Living in Brighton we don’t really need a car. I can’t actually drive, Jesse can but hasn’t since passing his test. This does mean we have to rely on public transport if we want to go anywhere. Having family that live in North Devon means we often get the train there. It is a journey that can sometimes take up to 6 hours or more if we encounter problems.
Until I had Clem the journey time didn’t really bother me. I would just put my headphones on and listen to music. But once you have a child you can’t do that.
So I have put together a list of my top tips when travelling by train with a child.
Snacks, snacks and more snacks. Pack a picnic, breakfast, lunch, dinner. Take more food than you think you might need. Always plan for delays. Obviously pack things that are suitable for trains, you could cut sandwiches into fun shapes or make a bento box.
An iPad/tablet and some headphones. Now I know what you are thinking, I’ve probably had the exact same thoughts. However it really is handy. You can download games, both play and educational ones. I also make sure that we have a few episodes of Clems favourite shows or films downloaded so she can watch those.
Books/magazines/stickers. If you have a big reader then books are always worth taking. Pictures books are great too. I usually pick up a magazine or two as well, usually something with an activity on the front. Sticker books are also good for keeping them amused. Especially if you can find one that has reusable ones and you can make multiple scenes. The Works or Wilkos are both good for getting these.
Colouring pad/pencils/crayons/notebook/pens. Depending on the age of your child depends on what you might want to take. When Clem was younger I used to take a colouring book and some colouring pens. Now I take a notebook and some pens so we can practice writing and maths.
Games. Ispy is always a classic, although it can get a bit annoying after a while. We also have a few card games like snap, pairs that are great if you have a table. You can also get travel versions of connect4 and guesswho. Also if you happen to live near a Flying Tiger store they always have travel games in stock.
Sleep. Now if you are lucky your child might nap, when Clem was younger she used to sleep for most of the journey. Not so much as she is getting older. I used to find the motion of the train would always send her off to sleep.
Does anyone travel long distances by train? Do you have any other ideas on ways to keep a child amused on a long journey.