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The Mumsnet guide to travelling with kids

Family on platform

From the constant 'are we there yet?' questions to the thesis-level research that goes into finding child-friendly destinations, it can sometimes seem like the best parts of travelling are the slightly blurry photos that emerge at the end of it. But Mumsnetters have some handy tips for making family trips less of a hassle – for you, your patience and even your wallet.

South Western Railway asked Mumsnetters to share their top tips for travelling with kids by train, and here's what they had to say.

It's all about the food
Boy eats candy

We've done a few three-hour plus train journeys and it's all about the food: bite-size and in little bags and boxes, stuff they're not normally allowed to graze on, and often!

Summon your inner explorer
Family explore together

I take a baby carrier, so that the youngest can get involved if we explore. Research where you're going to make the most of it and make sure you have what you need. My kids think I know everything because of this.

Grab a table!
family on train

For train travel of any distance, buy a family railcard to save money. Also – make sure you get a table, preferably not too far from the toilet!

Play your cards right
Family plays cards

A pack of cards. Or UNO. Versatile, keeps all ages busy and not too heavy to lug around.

Take all precautions
Child on platform

Either use a Sharpie or get those temporary tattoos and add your phone number to your child's arm, just in case the worst happens and you get separated.

Try a bit of puppetry …
Boy plays with finger puppets

Carry finger puppets. They might distract a tantrumming child but even if they don't, it will make you look like a really good parent doing your best.

Make an activity bag!
boys plays with toys

I've recently made my toddler an activity bag, a drawstring bag full of toys, puzzles, books, etc, to keep him quiet and occupied. I also always bring snacks for him: food usually staves off any tantrum. My phone has kids' activity apps and kids' YouTube on, but that's only used if he gets fed up of everything else.

Keep the energy up
Girl wears headphones on train

My number one tip, if taking older, teenage kids, is to take chargers, or portable power-banks. They keep themselves entertained with their phones.

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