10 hour train journey with five and two-year old. I know this is an insane plan, but have you got any tips to make it less dreadful?(22 Posts)
Should start by saying that There Is No Alternative.
They are actually pretty good boys, and like trains, so they will enter into the spirit of thing at least to start with, but it will be a long long haul for everyone.
I have just bought a double headphone socket to plug them into the ipad, which might help for some of the time (any good app recommendations by the way?), but I'd be really grateful for any other tips and ideas of how to keep them
silent content and not ruin everybody else's journey.
I do see that velcro and gaffer tape may be the only certain solution, but if you can think of anything less drastic..?
Portable DVD player? You check in to first class, DC in second?
You can't keep children quiet for 10hrs! Have plenty of things for them to do, activity books maybe a small new toy each to open halfway through. Picnic will keep them occupied for a while.
How many adults?
Classic tips are bags of surprise toys (tat from pound shop etc), bring out something every hour. Picnic lunch that takes a while.
5yo old enough for pencil and paper games.
Go to the vestibule or buffet and jump up and down lots!
Also if arrive early can be pointed to the least crowded car even if reservations are elsewhere.
Should be bearable - with luck they'll both nap a bit. Probably not at the same time...
Where are you going that takes 10 hours on a train?
Would it be possible to break you journey by getting off the train at some point and waiting for the next one - so that the dc can stretch their legs and have run around?
Is it possible to reserve seats with a table? Then at least they could do some colouring or crafty things.
Are you the only adult?
Sorry for all the questions but as a child I did several very long train journeys so I have some experience.
What I would do is plan the journey out hour by hour, so every hour you take them for a long walk through the train. If there's a refreshment carriage you could take them there and back. That way they get some exercise and don't disturb the same people all the time.
Sorry I've run out of ideas but maybe somebody else will have some good suggestions
Head for the carriage nearest the loo and one which has tables. Take jigsaws/books/pencils. Travel either really early having got them up early or very late so that they at least sleep some of the journey.
Good luck, you are a very brave women OP.
Have a breakfast, lunch and dinner time.
Have games. Top trumps & card games.
Check if you can charge the ipad on the train.
If your train has a dining car, use it. At least to break up the monotony.
If you book seats, get a table & bring a board game.
If I think of anything else I'll come back
This is all good, thank you so much - timetable, hourly slots all v sensible, and games, definitely. Should be able to charge ipad - they seem to have sockets in most trains these days. Hm, surprise toys - will have to see what I can find!
I think the picnic is key. I think I should include some of those cans of pre-mixed gin. Not for the kids! Perhaps I should pack enough to hand them out to anyone near by who is particularly long-suffering...
I did fly quite a bit when I only had one child and used to travel with her small pillow and blankie annointed with a few drops of lavender oil - helps soother them and in DD's case helped her to sleep. When I have to do a long journey with my children now I wrap a few things (like a soft ball, a pack of smarties, pack of cards, a magazine) and dole them out at intervals when peace is in danger of disappearing.
I've done this (5 times!) picnic, new travel games, colouring book and DSs all used.
Each got to buy something new at start (magazine, activity pack etc), and I packed the picnic into meals, leaving somethings out so we could go to the buffet or buy off trolley (because that's very exciting!)
is it all in one go or with connections? I had several connections and found this helped, I had the route between the connection trains printed out, and got them to follow that / read signs etc
We took 2 dc aged 5 and 2 across europe on the train, for fun and it was. Sticker books, michelin i spy books, new magazine with activities eg octonauts, poundland cheapie "prizes" for little games, to hold attention longer, star jumps on platforms while waiting for connections, lots of baby wipes, several sets clean clothes and choc buttons or similar for bribing them to use the train loos (my 2yo was just potty trained and loathed the train loo, but would do anything for a smartie!) Little blanket for a nap.
I would book a later train. Say 5pm. Let them spend first hour looking out window, then picnic dinner, followed by movie on the iPad whilst wrapped in blanket with pillow. They will hopefully fall asleep then through the eve/ night.
It's a mad plan. Everyone is going to be far too tired and stressed. I think it's unkind to subject such young children to a long journey like this. I wouldn't do it personally.
We download a few DVDs from our laptop to our iPad. My 2 would watch that for 10 hours but they're quite a lot older. Don't ask me how but I could ask DH!
Apps my kids love:
Bugs and buttons
Any of those talking cat/parrot apps
Toca Boca apps (my DD fave is hair salon and tea party)
Monkey preschool lunch box
You can also download to Ipad i think from inlayer, so u might be able to download their favourite tv shows
I got dd1 home from hold by sncf/Eurostar/east coast alone a few yrs ago. Sticker books, snacks wrapped in foil, endless games of how slowly can you walk down the aisle, spot the red hat/blue shoes etc- would it be too blue peter to take a list of things they have to find/spot together? You can do it, and they'll be fine. good luck!
Been going on train/coach for years with DDs..longest a coach for 6.5 hrs ...I find train is easier cos you can move around...but has always been fine...it won't be that bad...
If a new experience - just that will keep them occupied for first hour at least (if you are lucky!) ..also count how many bags you have (helps me!) but also you can get 5 yo to count and make sure you still have all the bags AND 2 children ....and as someone else said get 5yo to help you find connections etc...and any landmarks etc on the way...
Get a table (with socket)
Never thought I'd say this but electronic games/gadgets..
One Ipad - two children, different ages - asking for trouble? (bickering?) get a dvd player or something like a leap pad explorer or innotab too - they can play on without supervision...
And pay one attention (reading/drawing) whilst the other is on electronic device ...and ration time on them...
Books, pens, pencils and looking out of window -DCs loved playing 'guess what mummy is drawing (and I am rubbish at drawing!) or 2 yo point to the cat etc...(we even have drawing competitions)
I disagree about doing it at night - they get less fractious when they can look at something out the window...and over tired asking for trouble...
Sad but true I got a kind of laminated sheet (from virgin trains -years ago) with pictures of things to spot (I-spy) that you can tick off -and then wipe off and start again (and you can play against each other) - that has kept DD2 occupied for ages from 2yo to 6yo -maybe you could make something like that ...good that it has country things (horses, cows, trees, pylons) and built up area things (church, house, car, lorry) and even things like aeroplanes!
Lots of eating and picnics (small snacks, not sweets or sugary things) ..if you have to change trains allow them to do things on one train they can't do on another...
(Also have you asked about travel assist? don't know if they still do it but when DDs were very young and I had a lot of stuff to carry on my own (cases, pushchairs, car seats) -I used it - it was free and they would help you get on and off train, move around stations etc...only downside is you have to sit in the seats you have booked)
(memories of BFing DD1 (then 4m) in an aisle seat, near toilets (lots of people going past and my arm sticking out) at a table opposite 2 teenage boys and next to a vicar and DD1 wanted to keep having a look around ...)
Viviennemary that is an unkind thing to say.
OP, FWIW, my DD loved being on the train from Switzerland to Germany. She could read by then and we took several books, her DVD player, a DS, some cards. We played umpteen games of I spy and 20 questions.
You'll be fine.
It is just 10 hrs. It will probably have moments of awfulness, but mostly it will just be like any other day with your children.
It seems if you have an iPad and 2 sets of headphones then you will be okay for some of the journey.
Food is always a winner with my boys. I have a VERY busy 3 yr old who I have travelled a lot with. It is exhausting, but i console myself with the fact it will end and eventually he will sleep, even if it just is at the destination. My 5 yr old is much more manageable.
vivienmary may be correct that is a mad plan, however she didn't read your first comment about you having no choice. She clearly has no idea.
loads of people do this all the time on long-haul flights, which, frankly, are worse, because there is so much less space.
a train is great because you can move around more, look out of the windows, etc.
You will be fine
(we first flew long haul back to the UK when DCs were 3 and 5, they were fine)
I did a 13 hour coach journey with my ds, then aged 6. Was dreading it, he was an absolute star. Took dvd player with new dvds, books, comics, activity packs, food. It will be fine
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