With holidays abroad on hold for many of us this year, travel plans are quite literally up in the air for so many families. But just because we might not be jetting off to sunnier climates that's not to say we won’t be making the most of our beautiful surroundings with a UK staycation. So no matter the destination, read on for our top 10 tips for travelling with tots.
For most families, the journey begins in the car so why not start as you mean to go on by organising their travel space. All too familiar with the dreaded phrase “are we nearly there yet?” having an organised space will keep them entertained for hours leaving you free to focus on the road ahead. There are so many fantastic options to choose from including back of the seat organisers to travel trays, both of which have plenty of storage pockets and compartments for toys, drinks, snacks and tablets, hoorah!
Who doesn’t love a gift?! This is something we always do as a family and it goes down a treat every time. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, just wrap up a couple of things you know they’ll love and of course that will keep them entertained. Books, small toys, doodle pads, pens, pencils and sweets are all great ideas. Plus, not only is it exciting for them but it's also a fantastic incentive for good behaviour as you choose when they receive the next gift!
Shop our collection of Lanka Kade wooden toys for gift inspiration.
This works especially well with younger children who are far more inclined to throw caution to the wind when it comes to touching everything in sight. Therefore, we love the idea of giving them something to hold and take ownership for. It's a particularly good idea when in busy areas such as airports, shops or anywhere you would prefer them not to touch. It could be a small toy, their favourite teddy or something new that you know they’ll love to take care of, either way by hanging on to their prized possession they are less likely to touch unnecessarily, which of course is especially important when travelling with Coronavirus in mind.
If you know you have a long journey on your hands then keeping things interesting is half the battle. Traditional games such as I spy can provide hours of fun when on the move, but why not take things up a level with a game of car bingo! This one takes a little time to prepare but we promise it’s worth it. Make a list (or grid if you want to go all out bingo) of items to spot such as a red car, a post box, road signs etc, then the first one to complete is the winner, we’ll let you decide the prizes!
We all know that family holidays are about family time, and quality time at that, but if you’re faced with hours of travel then why not mix things up with the help of technology. Portable DVD’s are great for watching their favourite movies, you can even get ones with second screens and headsets to stop any squabbling. Alternatively you could download their favourite cartoons or games onto a tablet to pass some time, who knew travelling could be so fun?! You will also find that many of the car organisers mentioned above have a place for electronic items which is great for combating travel sickness as they prevent them from having to look down when travelling.
If you’re travelling through busy service stations, shops or anywhere else that has covid procedures in place then it could be a little daunting for little ones with most people in face coverings, therefore honesty is the best policy. If they are old enough to understand then it’s best to explain why these procedures are in place, but if they are a little younger then try explaining on a level they will understand while keeping things light enough so as not to scare them.
While face coverings are not compulsory for children under 11, they may still wish to wear one, especially if you make it fun. With so many designs available they can morph into their favourite character in no time. Superheroes, animals, patterns and more, what will your child choose?
Sticking with the subject of face masks, it’s important to maintain hygiene at all times and this means either washing reusable masks daily or replacing disposable masks every 4 hours. Therefore when travelling long distance or wearing a mask for prolonged periods of time it's crucial to keep clean and dirty masks separate. Using labelled tupperware or sealy bags is the best way to keep them seperate while containing any germs.
As hotspots begin to re-open, it’s easy to forget that we are living through a pandemic so while it’s important to enjoy your time away, it’s also important to maintain social distancing to reduce the risk of spreading the infection. Children are wonderful at forgetting anything you tell them 30 seconds later so a gentle reminder as you enter busy settings should keep them on track throughout the day.
One of the most important things we can do to prevent the spread of infection is to wash our hands regularly, yet getting children to the sink is notoriously difficult! So of course it requires thinking outside the box. There are plenty of funky fragrances on the market including bubblegum, marshmallows or strawberry laces, but to go above and beyond, say hello to musical hand soap (yes this is a thing). In our house we have a Star Wars themed R2-D2 that makes sounds every time you pump the dispenser, but there are all kinds of sounds to choose from such as Thomas The Tank Engine, Trolls. . .oh and Baby Shark, you have been warned. But, where hand washing isn’t possible, hand sanitiser is the next best thing. Sanitiser stations are popping up everywhere now which is fantastic. Heathrow airport has 600 stations alone, which is handy to know for future travel!