Are we there yet? Tips for travelling with bub
Whether you’re driving to visit loved ones or jetting off on a well-deserved family holiday, when you’re travelling with a baby or toddler, the ‘getting there’ part of your trip might feel nerve-wracking or overwhelming. For one thing, you'll need to prepare a bit more than the spontaneous trips you went on before you had kids! Enjoy the journey as much as the destination with these tooshies-approved travel tips.
On the road
Time to go
Before you load up the car with your bags, pick the right time to leave. Some babies sleep in the car with little trouble, so leaving just before nap time would be best. Others travel more happily when they’re well-rested, so they can take in their surroundings – that means leaving soon after a good sleep.
Make them comfortable in their car seat before you put the pedal to the metal. Pop their comfiest clothing on (like soft pyjamas or a spacious onesie), loosen their tooshies Eco Nappy a little bit, and have any items they love nearby on the back seat. You might also like to print out some family photos or their favourite characters to decorate their area with friendly faces. Make sure you pack plenty of car-friendly drinks and snacks, too.
While you’re driving
Some passengers can’t help but complain about the music in the car – babies and adults alike! To appease your little one, play their favourite tunes and have sing-alongs, or opt for the peaceful sounds of white noise or ambient noise. Bubs who like listening to chatter might be happy for you to waffle on, or you could put on a podcast and see if the host’s voice relaxes them.
If your baby or toddler becomes grisly, they might be feeling too hot or too cold. Try adjusting your car’s air conditioning – it could be the temperature and/or the fan bothering them – or putting the windows up or down. You might have to constantly adjust the temperature, so it’s helpful for you both to wear or bring some light layers.
If you’re sharing the driving responsibilities with another adult, you might like to sit in the back with bub if they want some company. However, if it’s just you, your little one might appreciate some extra breaks to cuddle with you. Drivers should stop and have breaks every two hours, but prepare to potentially have more when travelling with kids.
Planes, trains, and boats
It’s generally a good option to either book one direct flight, train, or boat ride, or choose options with long stopovers between legs. That way you can get it done quickly, or take a bit longer to it break up and make it a bit more comfortable. This is particularly true when flying, as air pressure changes can hurt their ears - the fewer take-offs and landings, the better. When you’re booking travel, it’s also important to consider whether you’ll need transfers, car seats, or any other assistance when you arrive.
What you pack in your carry-on is worth its weight in gold, especially if you’re unlucky enough to be separated from your checked luggage. Pack their essentials like clothing options, a first aid kit, toys and games, noise-cancelling headphones, and any other comforts. You might also want to bring foods and drinks they’re familiar with, in case they turn their nose up at the service.
Before you jump on your flight, train, or boat ride, your little one might like to crawl or play around somewhere in the terminal. Some destinations have dedicated play areas or family rooms so they can burn some energy before boarding.
When you’re travelling, you can ask stewards if they have any kids’ activity kits or in-seat entertainment. Stewards on your flight, train trip, or boat ride know all about travelling with children, so if you have any concerns or questions, they’ll be sure to have good advice.
You can put endless plans and preparations in place, but sometimes all you can do when travelling with children is improvise. Although passengers around you don’t know how your baby or toddler normally behaves, most people will be understanding if it at all goes pear-shaped. Many passengers will be parents themselves, and if not, everyone’s been a kid once!