Holidays can be stressful when flying or driving long distances with young children. Planning ahead can be the difference between an airport nightmare or a fun-filled journey. Read the following guide for our best tips and tricks.
If you’re renting a car, van, campervan or motorhome for your holidays then the following advice can be taken when embarking on a family trip.
Check your child seats.Follow our guide here to ensure your baby and toddler seat is clear of debris, safely secured and comfortably positioned. Remember, babies bodies are much less tolerable of being in the same position for a long time so regular breaks (every two hours) are highly recommended.
Pack enough fluids. Of course, it’s best to set off just after a feed, so that baby is relaxed, full and can sleep through the journey. But if this isn’t convenient for your timing then make sure you pack enough bottles, formula and baby milk as possible to cover you for the trip. Ensure the lids are tightened before packing away to avoid any unwanted spills or leaks.
Feeding rules. It is not illegal in the UK to breastfeed your baby in a moving vehicle HOWEVER due to child seat safety regulations, your baby must be strapped in at all times the car is moving. Of course, the sensible thing to do in this case is taking regular breaks on your journey to pull over and take them out of their seat but if you fancy being acrobatic then feel free to lean over their seat and feed.
Pack toys and fun things to do. As most parents will know, kids get bored very easily and having fresh entertainment in a confined space is a challenge in itself. If your child is old enough (and doesn’t get carsick) then crosswords, puzzle books and colouring activities are great. For toddlers and babies, having someone in the back can often help as they are quite likely to get bored quickly of the one toy, where your “helper” can hand them new things.
Turn on the tunes. If you and your passengers can bear it, one of the best soothers on a long ride can be kids CDs. Audio-books, nursery rhymes and silly songs help excite and engage your little ones or often even help them fall asleep.
Changing Room. For whatever reason, you may need to change your kids’ clothing and/or nappy during the trip. As before, pull over in a safe space, and lay down the changing mat either inside the boot or across the back seats. Keep babies and toddlers safe by distracting them with toys or books to stay lying down whilst you do this. Most motorway services have mother and baby toilets with a changing table but if you are two-hours-deep in to the countryside, a lay-by will have to do and cars going past could disturb you.
Consider some car accessories. Car-tidy organisers are great for storing all the baby memorabilia while Baby-In-Sight mirrors can be useful if it’s just you and your little one travelling alone. Read the recommended list of baby car accessories you will actually need here.