Spending time with extended family at Christmas usually means a long journey by car, train or plane. The prospect may feel daunting, but by planning ahead you can help make getting there part of the festive fun.
If you're travelling with babies or toddlers, pack their favourite toys, a familiar blanket and add a Musical Take-Along toy arch to their infant carrier. Safety and comfort are paramount if you've got a lengthy car journey ahead of you, so ensure they have the correct infant carrier or car seat; that it's correctly fitted should be the priority. If your little ones are wriggly passengers, then why not add a John Lewis Baby seat belt cushion? An extra Brica Baby mirror will help you maintain reassuring eye contact without becoming distracted from the road.
Choose the toys you take with you wisely. Remember, anything with loud repeating sounds will very quickly become an irritation! Choose bright colours and exciting shapes that will engage babies, without distracting the driver. Hold toys back, so that the novelty of something new will hold their attention, even if you've been travelling for a few hours. If you're travelling by train or plane, keep little ones engaged with books full of detailed illustrations like this set of Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes, with pictures by Axel Scheffler. Travelling by train will offer kids a little more room to stretch out and they can make use of a table to draw on. An activity book like the Klutz Draw Thumb Things will keep them occupied through several stations. Pack a set of pens and crayons, like this John Lewis art case and everything can be neatly packed away, it even has its own carrying handle. A great way to keep younger children engaged is create a travel journal. Collect tickets along the way and get them to draw pictures of their big adventure.
If you've got more than one child in tow, pack a separate LittleLife Ladybird day sack for each one so there's no fighting over snacks and treats. Pop some healthy snacks into different OXO tot flip top pots, so you can spread snacks out throughout your journey. Cover all eventualities by packing a My Carry portable potty, spare changes of clothes and a BabyAid first aid kit. You know your children's habits best, but travelling in the evening is often recommended as they may sleep through most of the journey. Or if you do have to travel during the day, make regular stops so they can let off a bit of steam.
Give older children space to plan their own entertainment and you'll probably find they'll happily fill the journey time by listening to music, watching a DVD or listening to an audio book. If they've got a smart phone or tablet, why not add on an accessory like this AppToyz appWheel driving game to keep them entertained? We've also got plenty of trivia boxes and travel games to help pass the time. This travel version of Hasbro Connect 4 is ideal for starting a tournament - everyone plays the winner until a champion is decided!
Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?