When travelling with young children - or older children for that matter - it's important to keep them entertained and happy during the journey. However, you'll often be restricted by just how much you can take - especially if you can only have one bag of hand luggage on a plane for instance
Recommended Packing for Family Travel
When travelling with young children - or older children for that matter - it's important to keep them entertained and happy during the journey. However, you'll often be restricted by just how much you can take - especially if you can only have one bag of hand luggage on a plane for instance. Here's a list of items that can help make those long trips a little more bearable - some of them are essential, and some are age related or depend on your circumstances, but they could all be the difference between a journey on the highway to hell and arriving happily at your destination.
Time-waster games such as ‘I spy' and '20 questions' are perfect because they don't take up any space. They're particularly useful on flights during take off and landing for distracting nervous children as you can't have electronic devices or other games out at these times.
‘I spy' will start testing anyone's patience eventually, so why not have some travel games on hand to keep people occupied? Simple games, like Guess Who? and Connect 4 that don't have too many pieces and can be completed fairly quickly are ideal. On the other hand, whoever invented Travel Monopoly obviously never had children.
Wet wipes and tissues
You never know when a nose will decide to get runny so it's a good idea to have plenty of tissues to hand, while wet wipes are perfect for making sure sticky fingers don't end up turning into sticky car seats.
If you have a baby you'll need about two nappies for every hour of travelling. And a spare, just in case.
Food and drink
Firstly: leave the caffeinated drinks at home. There's no better way to pass time travelling than sleeping, so you don't want to be giving kids extra energy. However, it's easy to become dehydrated on the road or in the air, so make sure there's plenty of fluids to hand. A peckish child can get agitated if they stay hungry for long, so pack some fruit or sandwiches to give them something to much on.
If your child is old enough to use a tablet you should definitely pack one of these. Packing a tablet doesn't mean you're giving your children hours and hours of television or computer games to play - you can pre-load ebooks and educational games onto the tablet for a some productive distractions
Carrier bags take up very little space and can prove to be very useful if you suddenly find yourself with soiled clothing or there isn't a rubbish bin nearby. If you're flying don't forget a couple of small plastic bags for any cosmetics etc you're carrying!
If you've got the space a basic first aid kit could come in handy (bear in mind that many of the creams and lotions won't be allowed on a plane). At the very least some calpol sachets and painkillers for you should be packed.
Of course, nobody knows your children better than you, so there's bound to be something that's not on the list that you wouldn't dream of leaving the house without. Oh - and there's one more thing any parent needs for a successful trip with children: patience. Bon voyage!