Travel Tips for Kids

Traveling with small children can be difficult, and I know this too well. I have been on several long car rides with a baby and toddler, plus as young kids. Also we have flown to Ireland with an 18 month old toddler (whilst I was 20 weeks pregnant), and to the UK with kids aged 4 and 6. So here are some tips to handle long (or short) distances:

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BY CAR

  • Plan frequent rest stops – especially at a park or playground.
  • Pre-packaged snacks
  • Use a Bento-Style lunchbox to store food / snacks
  • iPad / tablet / portable DVD player
  • Busy Bags are perfect (and are available in New Zealand!)
  • Kids music cd’s (to play in the car)
  • Coloured pens / pencils
  • Colouring in books
  • Stickers / Sticker books
  • Books to “read”
  • Give your child an old wallet with cards in it – we all know kids love to play with wallets!
  • Take a baking tray and magnets
  • Playdoh balloons – put playdoh in a deflated balloon, and tie the end … No mess!
  • Kids Magazines (like those ones that have a toy/activity in them)
  • Let them take their own back pack and put things in it they might like: toys, treats, activities, etc
  • Play car games: I-Spy, counting cars, pointing out colours, spot-the-truck, etc
  • If your child is a bit older, use a map and mark on it where you are going, make a game of spotting the towns you’re going through
  • As a last resort, and if you have the option to do so, take turns sitting in the back with your child

CARSICK CHILDREN

  • Try using sea bands
  • Travel at night (so the child sleeps)
  • Make sure the car is properly ventilated
  • Avoid giving your child too many things to look at inside of the car (sorry about that) – looking out the window is a great idea for kids who get carsick
  • Distraction – talk to your child, sing with them, play verbal games
  • Take frequent breaks – get out of the car and get fresh air

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BY PLANE OR TRAIN

  • Travel by night
  • If you have a toddler, and enough money, buy a seat for them. It is nice to have the space (trust me on that).
  • If you have a baby, invest in a baby wrap or carrier
  • Busy Bags! Can’t recommend these enough.
  • Headphones for children – the airplane headphones aren’t the greatest.
  • Take a dummy – will help with the pressure on the way up/down.
  • Chewing gum for older kids – perhaps even AirWaves to help if they’ve got a blocked nose.
  • Take pamol (esp for flights, in case the ear pressure becomes too painful)
  • Pre-packaged snacks (take plenty, our kid hated the plane food)
  • Coloured pens / crayons
  • Colouring in books
  • Stickers / Sticker book
  • Books to “read”
  • iPad / tablet / portable DVD player
  • Buy a Trunki for your child to take with them (these are awesome)! Great for storing all of the above as well 😀
  • Take a compact stroller – you can take this all the way up to the gate. It will get stored last in the luggage, and then given to you when you get off the plane.
  • My biggest piece of advice for the plane, is to take things that you can’t easily lose. Remember that you are in a small confined space!

You can also check out PINTEREST for great ideas.

If you have any other ideas that have worked for you, let me know!


Travel Tips for Kids

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