Travel Tips

August 3, 2016

The Ultimate Family Guide for Stress-Free Travel

Tears, tantrums and unrest are some of the worries parent´s have when traveling with their children.
Whether you are traveling by ferry, train, car or plane; traveling with your children will no doubt be stressful. Where´s the pacifier? Can I take a pram on board? What do I bring to entertain my children? These are some of the many questions that goes through every parent’s head.
Every transport experience is different and unusual to children so the way they behave may be unpredictable, but we all understand that parents are trying their best.

We have put together a comprehensive family guide for all you parents out there. Not just any old guide, but a guide which covers everything.
We have separate chapters on advice for travelling with different aged children and advice on how to travel with them on all types of transport! All tailored and specific to that age group!

So what are you waiting for? Scroll down, read this travel guide and feel the stress trickle away as you plan your next family trip!

PS: If you are looking for family apartments in Europe, it’s right here.
 
 

Babies and Toddlers

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You can make travelling by car fun for children, from sharing music together to fun interactive games, there is a lot you can do.
 
Preparation is key when it comes to car travel, unlike trains, ferries and planes; there is no departure time that you have to leave by. However, if you want to avoid the traffic and have a certain time in mind – pack the car the night before.

Depending on the law regulations of your country, babies and toddlers under a certain age have to be in a car seat facing backwards, so make sure that you have a secure car seat and everything is placed correctly.

Consider driving according to your child’s routine, it may be easier to drive in the evening when they are more prone to sleep and dress them in pyjamas so that they have comfort as well. Hopefully you will have a quiet journey and no crying! However, if driving in the day is better for you and your family, be aware of weather conditions. If it is a sunny day, invest in a blind and window protector in the back seat so that your baby or toddlers eyes are protected as well as their skin.

There are many ways that you can check on your baby when in the car, if it is just the parents and the baby in the car.
One adult can sit in the back and be next to the baby and swap every couple of hours so the driver doesn´t get tired.
Or, if you have other kids as well in the back, you can invest in a baby mirror for a car so you are in constant view and can check up on them at any time.

Being tired whilst driving can be very dangerous and along with traffic it can make the driver often very stressed.
Babies and young toddlers feed off adults and parents emotions really easily so it is important to stay calm and take a break every couple of hours, bond with your baby, change and feed him/her and stretch your legs.

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Essentials: for once, over packing is allowed. You have all the space you can ask for in a car and there are no restrictions.
You are in a confined space for a while and if your baby or toddler wants extra food there is no harm in treating them, it is a holiday and you don’t want a screaming child in the car for a long time!

It can come in handy with traffic if you are in the car for longer than expected and your child needs an extra feed, you do not want to be running out of milk, food or wet wipes! Emergency First Aid kits are a must for car journeys, with the other types of transport you will have staff on hand to help with any emergencies. However, in the car you will need to be prepared to use the first aid kit for any situation before calling a doctor if necessary.

Entertainment: Being in the car for a while can be boring for children, especially toddlers. So it is best to have a collection of toys. However, hide them from your toddler at first and hand them out every so often. It will be a surprise every time there is a toy and it can last for the whole journey!
For young babies in car seats, get a mobile that can easily fit on the car seat. It will keep your baby excited and will give them something to play with in-between naps, changes and feeds.

There are many worries and things to consider when flying with babies and toddlers, such as; how to keep them calm, entertained and how to get through to the departure lounge in one piece!
Read below on some top tips to help you with your journey!

Before you book any flights or holidays check the regulations for travelling with your baby or toddler on an airlines website. Find answers to your questions about how much luggage a young one can take, what baby facilities the airport has and also whether you can take a pram with you.
Most airlines allow babies to travel free as long as they are sitting on an adult’s lap.
If you’re lucky enough to have a spare seat next to you then you will have more room for your trip!

Behaviour: If your toddler is already talking and understands what planes are, this time the time to explain what happens at an airport.
Talk about how you check-in, go through a “fun” body scanner so that they know that they need to be on the best behaviour. This way you can keep a close eye on them.

Preparation: you can never pack too many essentials, especially when you are travelling with babies and toddlers!
The plane motion may be a uneasy feeling at first to young children, so it is best to assume the worst and bring wet wipes and spare clothes just in case.

Entertainment: There are many things you can do to keep your young one entertained. Invest in a Trunki for your toddler to go on in the departure lounge. A Trunki is a hand luggage sized ride on suitcase, it will give them a chance to roam the airport and will beat the boredom they may have!
It is a chance to tire them out so they sleep on the plane!

For the toddlers that are anxious about flying, get them excited by playing Pilots and role play with them what will happen! This way it eases their anxiety and gets them excited for the journey.
An iPad or a tablet are items that divide people on how long children should spend on them, however, it’s a holiday and if it means your children won’t scream and you won’t get passengers looking at you… it might be worth the purchase!
Make friends with fellow passengers around you, by making friends you may find your toddler or baby interacting with them too keeping them entertained!
Also, if your little one does start to cry or have a tantrum they will be less likely to give you dirty looks and they will more likely give you a helping hand!

Toys: Wrap up a few toys to give to your toddler as a reward for good behaviour or you can wrap up items such as colouring books or stickers for your child so that it will keep them occupied for part of the journey.
For your baby, if they are too young for gadgets then consider giving them a blanket or their favourite soft toy. It will give them some comfort on the plane and the blanket will keep them warm.

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Plane Journey: Taking off and Landing are the two things that can make any ones ears pop, and that can be stressful especially for young children with their ears being more sensitive at that age.
For babies, you can try and encourage them to feed on a bottle or breastfeed and for toddlers giving them a chewy sweet or a lollypop. This will help as sucking helps them with their ears.
Babies’ noses might get stuffy during the journey as planes do tend to get cold; check with your doctor what is safe to take.
This may seem like quite a funny but clever tactic. It is called the Aeroplane Police, a very popular way of tricking your toddlers into behaving well so that they won’t need to call the Aeroplane Police to come and tell them off.

For more information on how to pack to travel with babies on planes, read this Travel Guide by The Wandering Wagers right here for extra information!

It may take longer but there is less stress as there are no baggage restrictions, security checks or passport control.
You can simply arrive at any time, hop on and go straight to your destination.

The first thing to do is check what the prices are for family travel with different railways.
Usually toddlers and babies under a certain age are allowed to go free and sit on an adults lap and you can have the option to book another seat next to you for more room. It might be worth buying seats next to a table so you can have all the room for your necessities, food and entertainment.

It is also beneficial to see whether the trains have baby changing facilities, if they do not it is worth checking whether the station you are going to has one. Some train journeys can be overnight and it is beneficial to book a cabin with a sleeper train so you have privacy for you and your family.
If your baby cries or your toddler has a tantrum it is a good place to have 5 minutes to relax and to let them calm down.

 
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Entertainment: The iPad or any other tablet is a common piece of equipment that you will be hearing throughout this article.
No matter how long the train journey is, toddlers will eventually get bored of playing with toys and the same with iPads.
Bringing a selection of toys and handing them to your child one at a time will allow them to have a variety of toys and not play with them all in one go.

Sitting in one place for a long time can get very boring and uncomfortable for us adults, let alone children whose minds are all over the place and just want to explore! Unlike planes where you only have a certain time to be allowed to walk or even have your seatbelt off, you can walk up and down the train as much as you like. This can be a great time for you and your toddler to explore the train and give both of your legs a stretch!

Loading baggage onto trains can be stressful at times when travelling alone, trying to lift it up onto the train and try and find a place for you to place it.
However, you can ask for a ramp so that if you have a pram you can push it up onto the train as well as just asking fellow travellers.
Try to pack light as trains only have a limited amount of room and you want to make sure your necessities are easily reached.

Some trains and platforms have a gap between them so when carrying your baby, whether that’s in a sling or in a pram make sure you have someone else there to hold your bag for you to help with the weight. Also if toddler’s don’t want to be carried, be with them and hold their hand when helping them up and down onto the train and platform.

If you want to know what to do and also what not to do when traveling with children on trains the give this Top Tips for Train Travel article a read!

Although it can be slower than getting a flight, it is a chance for the family to bond and the best part… there are no baggage restrictions, you can take as much as you like!
It gives you the freedom to take advantage of the entertainment features and you can teach your toddlers all about the ocean and where you are going.

As you have to leave your cars and go to the main ferry, it is worth packing an emergency and essentials bag while you wait. The wait for the Ferry might be a while but in this time you can get the toddlers excited about the fun boat trip they are about to embark on.

At the same time pack essentials such as wet wipes, extra food, nappies, clothes so you are prepared for anything on board.
If you are travelling overnight or want a private area to feed or change your baby, it may be worth getting a cabin. It is a great place to take your toddler for some “time out” if they are having a tantrum. It also gives you some privacy if your baby needs changing.

Most Ferries will have lifts on-board for those who have disabilities and for large families with prams.
Consider taking a sling or a baby carrier if there is a queue for the lift, as carrying a pram up stairs can be very difficult.

On board most ferries, there will be entertainment centres. From live performances to soft play areas, it is good to research your ferry to see what they have for you.

Seasickness is a common occurrence and it can be because of the motion of the ferry or it can be because of your brain thinking you are moving when actually you are standing still. For children 2 years and up anti-sickness tablets can be bought over the counter which can come in a chewable form.
Babies under the age of 2 do not tend to get motion sickness but it is best to check with your doctor for any advice.
Or for something more practical, get your toddlers to look towards the ocean so their body adjusts to the mobility.

Children

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Planes, Trains and Ferries are often new experiences for children but cars they are used to so no doubt they might be bored after 20 minutes.
Make your journey run seamlessly and make some notes of the pointers below and start planning your family trip!

Whether your child is in a car seat or is sat on a pillow in the car, you want to make sure they are secure.
By this I mean, take a couple of hours or so before you have to leave or the night before to pack everything in the car apart from essentials you might need before you go.
Make sure it is sturdy so that in case of a long winding road, roundabout or quick turns that no heavy items can fall and possibly cause injury.
It is also beneficial to pack before-hand as you will still need to help your younger children get ready which can take longer, so make sure there is one less thing to worry about.

Be prepared and make yourself an emergency first aid kit, if they have got a headache, car sickness or have cut their knee after tripping up during a car stop you will have everything you need with you.
Also, put your local doctor´s phone number in just in case. You haven´t got airline, train or ferry staff to help, so make sure you have everything you need and know where the local services are by checking the route on a map.

At home, you might limit the amount of desserts or treats that you feed your kids as they can get hyper; of course you have to teach your kids what is acceptable and what is too much.
Maybe, just this once it is ok for them to have a little bit more than usual!
Think about what type of foods you bring, dry foods might be better than chocolate yoghurt that they might spill on your nice car seat.
Food and entertainment are the two things that kids will look forward to in a car ride, and they are the two things that will keep them happy!
Plan your departure on what would best suit your child and their routine. Young children might not want to be woken up at 10/11pm to unpack and go to bed late.
They will probably get restless and you will have an “unhappy bunny” on your hands!
Plan your departure time so you can get to your destination around dinner time to eat where you can relax and have a nice quiet evening, make sure that you drive according to the best routine.

Removable shades are also beneficial to young children as they may be too young to have sunglasses. It gives them extra protection for their eyes, skin and so they do not get too hot.
Entertainment for young children will most likely be films or a tablet, it completely depends on what you parents think is acceptable for your child.
If they are too young for a tablet, a portable DVD player will be your best option to watch their favourite films on.
If they are allowed tablets, make sure there are some age appropriate apps on there and you can always put a parental lock on there too. Make sure each device is charged up sufficiently.

If you have had enough of all the time that your child spends on electronics, you could buy/make them a gift bag for them to go through on their journey.
It can have things like puzzles to keep them occupied or items that reflect the destination you are all going to, so they can get excited about the holiday.

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Car sickness… no doubt the one thing we all wish never to have or experience. But the likelihood is that there is good chance you may encounter it.
If your child has been prescribed medication, make sure they take it before you head off or when advised to.
However, if it is your first long car trip with your child and you don’t want to take any risks, go see your local doctor and ask for their advice on what your child can have and when to take it.
Make sure you have plenty handy for your journey.

“His things are on my side of the car” are one of the many things that you might hear when on your journey.
Sibling rivalry can escalate when in a car and younger children can get very possessive of where they sit. So see if swapping seats after a few hours is able to diffuse the arguments.

An important, obvious and staple piece of advice that everyone should know. Take breaks!
It will give the driver a chance to rest and not be so tired, the parents also get some quiet and the children can run around and let all of their energy out by running around the park and hopefully tire them out so they sleep in the car!

If you want some more information on why car journeys with children are nothing to be scared about and less stressful read these Top Tips for Car Journeys with Children.

This is your chance to teach them lessons in patience, destinations and airplanes. You can make the journey exciting for your children and less stressful for you.
After their trip they can go back to school and tell all their classmates how amazing the plane journey was!

Pre departure: First things first is research: Airlines have different policies when it comes to airfare and children, you may find that above a certain age your child will have to pay for a ticket but it will usually be a percentage of a price so make sure you know which airline is your best option.
You might also want to research whether you can bring a car seat with you so your child can have their own seat and be comfortable and safe on the plane.

Whether your child has been on a plane before or not, it is always useful to remind them of what is going to happen and what is expected of them.
It is definitely worth building up their excitement of their journey rather than them being worried, so make them pack their own bag: by explaining to them that “you need their help” it will make them feel encouraged that they are a big part of this trip and it could be a good way to get them to behave at the airport.
Whilst your child is helping pack their bags, this could be a great time for you to check what plane you will be on and see whether they have an entertainment system on board so you can plan how many toys you will need.

Whether it is your child´s first time flying or it is their 2nd time flying or they flew when they were a baby and can’t remember, it is a great time to educate your child on what is going to happen! At this age they are making friends, in education and they love to try out new things.

 
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At the Airport: Arrive super early! They always say to check in at least 2 hours before your flight, but the time it takes to check-in, go through security and get yourselves to the departure gate you may only have 20 minutes before you have to board.
So arrive early, especially as you will have a larger group to take care of and look after. This will mean less pressure to quickly go through security and more time for your children to explore the airport, grab some food and have a quick toilet break!

If you, your partner and your kids all have luggage to check in, it is worth buying some sort of tag so that each bag is easily visible when collecting your bag at your destination.
Therefore your children will have some sense of possession when getting their bag from the collection point and will want to carry it themselves!

Going through security by yourself can be daunting at the best of times, especially if you have a lot of things on you and people are behind you sighing. So of course, it must be so much more stressful for families.
After explaining to your children how you need their help with their shoes and coats, maybe have an order of who goes first. One adult can go first with all the carry-ons and then the children go through accompanied by the other adult. Therefore all responsibility is shared and each person is responsible for one thing rather than both of you scrambling to do everything at once!

A way to make the security process easier is to buy your child/children slip on shoes; it will be easier in the long run and will make the process go much quicker. It is a great time to teach your kids manners. The way adults act and feel influences children so much, so by showing them how to act in an airport this can influence them of how to act in the future.
By being polite to check-in staff, security and those at boarding even in tough times when there are delays it will have a good effect on your children so that they can behave like that in the future.

On the Plane: Yes that’s right, another lesson to teach your child whilst they are on the plane excited for take-off! At school they are responsible for knowing where their bags are, and who says they should stop during their holiday? Make sure to remind them to look after their bag if they are old enough! It will be one less thing for you to hold onto, and a lesson to respect their belongings when travelling.

It can get extremely cold on the plane especially sitting near the window, so make sure that in your child´s bag they have a small blanket or a light cardigan so that they can keep warm on a flight otherwise they might become upset and you can have a bad experience.

Keeping kids entertained gets easier the older they are as they know what will keep them entertained, they have an increased likening towards electronics and films so make sure they have things that they enjoy.
Younger children tend to have an activity and get bored of it so make sure you have a selection. It may be a good idea to give them a gift bag to get them excited for the journey and fill it with items that will keep them busy.

Electronic tablets – amazing items to teach kids how amazing technology can be, you can watch films, go on educational and gaming apps but there is always a debate on how long to allow your child to use it for.
Sometimes, it even happens with adults if you are constantly looking at your phone you don’t take in the experience around you. Flying is an amazing experience which everyone should enjoy, so maybe give your child a time allowance but make sure you have some entertainment for them.
Maybe ask them about what they want to do on holiday and get them involved!

One way to get them involved in the experience is to do a journal, if there is show and tell at school after summer they can hand in the journal of the amazing plane journey they went on.
They can relive it with all of their classmates and remember what a great part of the holiday it was.

For more amazing tips on how to fly with your children read this amazing Travel Babbo article on How to Fly With Kids

Whether it is going through a city or on the coast there is so much to experience.
Your child can see what stations are like, experience the train and be able to spend quality time with you as well as have some freedom.

Pre departure: Your children will now be at the age where they will have to buy a ticket, however most train fares have an option of a family ticket. It can save you so much money in the end. So check the tickets of several rail companies and choose the best option.

Some train travel means you have to sleep over night, but that may be a good thing. Travelling by train means no traffic, no stopping for fuel and no going through security checks. So it might be nice travelling and being able to sit down as a family and relax.
Book a cabin if you are sleeping over-night. You can keep all your belongings there and can spend a quality night sleep ready for the next day.

As always make sure you get to the station early, it gives your children a chance to run around and stretch their legs before sitting down for a long duration.
You can teach them all about the stations you are at and make it exciting for them.

Being at stations can be very busy, especially during peak season. In airports, you have queues at check-ins, security and even when boarding the plane.
At stations, it is usually a race to get on the train first. Hopefully, people will see that you have children and are nice enough to let you on first.

A tip to keep you and your children together is the “sandwich rule”, explain that you parents are the bread and your children are the filling and the rule of the game is to keep the sandwich together. This will provide them with some fun and it keeps you close.

 
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A way to keep your children entertained is to tell them about the route the train is going on, tell them to look out for certain things and make it into a game and give points out. Ask questions and give points to the correct answer whilst educating them on where they are, they will be excited over the competition whilst and experiencing all about being on a train!

Card games are always fun for train journeys, the whole family can play and you have a nice surface for you to play on. From Uno to Snap the whole family can get involved.
Another lesson to teach the children is when playing games to respect the level of noise, as some people on the train are by themselves or are doing work. So the trick is to find games that will not hinder other people’s experiences.

Even when traveling on a train by yourself, it is always helpful to know what stop is before your destination and how much time between them you have to get ready, get your luggage and wait at the door.
Seeing as you have more people to think about it is good to get your children involved, get them to have a countdown and say that at a certain point they need to get their stuff ready and whoever is first is the winner.

This means there is less for you to worry about, the children take some responsibility and they have fun at the same time.

It is another great educational opportunity but again beware of sea sickness and be prepared with these tips.

Preparation: Boarding a ferry is very different to boarding a plane, train or going by car. It involves parking your car, leaving it and exploring the ferry and going back to your car and driving off.

It is important to educate your children on what to expect, that it can get very busy when leaving your car and knowing what they can do on board.
This means they know how to behave, what to do and worry less about being on a boat.
Give them a book to read about ferries or tell stories about how you have been on them and what an amazing experience it is.

Packing extra clothes is essential. It is important to have a change in case your child unexpectedly gets sea sick. Perhaps book a cabin so your children can have a shower and feel fresh for when you set off in the car.

In some cases, depending on the Ferry, there are cinemas in which your children can entertain themselves for part or the entire journey.
Often you have to make a reservation beforehand. As well as cinemas, there can be children play areas; you would need to check this with your ferry provider so you can plan what to take for your children.

If your children are old enough, allow them to wander off if there is a couple of them, or have one adult go with them.
However, it is a great idea to pick a meeting place and time so you know where to find one another if you are lost.
This gives children the freedom to see the boat and let them make the most of their time on the boat.

 
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If sea-sickness does arise, make sure that your child has anti-motion sickness tablets and get them to lie down and close their eyes.
If they prefer, let them sit outside and grab some air and focus on the horizon. As the brain senses the boat moving but you are standing still, so it can get mixed messages.
Another way to help is to have a salty snack, I am sure your children would not say no to some crisps or chips!

Having a few snacks in the car is great, however, the ship will have a variety of restaurants for you and your family.
In the possible case that your child is being picky and only wants to eat certain food, it could be a good idea to be flexible and eat in a restaurant!
You never know, it may have food from your destination and is a great way to educate your children! I am sure we have all been picky with food when we were younger! It will also be a great chance to build excitement up about your destination.

Teenagers

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With teenagers you know they can look after themselves, if it is an early morning journey or late night you can trust them to have a shower and get themselves ready.

Make sure their bags are by the front door so they are ready to be packed. This is one less thing for you to do, as they aren’t toddlers so they can look after themselves.
This means there will be no pressure to pack the car the night before or hours earlier so you can get your children ready.

Before the drive, make sure you have plenty of food ready, there is no point taking less and taking unnecessary breaks to go and buy more food. You and your partner will get tired of it and so will your teenagers because they probably just want to get to their holiday!

Entertainment is pretty easy when it comes to teenagers, they love their electronics. Whether it is a portable DVD player, an iPad/tablet or an smartphone it will keep them occupied for the whole trip.
The night or a couple of hours before your journey, tell your teenagers to plus in any electronics they will use. It will also be worth buying an external battery bank so that if by any chance their phone does run out of battery, you can charge it up in the car through a car phone charger.

Right before you depart, make a list of all the times and places that you need to make a stop at.
Maybe it’s at every 2 hours or at a café with a field so you all can stretch your legs, grab a drink and have some food.
It will allow your teenager to have some freedom and the driver to have a rest. If the driver is tired and is stressed when driving, the teenager will automatically feel that way too.
You want everyone in the car to be rested, calm and positive.

Teenagers often want to act or seem a bit older, because it may come across “cool”. So allow them to have a bit of responsibility and input to the holiday as it will make them feel valued. That could be, giving them a guide on the destination and letting them pick out what to do so that they can do things on the trip that they planned and enjoyed.
This could also be done by letting them create a playlist for the whole family to enjoy.
You could even make it into a game where there are songs from every decade, you play a few seconds of the song and whoever gets it first wins and you can all listen to the song together.
It will be good for involving your teenager and making the car trip fun along the way.

This is also a great chance to talk to your teenager, at home they might go through a stage where they don´t like to talk, hug or have any interaction.
But that’s what happens when you’re a teenager, I´m sure we were all like that at one point! In a car the people in front (usually you parents) are facing forwards, away from the teenager.
It might make them feel like it’s easier to talk that way.

To get them excited over the trip, perhaps make a game that educates the teenager and gets them happy about the trip. For example, if you were driving 6 hours in France to your holiday, give them a map and get them to find it on your destination.

You could also before the trip, write a few questions about France and do a quiz, or see where you will be passing on the map and get them to look out for it.
If you have a couple of teenagers, the thought of a competition and them beating their sibling will make it easy for you to entertain them!

If your teenager suffers with car sickness, make sure they know to take a tablet before they leave so there is little chance they will suffer from it.
They need to know that they must have it in their bag too, so it is easily accessible to them and they will feel more mature by being able to look after themselves.

Your teenagers will be at the age now where they understand what plane travel is and what to do.
If your teenager hasn’t been on a plane before or gone through the process, a quick explanation should be sufficient enough for them.

Give your teenager more responsibility! It will make them feel like an adult and will stop them rolling their eyes at you and trying to act “cool”.

Responsibilities could be packing their own bags, going through security by themselves and making sure they look after their own bags.
Setting a budget may be a good idea, especially if your teen is at an age where they might want to go off and wander around the duty free area.
By giving them a budget, it will allow them to have some freedom and buy a treat for themselves yet you still have some control.

 
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Packing for a flight is always tough because of luggage restrictions and you don’t want to pack too heavy as you might get uncomfortable.
If you can, see what plane you will be on and ask whether it has a built in TV screen. Most TV screens will allow your teens to listen to music, watch films/TV and play games.
A selection which should last a while. Then your teenager can decide what to take!

If you have a more than one child including toddlers and teenagers this may be a good time to ask your teenager for help by entertaining the toddler so that you can get some rest and your teenager feels like they are being helpful.

If you don’t want to spend money on food during the flight, make sure you stock up on food at duty free.
No matter what age, especially as teenagers, they can get seriously moody if they are hungry and that can affect the whole trip.

When waiting for departures, make sure to stay together so that you can all make it to boarding in time.
Let them read a book, listen to music or play a game on their phone but check in now and then.
With younger children, make sure you have some mints or chewing gum that your teenager might want to have on take-off and landing.

The train is also a great chance for you to bond with your teenager and give them some freedom.

Before you book, check to see which rail line is best for you, check the prices and whether they do family tickets and book a table.
Try and book a route with the fewest stops as possible, teenagers will just want to reach their destination as quick as they can and offloading and loading luggage is not important to them.

It will also be useful to check whether the train you will be on has a plug socket; most trains do which will means that your child can charge their electronics.
If your train has not got one, it is worth investing in a portable charger.

If you buy seats with tables this is the perfect chance for you to interact with your child, you aren’t in different seats on a plane in one line or facing away from each other in a car.
This is the ultimate and perfect time to interact with them!

If they aren´t in the mood to talk then make sure you bring some cards with you and teach them some fun games to play, they will be entertained, be competitive and it’s a great way to bond and make memories for your trip.

A food cart will come round every so often, it will be a good idea to give your teenager a budget so they have the option of buying food if they want to or if they want to save it for the next stop at the station and look at what else they can buy.

Holidays are a great chance to do activities that the whole family can enjoy; trains do take longer than planes and sometimes cars with the exception of traffic.
During this time you can all talk as a family and discuss the place your going, what there is to do and do a mind map or note down places your teenagers want to go so they can get excited for their trip.

 
family guide
 

The best thing about train travel is the views that come with it, from coastal landscapes to urban cities there is a lot than can be discovered just from being on a train.
So when you spot an area or a city that you have memories about tell a story to your child and engage conversation as this can bring you closer and it is a form of entertainment.
Stories from parents can bring a sense of excitement and passion for the trip.

Exiting the train can be a hassle at the best of times, you have to collect your luggage which can be stuck behind someone else’s and have to keep your personal belongings safe.
It is a great time to teach your teenager a lesson or to ask them for their help. Perhaps, say to them that “we need your help to make sure we have our entire luggage ready to leave the train, could you make sure you have everything ready”.
They will appreciate the fact that you trust them to have responsibility.

You do not have to worry about your teenagers being bored and entertaining them, they are old enough now to know what they want.
Ferries give them the outlet to do this, and you can have some well-deserved peace and quiet before you get back in the car!

The wait for the ferry is usually the worst thing about the journey, you have to wait a long time before you can board so make sure the teenagers know this and bring something to keep them entertained!

 
Teenagers love freedom and if you are comfortable let them wander around the ship for a while but make sure that you have a time and place that is allocated to meet each other at. If they are late and you are worried there are many apps where you can see where your child is such as Lassy Project or Find My Kids – Footprints.
Therefore, although they have some responsibility you have control of when to meet and can have an app to know exactly where they are if you quickly need to find them.

 
family guide
 

Entertainment: There are many things for your teenager to go to when they are on the Ferry, from cinemas to arcades and restaurants they will not be stuck with a choice of things to do.

As much as you want your teenager to have freedom you still want to be able to have some control, so you can give them a budget on what to spend.
It allows them to go and do something for a couple of hours, whether that is to spend some money in the arcade or buy some food from a shop.
They will appreciate and be excited when you give them money and will be quick to go find something to buy and enjoy what the ferry has to offer.

There we have it, the ultimate guide to make family travel easy for you.
So what are you waiting for? Plan your destination, download this guide and start to plan your perfect family trip!

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