Travelling with a four-year-old!
Travelling isn’t always easy for families, especially when you live hours from the nearest airport. We’re off on our holiday on Monday, and the early flight and three hour journey travelling to Manchester Airport makes it a slightly daunting task. Being the anal-retentive person that I am, I’ve been researching how to make such journeys easier, and I thought that I’d pass on my findings. After all, we all need a little help at times. I know I do!
Making travelling easier.
What can we do to make the travelling process far easier? My first stop is to always prepare. I am, possibly naively, thinking that this will be our easiest journey with Noah to date. He’s older, more easily occupied and we have a really early flight so I’m hoping that he’ll sleep for a lot of the journey to the airport (and on the plane). To be on the safe side, I’m going to apply these travelling tips to try and make the journey as smooth as possible:
1. Pack a traveling essentials bag
This doesn’t have to be overly extravagant, but it should have things that can occupy the little people on the flight. I’m going for some colouring pencils and a small notepad, a favourite book of Noah’s, his teddy, a cap for when we arrive and I’ll buy some sweets and snacks once we’re through customs. Oh, and some Thomas and Friends Top-Trumps to play on the plane. As Noah suffers from travel sickness, we’ll also have emergency clothes, travel bands and lots of baby wipes with us.
2. Take your time- make travelling relaxing
We already have an epic journey to the airport from Cumbria, but I’m making sure that we factor in additional time for travelling down. Yes, it means leaving home at 1am (!) but it will hopefully stop us from rushing and factor in any possible emergency wee stops on the way down. I don’t fancy a 6am Home Alone-style dash around Manchester Airport!
3. Book ahead any excursions planned whilst travelling
The spontaneity of Before Children (BC) is hard to keep up with, especially when travelling. Pre-book as much as you can! This might take some of the excitement out of holidays and vacations, but it also takes the stress away. Plan that hike or trip to the waterpark before you actually leave home. Leave the stress behind.
4. Let the children take control of the travelling documentation
AKA- give them a camera! Travelling is fun and there will be memories to capture! There are so many robust, child-friendly cameras out there, but I think Noah would love this Marvel on from Amazon:
Noah will love using this “big boy” camera for the duration of the holiday and beyond.
5. Be app-y when travelling
Don’t cart a load of toys around with you- load up your phone or tablet with amazing apps, and allow technology to help de-stress the situation. I was one of these women who thought I wouldn’t let my child on iPads etc. First time pregnancy ignorance, if you ask me! Noah loves using his iPad and he learns loads from it. But he also loves playing with trains or out in the garden. It’s not the lazy option that people make it out to be! It’s a definite way to make travelling easy!
6. Play travelling themed family games
I Spy, Guess Who, Guess that Tune… we have loads of games that we like to play when we’re filling in time. These will be perfect to entertain Noah if there are any delays at all. Fingers crossed there won’t be any, and if there are, we’re ready to keep the kids smiling! Travelling games can be so much fun and will always get us to smile!
7. Talk about travelling
Noah’s only four, so can’t keep a diary, but he can talk the hind legs off a donkey! Mr Fabulous has his own Podcast all about Disneyland Paris, so I think we’re going to record Noah’s thoughts and feelings each day so that he’s got a permanent reminder of the trip. It’ll also make for an amazing MagicalDLP podcast! Mammy and Daddy Fabulous will be working whilst we’re travelling this time!
8. Brand them whilst travelling
Ok, ok! I obviously don’t mean for you all to tattoo your children, but when going somewhere crowded- like a Disney park- write your telephone number on your child’s arm so that it, heaven forbid, you do get split up, you can be easily contacted. Travelling can be a scary prospect!
9. Are you travelling on a valid passport?
Remember, a child’s passport is only valid for 5 years, so check in plenty of time that it’s in date. We’ve got a year left of Noah’s, so I know we’re ok for this trip. Don’t let a simple mistake stop you and your family from travelling.
10. Enjoy your time travelling
Whether you’re travelling abroad or whether you’re going 5 miles up the road, remember to have fun! Make the most of your precious family time together. In a world where we sometimes feel like we live to work, allow yourself the time to have late nights with the kids, early morning, ice-cream for breakfast and cereal for dinner! Just embrace life and go for it! You deserve it.