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by Smyths Toys
Travelling with kids can be daunting, especially if this is your first child or your first time travelling with more than one. It may seem like long car rides will be endless miles of fidgeting and asking, “Are we there yet?” The thought of a plane journey with a screaming baby might make you shudder. Never fear! We know some really quick and easy changes you can make so that travelling will be easier for both yourself and your child.
Preparation is the key to travelling with kids, so make sure that you’ve got everything you need when you’re planning your trip. Everything from long-lasting snacks to the perfect car seat can make the process that little bit easier. We’ve got some great tips on how to plan your next journey and make sure that everything goes swimmingly on your family adventure!
Safety is crucial to any sort of travelling, whether with or without kids. Before you go anywhere, you need to make sure that you have the appropriate car seat to keep everyone safe on the journey. The law on car seat regulations has recently changed, so make sure that you read up on which kind of seat your child needs before setting off. As parents, we always like to have complete peace of mind when it comes to the safety of our children. Make sure that you choose a seat that meets all the safety standard regulations, preferably one with some extra built-in features with which both you and your child are comfortable. The Graco Affix Group 2-3 Car Seat is a great place to start. It comes with ISO-Catch connectors that attach to ISOFIX connection points for added security and features an easy to use one-hand front adjust latch system. The padded armrests and seat add comfort to every journey, while the side wings and one-hand adjustable headrest have built-in impact protection. The Graco Affix even has built in cup holders and a snack tray so that no drinks or food spill or fall out of reach on long journeys. This lets your child snack whenever they want.
If your child hates getting in the car, it’s a great idea to prioritise safety and get them involved in the process by taking them with you to pick out a car seat. If your child feels like they’ve chosen their own seat, they may be more excited to get in the car and test it out. Have a look at some of the funkier designs with characters children love, such as the Imax Deluxe Disney Minnie Mouse Group 1-2-3 Car Seat. This will definitely be a hit with kids who are big Disney fans and love pink! As well as being super cute and fun, this seat includes side impact protection, a height adjustable headrest and a 5 point harness for your peace of mind.
Another awesome character car seat is the Paw Patrol car seat, available to pre-order now! This seat is perfect for lifelong Paw Patrol fans as it can grow with your child, keeping them safe in the car until they no longer need a seat. If your child loves Paw Patrol, this seat should definitely get them more excited about going on long journeys. We have an extra 20% off selected booster seats at the moment, so if you don’t fancy pre-ordering the Paw Patrol car seat, there are loads to choose from at great prices, just in time for your next trip.
Once you have the perfect car seat, there are lots of other things you can do to make sure the actual journey is as comfortable as possible for your child. If they usually fall asleep on long car journeys, why not invest in a neck pillow? This will make sure they stay sleeping comfortably so you can concentrate on driving. Seat belt cushions are another great idea for children who hate the restricted feel of seat belts. Help your child to relax on the long journey, instead of wriggling in discomfort.
As well as thinking about the equipment you will need for the actual journey, you’ll need to decide what to pack for when you arrive. Although lots of hotels and holiday homes have great facilities for young children, sometimes just the shock of a disrupted routine and being away from home can be upsetting, even for babies. Spending the first night trying to calm your baby down can be frustrating when you need a holiday you can enjoy. A really great solution for this is to bring some of your baby’s favourite things from home; whether that’s a pushchair they like to nap in, their favourite toys or their favourite seat. Just being surrounded by things made especially for babies will make your little one feel more at home. This is why we love the Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Fun 'n Fold Baby Bouncer. It’s great for playing as well as relaxing and folds down flat so you can easily take it in the car or even on planes and boats. This bouncer is the ultimate distraction for a stressed-out, over travelled baby. It’s super comfy to lounge in and the seat gently bounces in response to baby’s natural motions. This soothing movement is inspired by the motion of baby being gently bounced in mum’s arms, making it the perfect place for your little one to relax when you need some holiday ‘me time.’ A press of a button adds calming vibrations. When it’s time to play, two animal friends on the toy bar encourage baby to reach and grasp (exercising developing motor skills), bat (encouraging the development of eye-hand coordination) and play (which is just plain fun).
If you’re going on holiday with your kids and renting a holiday home, it’s really important to strike a balance between enjoying family time and letting your kids play by themselves while you take the time to relax. If you have younger children or a baby, we know the perfect way to get a bit of time to yourself while keeping an ear out for the kids. The Summer Infant Babble Band Baby Monitor is the first ever of its kind, and it’s totally ingenious. Leave the monitor next to your kids or baby and wear the second half as a wrist monitor, allowing you to walk around the house and still hear everything that’s going on. This is perfect for when your baby is asleep in one room and you’re in another, or when the kids are playing inside while you soak up some rays in the garden. The real secret to a relaxing holiday with the kids is peace of mind and this amazing gadget has totally nailed it.
However you make the most of long journeys and family holidays, we hope that these tips have helped you to prepare for the journey ahead and make your trip as stress free as possible. Have a great family adventure!