Tips for Travelling with Children

Tips for Travelling with Children

People keep asking me if life is very different now that I have two boys, and my answer is 'not at home'.


Is life different now?

People keep asking me if life is very different now that I have two boys, and my answer is 'not at home'. Managing a team of boys (I include my husband here as to all intents and purposes he's a teenager) is easy enough when I have my artillery at hand. However feeding, sleeping and entertaining on the move while juggling snacks/ naps/ loo breaks is enough to drive any respectable woman to drink. NB. Tanqueray works best for me.



With little ones around it's about making choices. That 5am flight will save you cash but cost you in tears and tantrums. On the other hand, leave them to nap through the heat of the day and you'll be able to share a relaxed family meal out in the early evening without the cost of babysitting. Being flexible is vital for you all to enjoy things. Time differences will throw everything off so forget looking at your watch and instead, watch your kids for cues. Small recently surprised fellow diners in Italy by belting out the chorus of 'Supercalifragilistic' before falling asleep in a plate of linguini. Since then I bundle him out at the first note, even if it means taking my dessert with me.



Being a glutton, I generally don't go long enough between snacks to ever experience hunger, but you're bound to miss a meal when you're travelling - who wouldn't choose a dawn game drive over a boiled egg? The more packed your itinerary, the more drinks and healthy snacks you need to cart with you to avoid a blood-sugar rollercoaster. Leave it to chance and you'll be forced to choose between dodgy roadside taverns or an ice-cream supper. Either way the consequences are not pretty.



After the initial excitement wears off, being stuck in a car, plane, or hotel room can be torture for kids. Toddlers can be talked into a realm of imagination with the simplest props, but school-age kids are a harder sell. Engage them with sticker books or I Can Spot books for car journeys, and always have a pen and paper handy for drawing or playing simple games. Carting a stack of books around is not conducive to packing light, so Rory's Story Cubes are quite literally a lifesaver. If all else fails, get them outside and let Mother Nature take charge of the childcare for a bit. Perhaps check for blossoming Oleander bushes before you retreat with a bottle of Chablis. Let's face it, not my finest parenting moment.

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