. The three main types are:
- Infant carrier car seats – from birth up to 13kg/29lbs (birth to approx. 15 months – Group 0+). These car seats are rear facing and can be fixed with either an isofix base or a seat belt.
- Forward-facing car seats – from 9kg/20lbs to 18kg/40lbs (approx. 9 months to 4 yrs – Group 1). These are strapped into place with the seat belt and then have a 5 point safety harness.
- High back boosters (without harnesses) and booster seats – from 15kg/33lbs to 36kg/70lbs (approx. 4 yrs to 11 yrs – Group 2-3). Once your child reaches 4 or 15kg/33lbs, they can use a car seat with the cars seat belt. Booster seats can be used in either the front or the back of the car. A child should never be sat in the front of a car that has an active air bag. If you cannot deactivate the airbag, then ensure the children are travelling in the rear of the car.
Keep those little minds occupied
Games are a great way of killing some time while on a long journey, especially if you’re stuck in a pesky traffic jam.
- Yellow Car – The rules for this one are simple, first one to spot a yellow car shouts “Yellow car” and gets a point. Vans don’t count, but mini coopers are worth an extra point!
- Spot the Animal – Select an animal that you know will be seen on the journey, and then see who can spot one first. I have been known, on occasion, to ask the kids to spot a penguin to kill a good half hour – such a mean mummy!
- Portable DVD Player – These can be a god send when you have older children who just aren’t into playing games any more. You should always ensure these are secured correctly into the vehicle, in case of an accident.
- Tablets or mobile devices – These go down well with most children, allowing them to play games, listen to music, watch movies that are preloaded on to it in advance and doodle. If your child suffers from travel sickness, it may not be the best idea though as they should keep their eyes on the road ahead.
- Crayons and colouring books are another great way to keep the little ones entertained.
Snacks and Pit Stops
On long journeys, you should plan your rest stops beforehand. It’s good for you to take a break and allows you to all stretch your legs and visit the toilet. Service station food can be pricey, so save yourself some pennies and make a packed lunch for the journey!
Little Bag of Essential Items
As a mother of two small children, I would never travel anywhere without the following:
- Pillows and blankets – Handy if little ones fall asleep or get chilly.
- Baby wipes – Clean up any juice spills, or after a snack
- First aid kit – You never know when a pack of plasters or tweezers will be needed with toddlers!
- Sunshades – These are a god send on hot sunny days, preventing your little one being exposed to the hot summer sun, reducing the risk of heat stroke.
- Carrier bags and paper towels – If like my daughter, your child unfortunately suffers from travel sickness, this will save a lot of icky mess!
Travelling with children is rarely predictable. Planning beforehand can help you be prepared for all eventualities. Make sure everything is packed and prepared the night before so as not to forget anything; you can guarantee it will be the one thing you needed.