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Top Tips for Travelling with your Young Children


It’s nearly the school holidays and we thought we would give you some travelling tips with your young children which can at the best of times be a struggle. With the random onset of tears, squabbles and the inevitable question ‘Are we there yet?’ It can end up being a stressful and overwhelming experience – not a great start to your much anticipated holiday! At Les Routiers we have gathered some tips on how to make your journey a little easier.

Child in CarBefore you depart, make sure you double-check your child’s safety seat. If you haven’t checked it in a while, ensure the seat is installed properly and that it is still the correct model for your child’s height and weight.  Making sure your child is as comfortable as possible will definitely help to avoid hours of tears.

Plan before you pack to avoid overcrowding the car, try to be as methodical as possible, you’re about to embark on a walking holiday, do you really need those heels? Pack the car before putting the children in – this keeps stress to a minimum. Involve the kids, when filling the car with your holiday basics. By assigning your children with a job, you will occupy them during the loading process as you try to squeeze everything but the kitchen sink in!

Why not provide the little ones with their own small travel bags? Encourage them to fill it with their own choice of games, favourite toys, and sweets, you wouldn’t want to forget your child’s treasured teddy!

Have a think about what essentials you will need to take on your travels? Wet-wipes, small tissue packs, and bottles of water are vital. Most of us don’t have the luxury of a DVD player. Creating your own games makes the time fly by – and it’s cheap! All you need is paper and a pencil. To keep your kids excited about their trip, think about themes that relate to your holiday. Let’s say you’re visiting the beautiful Cornish coast, why not include the word pasty in a word search for example?

Colouring PencilsStructure is key when it comes to planning your journey. Letting your children know in advance that you are going to set aside time during the journey for different activities – such as quiet time, radio/CD playing and games. When travelling long distances you have to mentally prepare yourself for the expedition ahead. A great tip is to travel at night or early morning. This way, the children are more likely to sleep during the journey. If you’re lucky enough for your kids to fall asleep, pack lightweight blankets, especially for younger ones, to keep them warm and comfortable as they drift off.

While you’re on the road, decide when you are going to take a break, try to stop every two or three hours as this helps break up the miles and gives you something to aim for. It is also a great opportunity to exhaust the kids with exercise, why not pack a ball or frisbee for quick and easy amusement? Most service stations offer child friendly playgrounds or play rooms. Take advantage of them; it gives you a chance to relax with a coffee while the kids stay entertained.

Child PlayingCan’t afford a fancy Sat-Nav? That’s fine – there is help at hand, if you have older children giving them a map with locations to check off once you reach them will make them feel like a modern Christopher Columbus. Alternatively for younger kids, give them a simplified map with highlighted sites for the little ones to look out for – this helps them visualise how far away they are from their final destination.

So you’ve nearly reached the final stop! Anticipation is filling the car; you look in your rear view mirror to alert your passengers – but wait, everyone is asleep – start to wake them in good time so they have a chance to surface slowly rather than having to be instantly alert after you arrive. Alternatively leave them to snooze, crack open a bottle of something and start enjoying your long awaited break.


August 9, 2013 | Les Routiers UK

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