Anyone who has ever spent time with small children knows that being in an enclosed space with limited things to do spells trouble. They live in the moment, and if that moment is cramped and boring then all hell will break lose. Put them in a tiny room full of 100 or so strangers, and you’ve added embarrassment to the mix. So here are the worst things about travelling with children and the best.

The Lows

  • Just planning the holiday makes you need a holiday. First, you have to book the holiday and arrange the travel insurance. You need to pack for everyone in the family including yourself, not forget their favourite toys or they won’t sleep. Provide them with snacks and fun things to do when travelling. Just looking at the To Do List makes you wonder if it’s worth it.
  • The first question they ask when you sit down is “Are we there yet?”
  • They repeat it every five minutes for the rest of the journey.
  • They need the toilet right at the worst moment, e.g. when the seatbelt light has lit or when boarding has just been announced,
  • They are unable to wait to go to the toilet.
  • They need to inform the whole plane/bus/train they need the toilet.
  • They feel the need to bash the seat of the grumpiest person on board.
  • They argue over who will sit next to the window.
  • They fidget the whole way.
  • They have done all the activities you have prepared for them in the first five minutes.
  • They require a constant stream of snacks and drinks to keep them going.
  • This results in yet more trips to the toilet.
  • It also results in them feeling sick.
  • Maybe even being sick. Everywhere.
  • They lose their favourite toy either at home on the journey and spend the rest of the time inconsolable.
  • They fight and argue with their siblings.
  • They whine about where they are going, how their phone has run out of batteries, how the feel sick/need the toilet, how they are soooo bored and it’s always all your fault for daring to take them on holiday in the first place.

The Highs

Ok you’ll have to bear with me on this one, as you can see there are a lot more lows. But I think the highs are probably more significant.If you are struggling with this then you can read 12 Travel Hacks to Make Flying with your Family  put together by Schofields.

  • Travelling means you get a large chunk of time to spend with them. Time to read books, watch a film, play a game or just listen to their funny stories. It feels like there is never enough time for those things, especially as they get older. When you are travelling you are forced into close proximity.
  • Going through a traumatic experience such as travelling with young children brings you closer together with the adults in your family. You will look back on the disasters and laugh or maybe cry together. You survived!
  • Children have an innate sense of wonder. Everything is new, every cow and every cloud is exciting. They make life more exciting as they have these amazing first experiences which they will never forget. The moment they arrive at their destination is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to them and you are the one who has provided it. Maybe travelling with children is not so bad after all.