Going away for the festive season? It is always challenging travelling with young children.


Tips for long journeys:

  • Bring lots of fun toys and books that you know can keep them occupied for long periods of time. Limit access to these toys for a period of time before your trip. Crayons and stickers are always good options for this age group.
  • Always bring extra food and snacks. Try to bring snacks that are not loaded with sugar e.g. popcorn, carrot and celery sticks, cheese, rice cakes etc.
  • Keep them awake for longer than usual before a long plane journey so they will sleep longer on the plane.
  • Sing lots of songs.
  • Hide things around the seat area for them to find.
  • Play ‘colour’ eye spy.
  • On a car/ bus / train trip, count the number of buildings or red cars you see as you go along.
  • Praise them for sitting nicely and being good!
  • Bring favourite CDs for car trips.
  • Bring lollipops as a special treat for take-off and landing when flying.
  • Always carry at least one change of clothes for inevitable food spillages or other accidents!


While you are there:

  • Allow plenty of rest; do not over-schedule and over-tire them.
  • Explain to them what you are doing each day in very simple terms so they know what to expect but at the same time do not feel overwhelmed with information.
  • Allow some choice whenever possible e.g. they may be given a choice of what they would like to eat for lunch. Feeling a certain level of control can help decrease frustration.
  • Stick to your regular routine bed, nap and meal times where possible.
  • Make sure that they get lots of physical exercise on a daily basis.
  • Try to cut down the number of times you say no. Make positive requests, “Close the door gently” not “Don’t slam the door”. Soften your refusals “We can play the game when the journey has started”, not “We don’t have time now, we have to go.”
  • Make sure you have access to their favourite foods where possible.
  • Let them pack their own small bag to bring along with perhaps some favourite little toys inside.
  • Always bring extra pyjamas for accidents.
  • Bring the basic medicines for colds and fevers.


Happy Travelling !