Think about what is realistic for you / your family – you want to be able to enjoy your trip and not be exhausted by the time you get there because the journey was too much for everyone! Remember lots of adventures can be had close to home.
Please don’t worry too much about the “children should be seen and not heard” people who might disapprove of your toddler – it is natural for a child to want to explore a new space, or find it so over-stimulating that they get into a tantrum.
Try to break a long journey, or a long wait, into smaller sections – maybe 20 minutes long – and change activity from time to time. It can be trying when your little one wants your attention all the time, but getting attention in before things go wrong usually means a bit more peace for you!
Your toddler may be fascinated by what is going on at the airport, on the train, or out of the car window. You can entertain them by talking about it – point out things and tell their names and what they are for. A bit of investment in time doing this may prevent a meltdown, or annoying fidgeting …
- Reluctant travellers may be willing helpers … “can you help me …? (find shoes / get a jacket/ choose a snack etc)
- Be sure you can easily fold down/put up a buggy on your own if you are travelling solo with your little one – especially if it is a new one!
- Trains, planes and automobiles – try and keep your little one mobile for as long as you can whilst opportunity allows it, as there may be longer periods where you have to sit still and are unable to roam freely.
- Check with your airline / train company on their policy for travel e.g. priority boarding / assistance etc.
- Get a book from the library or look at pictures on line to show what the train / plane / bus might look like.
- Make sure your little one knows why/where/how you are going e.g. “we are going to walk to the park / granny’s”
“Bag of tricks”
It can be useful to have ready a “bag of tricks” – a few select favourite items sure to win your little one round if they are getting a little fed up
You don’t need a lot of things! Just the ones that work for your little one
You’ll find what works by trial and error, but here are some ideas for what to have to hand:
- Small books, like a buggy buddy
- a comic or magazine supplement
- sticker books
- Small action figure or soft toy
- Small fidget toy e.g. tangle toy
- Snacks (healthy ones!)
- Small construction toy e.g. duplo car
- Muslin square – peek a boo, tie in a big knot for throw and catch, improvised sun hat
- Sing a song – finger songs/rhymes e.g. round and round the garden, this little piggy, peter pointer etc
- Use the world around you – can you see something red / blue / with a K for Katy etc?