Monday 7 April 2014

Some Do's and Don'ts for traveling with kids

The Easter Holidays are about to start and the My Mummy's Pennies household are getting ready for our first holiday of 2014. We will be travelling down to Cornwall for a week at the Seaside!

Even though we'll be staying in the UK it will be the longest distance we've traveled with our two children Ben who's six and Elizabeth who is three. If the traffic is on our side then we should be driving for around six hours well I say we but as I don't drive it's all down to my lovely hubby...

I've been thinking back about our family travels over the last few years and I've come up with a list of Do's and Don'ts for travelling with kids based on our experience....

Do... Set a budget for spends and stick to it

Holidays are a great treat, you save up all year to have some family time together and you want to be able to relax not worry about cooking every night or saying no every time your children want a new toy. However the last thing you want to do is end up in the red when you return with a letterbox full of bills you'll struggle to meet. So we always set a spending budget for our holidays and divide it up so we have a set amount to spend each day.  That means that if we visit an attraction on one day then i'll cook dinner that night but if we spend the day on the beach we'll be able to treat ourselves to a meal out in the evening!

Often I find that there are so many things to do that we don't need to pay for we'll get to the last day and quite a bit left over, this happened last summer so I took the children to the toy shop they had been window shopping in all week and let them choose a souvenir each. The both chose toys that they still play with now, much better than if i'd let them buy a cheap plastic toy each day that wouldn't have survived the week and they really enjoyed collecting 'free' souvenirs likes pocket fulls of sand or shells from the beach!

Don't... think that giving kids Chocolate is a good way of keeping them quiet during a long car journey!

A couple of years ago we went away to Scotland in the summer holidays and the day we were travelling back was my son's 5th birthday, we gave him a choice of places to visit on the way home and perhaps unsurprisingly he went for The Chocolate Factory! As well as having a great time on the fabulous play areas, he took part in the Children's Chocolate Workshop where he made some yummy treats! Of course he wanted to try them out straight away so when we got back in the car ready for the three hour drive home I thought why not? It may keep him quiet for a bit....

Half an hour and some rather winding Scottish country roads later I soon learnt that it wasn't a great idea!

Even without a tummy full of chocolate though kids do get car sick so it's always a good idea to keep some plastic bags and towels to hand as well as some wet wipes and water for cleaning up afterwards.

Do... Relax the rules a little

There's so much to do while on holiday it can be hard to fit it into each day. When at home strict routines and bedtimes can be the best way of making sure that children don't get over tired and cranky but when on holiday it's okay to relax the rules. A later bedtime can mean more fun can be fitted in to the day and gives the opportunity for a nice family meal together and some evening entertainment and as I learnt last year on a break to the Lake District it can also mean a lie in for Mummy in the morning!

Don't... Let your children play with the car keys!

On a holiday to Wales with my mum when when daughter was just 7 months old we packed up the car after a lovely week on the Llyn Peninsula and thought we'd have one more trip to the beach before heading home so we drove in convoy to the beautiful Sandy Coast at Abersoch and spent the morning enjoying the sunshine and the sea. We'd said our final goodbyes to the sandcastles and were making our way back to the carpark when 'Nanna' suddenly realised she couldn't find her car keys! We searched through all the bags under sand covered towels and dripping wet costumes but they weren't anywhere to be found. Then she suddenly remembered that she had been jingling them to entertain my daughter while the rest of us had been paddling in the Sea. As with most babies of that age Elizabeth found everyday objects such as keys much more entertaining than her own toys so my mum had indulged her and let her play jingles, she now realised she'd not seen them since...
An hour later and with the help of lots of inquisitive children on the beach we found them buried in the sand near where we had been sitting! That was a close one we thought we were going to have to call the AA!

I hope you've enjoyed reading and maybe you can learn from our experiences! I'm hoping that we do and that we will have a nice relaxing journey down south next week. I'm hoping... but I doubt it! I'm sure I'll be back here in a few weeks with tales of adventures and mishaps to tell!

I'e entered this post into the Mark Warner Blogging Challenge


  1. rebecca beesleyMonday, April 07, 2014

    I hope you have a wonderful time in Cornwall - we've been 3 times in the past couple of years as it is lovely there - we've truly fallen in love with it. But like you say it is such a long journey that we've actually stopped overnight at a travelodge on the way there on our past two visits. I got worried about the keys in the sand - glad they got found in the end! x

  2. Great post with some fab tips in it. Have a wonderful time in Cornwall!

  3. Mellissa WilliamsTuesday, April 08, 2014

    Great tips, I particularly like don't let the children play with the car keys! You were lucky that you found your keys after :)

    I remember taking my son to Majorca when he was 5 months old. He didn't like the sun or the sand lol

  4. Some great tips. We've decided until the kids are 4/5 we won't ggo abroad and just arixk to UK. We took harry when he was 7 weeks to Wales which is only 2 hours or so away. Cornwallis my favourite plac ever though, have fun!

  5. Some good advice, I particularly agree with relax the rules. It's their holiday too after all. #LAB club

  6. BabyinmybackpackTuesday, April 08, 2014

    Have a lovely holiday. Cornwall is just great for kids of all ages.

  7. Great advice! I agree with the no chocolate, apart from giving them a sugar rush and no where to let off steam, the sick tummies isnt good.

  8. great tips! Definitely agree with these! x

  9. OH MY GOD... I think I'd have freaked out if I'd lost my car keys on a beach!! Thank God you found them!
    Anyway... I always START the holiday with a budget... *that is where this story ends*
    There are some great tips here. Well done.
    Good Luck with the comp. Fingers crossed xxx

  10. we're going on hoilday in june, 2 train rides to get there, so thanks for the tips


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