Travel tips for families

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When you have young children, it can feel like a real effort to go away anywhere with them. There’s so much to think about that you need to pack into the car, or into suitcases so you can go on a flight that it sometimes seems like too much work for a few days’ pleasure. And that’s without thinking about how the children are going to behave on the journey.

We all know the one question that’s destined to drive any parent round the bend on a long journey – ‘are we nearly there yet?’. You probably did the same to your own parents throughout your childhood, but then again, maybe you had a right to be bored. Travel toy ideas were thin on the ground a couple of decades ago, and the best you could hope for were endless games of Eye Spy!

Kids today have got such an amazing array of options to keep them amused on a journey. Of course, it depends on how old your children are, as older ones are better at keeping themselves entertained – reading a book, playing on a games console or watching a movie on their tablet. However, for younger travellers, these ideas may not yet be an option, so it’s always a good plan to have a few travel toys at the ready.

You’ll find a whole selection of travel toys at Great choices for journeys include letter and number books that come with wipe clean boards and magnetic play scenes where children can act out stories without you having to worry about the little bits slipping off and down the side of their car seats. While your child may not be old enough to read, there’s nothing to stop you including a few books in the travel toy selection. Books where they have to spot certain objects in the pictures are ideal – they’ll keep them busy for miles!

If you want to keep journey stops to a minimum then getting each child a car tidy or organiser is a great idea too. That way, they can reach all their toys and books, and you can also put snacks and drinks in the organiser too. It gives children a sense of independence if they can help themselves to what they want, and it makes your life in the front seat easier too.

Of course, one of the best things you can do on a journey is to play the old classics like Eye Spy. It encourages conversation and it’s surprising what new things children can learn during a journey. Other great travel games include Who Am I? where you think of someone and the others in the car take turns to ask questions in order to work out who you are, and Guess the Animal, where one player has an animal in mind and the others have to work out which animal through a process of elimination.

As long as there are plenty of diversions to keep children entertained, even the long journeys can go by much more quickly – and peacefully too.

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