Your travel questions answered....
Have you got any tips for long haul flights with babies and children?
Older children and teenagers can also be hard to amuse when travelling. How can I help to reduce the chances of conflicts while on a family trip?
Q. What can I do to prepare for a hassle free car journey with children?
- Try to travel during the day.
- Make sure you have the appropriate car seat (fitted correctly), so your child is safe and comfortable (for excellent information about car seats and child safety see www.rearfacing.co.uk).
- Tell your children (if they are old enough to understand) when you expect to arrive, so they don't start asking ‘are we there yet’ within a few minutes of leaving home! And here are my handy tips:
- be prepared to deal with any mess:
- take a bag with: a towel (for mopping up any accidents), change of clothes, nappies, baby wipes, favourite comforter and non-sugary snacks
- a nappy bucket with a small bin-liner and box of tissues are ideal to deal with travel sickness, or just to collect the general rubbish that builds up during a journey
- try to avoid eating while on the move – it can be messy!
- try and keep children entertained: DVD players can be a life saver; children’s sing-along CDs can also help to pass the time - everyone can join in
- looking out of the windows and playing I-spy games keeps children distracted too. This helps prevent travel sickness, unlike reading small print or playing computer games - not a good idea while on the move!
- stop regularly to let children stretch their legs and go to the toilet - but beware of service station prices!
back to top
Q. Have you got any tips for long haul flights with babies and children?
- Buy tickets for children under 2 years of age - if you don't they may not have a seat and you could have a baby crawling all over your for the duration of the flight!
- For up-to-date flight information, visit the flight comparison website Skyscanner (www.skyscanner.net).Remember that you when travelling with a baby you get an extra luggage allowance.
Here are a few other top tips:
- keep all paperwork and travel documents together so you can find them easily when you check in and at passport control - this can help reduce stress at busy airport terminals
- when travelling with young babies make sure you have plenty of baby food and formula feeds (breast milk is obviously the easiest food to pack!) - remember you might be delayed
- take a few Milton sterilising tablets - these can sterilise a bottle, breast pump or soother in 15 minutes using a simple plastic bag. Anti-bacterial hand gel and surface wipes are also handy while travelling (www.milton-tm.com/travelling)
- take plenty of toys that are easy to play with on a train or plane. Colouring-in books or stickers are great fun. Carddies (www.carddies.com) are a great little game that is sure to provide hours of fun
- visit www.Mytravelsurprise.co.uk for partially wrapped games that can go through airport security to be opened during the trip
- let each child have their own piece of carry-on luggage to avoid squabbles and keep toys shared equally between siblings - you might want to consider using the cleverly designed Trunki which doubles as a sit-on-rider toy (www.trunki.com).
- Some of these tips are also useful when travelling by train, ferry, or car!
©Sharon Trotter 2012
back to top
Q. Older children and teenagers can also be hard to amuse when travelling. How can I help to reduce the chances of conflicts while on a family trip?
- When travelling with teenagers and toddlers consider booking adjoining rooms for older children: they will enjoy their trip more and you will get some peace!
With a little forward planning you should be able to keep all age groups happy:
- before you go, spend some time talking about ideas for activities and day trips - this will give your teenagers some control over their holiday and make them feel more included.
- agree on a sensible set of ground rules regarding safety - for example wearing protective equipment appropriate for certain activities
- try to come to an agreement on time spent on facebook and communication with friends on mobile phones
- make it clear that expensive international calls are not allowed!
- above all try to have realistic expectations and do overlook the odd teenage tantrum.
©Sharon Trotter2012 www.tipslimited.com
back to top