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Travelling with toddlers - your tips please

11 replies

teensandtoddlers · 02/08/2021 00:46

Hi all

Hoping anyone who's travelled with toddlers can share some useful tips!

Next week we'll be travelling around 6 hours on a train with DD1(15), DD2(12) and my sister's girls (age 1, 2 and 3) who have lived with us since September 2020 when my sister passed away so this is the first holiday/long journey we've done with multiple young children.

Anyone done this before and found something that worked really well?

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NuffSaidSam · 02/08/2021 01:05

Wow! You've got your hands full!

What works best, as we all know, is an iPad/tablet/screen of some kind. I would definitely allow a bit of screen time periodically through the journey. Just make life easy for everyone.

Snacks - little and often, particularly ones that take a long time to eat.

Lots of small, quiet, new (novelty value is high) items to bring out as you go along. Pens and paper, stickers, small tub of playdough, small toys like happyland people/Peppa pig characters, books (you can get travel size versions of lots of classics), threading type game (or just a shoelace/pipe cleaner and some pasta or buttons).

You can wrap all of these items up individually to kill more time/make it more fun. You could do it as a lucky dip even. You can also then use them as rewards for good behaviour (aka bribe them!).

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paddlingon · 02/08/2021 02:54

Yes to lots of little things you can bring out, sticker books, crayons.
Snacks, water.
Also wet wipes, change of clothes and a couple of carrier bags scrunched up, in case of a total change being needed.

Trains like planes are good because you can go for a walk up and down.

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languagelover96 · 02/08/2021 09:37

First aid kit
Snacks and drinks
Toys
A positive mindset and a smile etc
Activity books are key here. Also see if you can find some kid friendly music etc. I also recommend taking craft supplies in case. Make sure to take spare clothes with you. Other really good items are a tub of sweets, and some age appropriate games too. Crayons are a option however.
Factor in time for pit stops (find a service station half way along the way) and also book a hotel room next to each other on the same floor. Research family friendly restaurants and so on.

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Heathofhares · 02/08/2021 09:55

Consider it a trip not a holiday. If you go with that mindset it will be great. No it won’t be restful and relaxing but if you aren’t expecting that it will be fun!

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MinesAPintOfTea · 02/08/2021 10:00

Remember that even when they are screaming and you are standing the the vestibule trying to console them, you are still making progress towards your destination, not like being stood at the services.

If it’s a quiet time and there is space, ds has napped strapped into his buggy pushed into a luggage rack in the past.

I think by 3 he was starting to enjoy headphones and an audiobook (memories of listening to him giggle at silly stories)

Can you ask the older 2 to help? Offer a suitably grown up treat for when you arrive.

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Greenandcabbagelooking · 02/08/2021 10:11

Allocate each adult and older child a bag/buggy/baby they are responsible for getting on/off the train. That way nothing gets left behind.

Headphones or volume off if watching something on a tablet. No one else wants to hear Peppa Pig!

Wrap Poundland toys in wrapping paper. Extra excitement, plus added time whilst they get the wrapping off.

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TwoLeftSocksWithHoles · 02/08/2021 10:20

Start off with a whistle, a tambourine, a recorder and a doll that cries. This way you get a carriage to yourself. Once carriage is empty remove the fore-mentioned articles and give them a colouring book and an ipad EACH.
If anyone enters the carriage during the trip give the toddlers water pistols and suggest that they act out Gunfight at O.K. Corral. (Take a bucket of water too)

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PerseverancePays · 02/08/2021 11:17

I bought a bunch of cheap see through pencil cases and put an activity in each one. As in a threading game of pipe cleaners and Cheerios, matching coloured lolly sticks into little felt pouches, little puzzle, piece of plasticine etc you can get ideas online for ‘busy bags’ I think they are called. This way you can hand them out one at a time and swap it without the whole area descending into a morass of detritus. Lots of snacks, calpol, headphones for stories and screen time.
So sorry to hear about your sister 💐 amazing taking on three extra tiny people.🥇

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deplorabelle · 02/08/2021 22:45

What everyone else has said plus some small finger puppets for making up stories. Do not take anything round or that can roll. It is seriously not worth the hassle if it gets dropped.

Use a fingertip to draw shapes on each others backs and guess what they are

Newspaper for folding, colouring in and ripping up

Have a rubbish bag and a teatowel in your bag for emergency cleanups

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SpaceRaiders · 02/08/2021 22:59

Some good tips here, but by far the best advice is to travel light especially if you’re a sole adult with five dc/dn. Multiple bags, trains and toddlers in buggies do not mix! Buy a pack of nappies when you get there, pack just a few outfits perhaps more for the littlest and do a wash there if you must.

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teensandtoddlers · 03/08/2021 07:56

Thank you!

We now have a fairly large selection of small toys/colouring/books etc and given how much they enjoyed 'helping' DD12 open her birthday presents last week, wrapping them is a great idea!

DDs have assigned themselves each a little person as they call them and they've been incredibly helpful over the past 10 months so I have no doubts that they will help where needed.

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