There’s nothing better than having something to look forward to, especially when the weather is on your side. But for some it’s not as straight forward as choosing a destination, booking a flight and hopping on a plane. When you have children, it’s a whole different ball game.

Travelling with children can be a bit like taking a herd of wild goats on holiday. Whether they’re your own or someone else’s, factoring a child’s needs into your travels involves a lot more than sticking on a CD full of pop music and making toilet stops.

Start as you mean to go on – making the journey safe!

So, you’ve chosen a destination, and you’re travelling by car. A challenging choice! But not all road users are as conscientious as you might be, so it’s always worth providing a gentle reminder that you have little ones travelling with you. One way to go about this, is to invest in some car safety signs. Baby or Children on Board are usually the most commonplace, and sites like smartsign.com can give you a little inspiration.

Take your time

The greatest thing you can take – whether at the airport, sightseeing or getting from A to B – is extra time. Toddlers love to explore and don’t care for the time pressures of travel, so you’re more likely to all retain your cool if you factor the faffing, gawping, stalling, toilet stops and tantrums into your timeframe.

Be ready for the weather

It’s simple advice, but children dressed comfortably for the weather and terrain will be happier in a new environment. With all the gear available, there’s no excuse for dressing toddlers in ski-suits four sizes too big, forgetting their gloves, or leaving them barefoot on a beach where sea urchins lurk.

Keep them busy!

If you’re heading out on a long journey have a collection of toys to be handed out once an hour. Handheld puzzles, tiny colouring books, stickers, wordsearches and even tiny packs of Plasticine will pass the time on a long flight or car journey.

Avoid the sweets and sugary snacks

Don’t be tempted to fill your children up of sweets. Yes, travelling somewhere new is fun and exciting, but filling them up on sugar isn’t the best idea. Pack a mixture of savoury snacks like cheese cubes, breadsticks, fruit and bagels – anything to avoid arriving in a strange city with children in the middle of a sugar rush.

Don’t forget the teens!

The best way to avoid a soul-destroying sulk from your teenager is to involve them in the planning of the holiday and ask them for input on what they’d like to do. You might be surprised to hear it’s not spending all day on the internet!

Keep hands clean!

Whether you’re travelling across the county or across the world, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer are handbag essentials. A wipe of the cutlery in restaurants where you’re unsure of hygiene, or a squirt of hand sanitizer when there’s no washing facilities, can zap a few germs and prevent toddlers catching some common bugs.

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