Keeping Children Happy When Travelling

In collaboration

Travelling can be stressful at the best of the times but if you are taking your whole family along for the ride too, it can get even more stressful. It is so important to keep your children happy when travelling otherwise it can ruin the whole journey!

We haven’t yet travelled abroad with Olivia – the furthest we’ve got is Great Yarmouth! – but we have with Jack – to Italy in 2012. But you can travel both abroad and within the country, can’t you? Holiday Gems have asked me to share my top travel tips when travelling with children.

Pack A Bag Full Of Interesting Things

Books, card games, iPad. Whatever you know will keep your children happy, pack it. Jack was just a baby when we went to Rome so slept most of the travel time but on our long car journeys, it is very easy for him to get bored. We always ensure we have the iPad with us so he can watch movies or play games and we also pack some books, toys and card games so he can keep himself amused in the back with his sister and whoever else happens to be travelling with us (usually my mum).

Bring Some Snacks

Children are always hungry (well, they say they are) so it is important to make sure you have some snacks packed for your journey. Fruit, crisps, cooked meat – these are all perfect to put in your handbag and pull out when the inevitable ‘I’m hungry’ whine permeates your eardrums.

Think Ahead

If travelling abroad, make sure you think ahead – book seats together, check flight check in times and things you can do whilst waiting for your flight. The last thing you want is a bored child complaining before you have even got on the plane.

Consider Them

The final tip I have is to consider them – consider them in ALL aspects of your holiday. Make sure the place where you are going is somewhere they will be happy, consider their thoughts and feelings during the actual travelling process and make sure they are kept occupied and not bored.

These are my top travelling tips – what are yours? Have you checked out the top tips for flying with children on the Holiday Gems website?

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94 comments / Add your comment below

  1. If you’re heading out on a long journey have a collection of toys to be handed out once an hour. Handheld puzzles, tiny colouring books, stickers, wordsearches and even tiny packs of Plasticine will pass the time on a long flight or car journey.

  2. on a long journey ,i take books,snacks and drinks. i also enjoy playing games with my children such as i-spy and spot the red car ect ect

  3. Never rely on one activity -have lots of different things to do -hopefully then you’ll not have …” I’m bored…”

  4. Always take snacks, juice, spare clothes and go to the loo before you set off even if they say they don’t need to go!

  5. i always pack a rucksack for each kid, has colours and a coluring pad, a reading boook some snacks and little toys or a activity booklet like dot to dot

  6. Have enough entertainment prepared for the entire journey and don’t get it all out at once – let them pick one game/book/toy at a time

  7. when i travel to my mums wich is a 3 hour drive i leave in the evening they fall asleep very quickly then we carry them to bed so they get to dream all the way

  8. I think the best thing to do in my case(anxiety about flying) is prepare them starting as early as possible! Reading them books regarding flying, be truthful with them but allow them to share their fears. Another thing is to allow them to pack their own hand luggage(under your assistance) this way they have what they want to occupy them, ask them if they want some little new things, maybe from Poundland etc and then they will be occupied and kept calm with their own little things.

  9. Travel games are a must. Stock up by visiting the local charity shop. There is often travel versions of your childrens favourite games plus you save on the cost giving you more ice cream money while abroad

  10. If you have a long journey (We’re going to Florida in December) buy a range of cheap small toys and activities, one for each hour of the trip. Wrap them up in old paper and give them a new one each hour if they have tired of the last one! 🙂 I’ll let you know if it works when we get back….

  11. My children are great travellers. I let them take there ipads on long journeys and they are good at making up games in the car to keep themselves amused

  12. Keep lots of ‘surprises’ for them…tuck away comics,games,snacks and drinks-never give them everything at once ;-))

  13. A wide range of entertainment -toys, pencils and paper, games/films on a tablet/phone – will stop them getting bored. One new toy half way through a journey can really help

  14. Colouring books, crayons and notepads to jot down what they see along their travels. Take packed lunches and if possible plan your trip to make regular toilet trips if a long journey and to keep the kiddies comfy if they want to nap travel pillows and lightweight blankets for them to snuggle up 🙂 x

  15. always carry wetwipes and ziplock bags with you – the wetwipes because kids are messy buggers, but these are also great for wiping over seats, toilets etc when out and about,the ziplock bags as they are perfect for putting in half eaten pieces fo fruit/sweets etc for later, putting rubbish in (i’ll never forget the time D decided to put his half eaten icelolly in my bag 🙁 ) they are also great if you go somewhere to eat and the kids leave half their food – you can just pack it up for them to have later and also for sharing out a big bag of snaks – you can give each a small amount in their own bag

  16. I swear by the Usborne wipe clean travel cards. They are amazing. Lots of activities and games for the children both in the car and on other journeys. Keeps my child amused for hours.

  17. For younger children pack an etch-a-sketch rather than crayons that way they won’t be forever dropping them on the floor for you to pick up.

  18. plan short stops. I google the journey we are taking to see if there’s anything fun to explore along the way helps break the trip up a little and keep everyone excited

  19. Travel games, snacks, I-Spy type games, a pillow and blanket in case it gets chilly, and frequent stops (depending on ages) to break the boredom.

  20. I fill a back pack for each child on long trips with a bag of sweets, crayons, colouring books and a couple of their toys

  21. Take lots of things for them to do and play with.

    My children are at an age where they can be occupied by an ipad / smartphone for hours and hours. Make sure everything is fully charged and that you also have car chargers or power banks etc.

  22. If we’ve got a long journey leave in the evening. That way the kids will fall asleep on the way. This really helps if your kids are terrible travellers.

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