The summer holidays are getting closer, and while that means not long to go until that much needed getaway, it may also mean not long to go until you have to master keeping your toddler entertained on that upcoming flight/train ride/coach trip/car journey! Before you start getting pre-holiday jitters, take a look at these simple tips to keep your little one occupied during travel:
Make travelling fun
First things first; if your toddler finds travelling dull they are probably going to be a pain, so keep things fun! You can be as active in this provision of fun as you want – though the stresses of travelling may put you in an ‘off’ mood yourself – decide between engaging verbal games and role-playing, or equipping them with plenty of toys to. Make sure your toddler has their old favourites (like their teddy or comforter) to hand, but consider treating them to something new for the journey too. You can wrap it up as holiday present to add to the excitement or make a goody bag with lots of different treats to work through during the journey.
Prepare to be late, everywhere
Ok, so this one is more about keeping you happy… but prepare to be everywhere late and leave plenty of time to overcome this. Keeping your toddler happy largely relies on you being relaxed too, and there’s nothing that will make your blood pressure sky rocket like being pressed for time when you need to get to the boarding gate.
Travelling with children inevitably takes longer than travelling on your own, so assume you’ll need to make loo stops, food stops, what-is-this-over-here stops… Over pack for the scenario that you’ll get stuck in traffic or a delayed flight too. This means making sure you have more than enough nappies, toys and a change of clothes. Keep checking the flights from your mobile using a site such as Amadeus so you can be alerted to any delays as soon as possible.
Hurray for headphones
Music can not only keep your child occupied but may soothe them to sleep – bonus! Headphones will block out background noise on a plane or train and keep your toddler in their own little bubble for a while. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging a little screen time on a flight short-haul flight either, a great way to keep them distracted using an iPad or portable DVD player.
Suck to soothe sinus pressure
A quick fire way to get a toddler riled is on-flight air pressure. You’ve probably experienced the discomfort of sinus pressure yourself, so help them avoid it by offering a drink on take-off and landing. Sucking on a sippy cup, bottle or dummy will help alleviate any ear pain.
Avoid hunger grumbles
Does your little one get frustrated when they’re hungry? Pack plenty of snacks that will keep sugar levels up and make sure you don’t experience the wrath of a hungry toddler! If you go for fiddly snacks like raisins or mini rice cakes, that should keep them occupied for a little longer too.
What are your top tips for keeping your toddler/child happy whilst travelling?