I have been travelling quite a bit lately, especially to London, and I’ve taken Ava with me on my own a couple of times. The thought of travelling by train and on the tube terrified me at first, and I don’t think I would have even done it a year ago, but now I feel like I have got to the place where I can relax about it a bit and enjoy our day together instead of dreading what she will be like, and if she is difficult then I feel like I can handle it.
There are a few things that help me make the whole day a bit easier, and being organised when travelling with kids is so important (for your sanity).
Here are my 5 tips for train travel with kids:
5 Tips for Train Travel With Kids
- Take an ipad/tablet and headphones – load it up with a couple of new tv programmes they like or a new film as a treat, as well as some games they like to play and you can always reach for it when desperate (ie they’re being little brats) or when tiredness strikes.
- Always make sure you have plenty of snacks – especially in case you get stuck somewhere or there are delays and they’re suddenly going to miss their lunch when it wasn’t planned. I always have some Raisins, and one or two of those ‘Goodies’ snack bars or something like that in my bag. BUT, I’ll always have a bit of chocolate too – buttons are good so you can spread them out if you need to bribe them more than once, but chocolate is a necessity to have for when you REALLY need it!
- Keep a small present for them in your bag for when you really need it. It can be something really cheap – I sometimes get a little animal toy or a blind bag that doesn’t cost much or take up much room, but can get her excited when I need to stop her being grumpy and will keep her entertained for half an hour. Now is not the time to be worried about using bribes.
- Take a big enough bag so that you can carry extra layers, toys, the ipad, snacks and still keep yours hands available for holding onto little hands. Backpacks are great for this (plus they’re very in right now!).
- If all else fails… crack out the snapchat filters on your phone! If you don’t even have Snapchat or use it – get it just to entertain you kids with anyway. I haven’t found a kid yet who doesn’t love playing with then for ages, and Ava is always asking me if she can face swap.
Of course in an ideal world we wouldn’t need to bribe our kids to behave or to stop them from having a meltdown, and I’m sure some perfect parents would never use chocolate to get their own way. But most of us live in the real world, and our lovely and at times beautifully behaved children do get tired or bored, and so I think it’s best to be prepared for that and do what you need to do. Being stuck somewhere like on a train means that you may have to develop ways and means of getting them to listen to you and behave which you might not normally need to do.
I hope this was hopeful, and if you have to take your kids somewhere by yourself for the first time – try not to worry. If the worst comes to the worst they will scream their heads of for the whole journey and all of the other passengers will absolutely hate you – but oh well you’ll probably never see them again!
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Let me know in the comments if you have any more great tips for travelling with kids!