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Travelling with a toddler can be bloody hard at times, how do you keep them entertained?
Readers of the blog will know that I’m originally from down South but now live up in lovely Yorkshire. We don’t get the chance to visit family and friends that often but when we do it can be a mammoth task!
The journey is around 5 hours with a stop in the middle which is a long time to keep a little person entertained! I like to plan in advance to make sure the journey is as stress and toddler tantrum free as possible!
I start packing at least 3 days before, even though we only go for a week and make sure that we have everything we need washed and ready to go. Generally, Little D will wear ‘old clothes’ leading up to our departure. Who the hell wants to be doing a last-minute wash and dry before they set off?! Certainly not me!
We’ve done this a few times and it has been a bit trial and error but we seem to be getting somewhere.
Top Tips on Travelling with a Toddler
Plan in advance
Like I mentioned before. Clothes get washed and put away ready to pack at least 3 days before we are set to leave. I like to make sure we are going to have enough trousers and tops for all kinds of weather.
Make a List
Make a list of everything you will need to take with you, even if it includes the kitchen sink! This usually ensures that nothing important gets left behind whilst you’re dashing about trying to make sure you have everything, Tick it off as you pack your bags. Do the same when you’re coming back too… don’t leave anything important behind!
Pack Separate Bags
If you can. Me and the other half usually share a holdall and then have a separate case for Little D’s clothes. One time we did put it all in together but it was a right pain when he was staying over at his Oma’s and I forgot to put a clean top in the bag (rookie mistake)!
Make sure you and your toddler are in comfy clothes for the journey. Don’t over layer. If it’s cold out take a coat that you can put on when you go outside. We travel in a car so when it’s cold we have the heating on. Also, if it is a long journey, you want to be as comfy as possible.
Plenty of Snacks
We’ve found that making sure we take plenty of snacks with us really makes the journey quite bearable. Basically, we pack a bag with a couple of treats he wouldn’t normally be allowed and other bits like Dunkers and Pom Bears! Having a snack waved in front of Little D’s eyes usually holds his attention for just over 5 minutes! It might not seem like a lot but if you’ve had to endure toddler screams in a close environment with no means of escape then 5 minutes is bliss!
Plenty to Drink
Rarely do we let the little one have juice. Apart from if we eat out (which isn’t a lot) this is the only time we allow juice. It’s an adventure for him and this also keeps him for a while!
Get a Tablet
Okay, some may not agree and I was totally one of those parents (before being a parent) who said that never in a million years would I let my son go near technology. NO WAY! Nope. My son was going to live his first 10 years (at least) tech-free. No phones, no tablets, no TV, nada! Well then you have a kid and are like “yup give me what you got tech gods, please let me have 5 minutes peace!” So, we got a Kindle Fire for Kids! This has been a godsend for long car journeys. Now, we actually lock it away in the filing cabinet when we aren’t travelling. So, he actually only gets it when we go down South. We download as many kids programs as we can before travelling. This basically keeps him entertained for the majority of the journey.
Take a Book
Unless your driving, take a book to read. It will really help the time go faster and give you the opportunity to start that book you’ve been meaning to read since 2010.
I hope you find some of these tips helpful. We’ve just got back from our journey down South and it wasn’t too bad. There is still some trial and error and I’m sure as he gets older, it’ll get easier – well I hope so anyways!
Do you have any top tips for travelling with a toddler? or even what not to do when travelling with a toddler? I’d love to hear them!