Hello all! Well, how can it have swung around to my blog *again*? It seems trite, but the year really does seem to be buzzing past way too quickly – sigh.
Today I wanted to touch on the topic of travelling with young children, the highs, the lows, the joys and the blows.
I have fabulous recollections of my travels as a child with my parents… climbing mountains while carried in a backpack carrier and being blustered about by the wind on top of Bluff Knoll, freezing my toes in the ocean of the Great Australian Bite, hiking through bushland in our beautiful South West forests. Though we never travelled by plane when I was little, in this day of discount airfares I am keen to create new memories for my own children and myself, of all the good and bad bits of travelling! The youngest baby that I have travelled with is my now 3 year old, who joined me on a business trip to Sydney when he was 4 months old. I was so very grateful for my ring sling and wraps (the joys of Babywearing!) and that the airline staff were so accommodating… it could otherwise have been a truly stressful red-eye flight.
A couple of simple suggestions that I can make are:
- Pack a few favourite books for the kids, as well as one or two new ones. Same same with toys! Look and find books such as Search and spot go! linked below are wonderful time fillers.
- Have a few mental games up your sleeve – we are terrible at Eye Spy but we love to play ‘I’m thinking of an animal’, taking turns to test each other’s animal knowledge and remembering trips to the zoo.
- Don’t be afraid of using technology to your advantage! Download a few episodes to your child’s favourite ‘wind me down’ cartoon (cough Peppa Pig cough) or a few youtube song clips to your device. You can also preload audio books to your device using the Overdrive or Borrow Box apps for free via the library website.
- Bring a light jumper or long sleeve top and socks for everyone in your carry on luggage, airplanes are cold.
- Pack light! You would be surprised at how little you truly need. Be willing to wash clothes where ever you are staying.
- Arrive with plenty of time to spare! Without fail that nappy will need to be changed, there will be a problem with a carry on bag’s size, the flight will be overbooked etc.
- Don’t be afraid to take turns travelling if you have a large family – while everyone holidaying together is wonderful, individual or parents/single child experiences are also extremely valuable.
And here are a couple of lovely books to read with your baby to prepare them for their first journeys away from home. I’ve chosen 3 which will suit the youngest babies and 3 for those slightly older 🙂
Hello, airplane! / written and illustrated by Bill Cotter
The ABC book of cars, trains, boats and planes / Helen Martin
How Hippo says hello! : an adventure in eight languages / Abigail Samoun
Search and spot go! / Laura Ljungkvist
Peggy / Anna Walker
Mr Chicken arriva a Roma : (Mr Chicken arrives in Rome) / Leigh Hobbs
Finally for today, here are a couple of fun rhymes to sing with your babies as you prepare them for travels. Your little ones will appreciate the familiar tunes and I would expect giggles and squeals as bub is lifted high and swung low, or bumped along as if journeying in a car on train, or blasting off to the moon (always a favourite!).
Happy travels to those who are fortunate enough to be heading away, we hope to see you back at a Pram Jams or Storytime session soon with lots of wonderful stories to share!