Friday, 24 June 2011
With a bit of planning and a few essentials stashed in your hand luggage, the whole process of getting to your holiday destination with your baby can become part of the adventure, not a necessary evil.
Here are child friendly holiday specialist Tots to Travel's top tips to make travelling with your baby a breeze...
1. Plan your time. Decide how long you need for each part of the journey - then add some extra time. Allow for longer than normal feeds (lots of distractions to look at in an airport!), a little exercise if they are crawling (find an empty gate or ask if there's a play area) and emergency changes before boarding or getting in the car.
2. Hang on to the pram. Remember that you can usually keep your pram with you right up to the steps of the plane, a lifesaver if it's Gate 99 of 100!
3. Seating plan. Unless you are in your own car, getting to the airport can be tricky without your car seat and there's the onward journey to consider too. Check with your airline well in advance as some will allow you to check in your car seat as luggage, in some cases free of charge.
4. Check in. Do it online or arrive at the gate early if you can - being forced to sit apart and pass your little bundle back and forth is a hassle you can do without!
5. Catering. Everyone's appetite seems to increase when travelling so pack extra bottles and snacks. If you are flying, check with the airline for their policies on what you can carry onboard. If the timing works out, a well placed feed at take-off/landing, or a dummy will help to protect little ears from popping.
6. Entertainment. Variety is essential. A selection of lightweight, stimulating soft toys and cloth books won't have much of an impact on your baggage allowance and a couple of new items brought out at tricky moments can work wonders! Don't forget any essential comforters and for the sake of the other passengers sanity, no squeaks or loud rhymes is probably best!
7. Sleepyhead. In the car, your baby may sleep more than usual (if you are lucky!). If you are flying, call the airline and ask about a bulk head seat where they may be able to provide a small crib.
8. Enjoy it! It would take a miracle to be prepared for every eventuality so try not to worry. You're not the first traveller with a baby and won't be the last and the photos and memories will provide plenty of funny stories for years to come!
For more top tips for travelling with tots, you can order your FREE copy of Tots to Travel 32 page Guide to stress-free family holidays by visiting our website Tots To Travel
Friday, 17 June 2011
Travelling with kids can be fun, exciting and at times extremely challenging. Be prepared for your next journey with this boredom busting list of free travel activities provided by Julia Odgers at KidsTravel2
1. I Name That Tune. We play this with our 3 year old and he loves it.We take it in turns to hum a favourite tune - it could be a nursery rhyme, a tune from a children's TV programme or a song that you all know as a family. Who can name that tune the quickest? It's a game that everyone can play and enjoy.
2. The Sausages Games. We call this the sausages game but really it could be any word you like - choose one that will make the kids laugh, maybe the name of a favourite TV character or toy. One person asks the questions and the other person, no matter what the question, must answer with the chosen word e.g. sausages. The aim of the game is to make the person who is answering the question smile. Their aim is not to smile! See how many questions it takes to make them smile. Ask away.....'What did you brush your teeth with this morning?', 'What would you like for your birthday this year?'.....
3. Ready Steady Get Arty. I find things like the coloured pipe cleaners you buy in crafty type shops are great for keeping my children entertained on the move as they are re-usable, take up no space in a bag and can be used to invent new games. We play games to see who can make a cat, for example, in a given time frame. Then we have a laugh at what each of has made.
4. The Category Game. You can adapt this to the age of your children. All you do is choose a category, for example 'animals with four legs' or 'the names of parks that you know' and then see how many things you can name between you. You can either take it in turns and score a point for each one you name, or work as a team and see how many you can come up with together.
5. Luck Dip Presents. When all else fails remember that kids just love surprises. Wrap up a few little presents in scraps of tissue paper to hand out at tricky moments or use as prizes for the winner of a game you have been playing. Stickers, hair clips, or even freebies you have collected from a cereal box are perfect for this. Just having a present and unwrapping it always helps to distract the kids when distraction is needed.
Visit http://kidstravel2.com/ for unusual children's luggage, kids travel games and family travel accessories. There are stacks more free travel games, 'I Spy' print outs and travel tips on their blog at http://blog.kidstravel2.com/