Going on holiday with a young family is an exciting time, however it can also be quite stressful. There’s the endless list starting with the packing and the planning, moving on to the journey to the airport, ensuring the children are safe while at the airport and then of course entertaining the children during the dreaded flight itself. It’s no wonder many parents face travelling abroad with young children with a degree of trepidation.
Factoring in a child’s needs when going on holiday is a lot more than just remembering to pack the essentials. Here mum of two Tiffany Partridge explores the latest gadgets and ideas that could make travelling with children not only possible but also really fun.
1. Kids Travel Cases
We’ve all seen the brilliant travel cases that are available on the market nowadays, perfect for packing away your child’s favourite possessions and having them easily accessible throughout your journey. However I recently came across some really cute, scooter carry-on cases. Available from zincflyte.com, I know my little ones would be keen to keep up with me on one of these when travelling, the sometimes long, distances from check in to the departure lounge.
Piture Source: zincflyte.com
2. In-Flight Games
So you’re on the plane, the children have eaten their snacks, coloured in their books, read a story and they’re starting to get restless. Here are a couple of ‘inflight games’ you could try. How about using the airplane magazine that you find in the pocket of the seat in front of you to play a finding game. Simply ask your child to open a page while you ask them to find different objects. They’ll especially like finding objects on the toys and food section.
Or how about having some ‘presents’ for the children to unwrap mid flight. This doesn’t have to be expensive or in fact cost anything at all, it could simply be some of the child’s favourite toys from home; small gifts as a reward for good behaviour that can be opened every hour or so. What child doesn’t love un-wrapping presents?
3. The Tablet
I think it’s fair to say many of today’s parents will consider ‘loading up the tablet’ before beginning a long journey and although not a replacement for real world fun, they are undoubtedly useful when you’re running out of ideas or maybe, just maybe, want a quiet 5 minutes to yourself. The Endless Alphabet App is a colourful way of teaching children the alphabet or try Shu’s Garden, a game based on exploring a planet, picking up seeds and discovering what grows. The CBeebies app is also a family favourite for pre-schoolers.
4. Jet Kids Bedbox
Younger children and babies will start to get tired during a long flight but may find it difficult to sleep due to the on-board conditions. I came across the Jet Kids BedBox as an innovative solution to this problem. It is a travel case that converts into an aircraft bed! Not necessarily a cheap idea with a retail price of £119 but a quirky and interesting idea none the less.
Picture source: jet-kids.com
5. Childrens Camera
How about investing in a childproof camera and making your child head photographer for the holiday? This could start with them taking pictures in the airport, of the family and the airplanes and continue to entertain them during the flight by encouraging them to record all the details of the journey so far. Once home the photos can be stuck into a scrap book with captions underneath or why not create an online travel book of your memories?
We bought our eldest the Nikon S33, which despite its funky looks is a pretty serious point and shoot camera, far better than those aimed squarely at children. It's waterproof and shockproof so ideal for the kids but still delivers great family photos and probably all you'll need for the family holiday camera.
The most important thing to remember when travelling with young children is to try and enjoy it. Experiment with some of the suggestions and let us know how you get on!