HOW TO TRAVEL SMART WITH CHIL­DREN

Don’t stress about travel with chil­dren. Top tips to help…

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - For more advice and top tips, visit sassy­ma­madubai.com

W het­her it’s planes, trains or au­to­mo­biles, trav­el­ling with young chil­dren can be stress­ful. For many UAE res­i­dents, long jour­neys are a fact of life come sum­mer­time.

But if you plan things prop­erly, the trip doesn’t need to in­clude tod­dler tantrums or bawl­ing ba­bies. Kaya Scott, co-founder and editor of Sassy Mama Dubai web­site, runs us through some top tips that are sure to take the trou­ble out of group travel. Pack snacks and drinks - lots of them. Great for dis­trac­tion and per­fect when they’re hun­gry at those in-be­tween-meal­times, a va­ri­ety of snacks will help keep the kids happy (and oc­cu­pied). Make up mini trail mix style bags with pret­zels, raisins, chee­rios and even a few mini marsh­mal­lows (a lit­tle doesn’t hurt) for them to dip into. Squeezy fruit pouches, pop­corn, cook­ies - this is the one time when all ‘non-sugar’ rules can be soft­ened if it helps to keep ev­ery­one happy!

In­vest in chil­dren’s head­phones - whether you’re plug­ging them into your iPad or us­ing in­stead of the aero­plane ones (which are al­ways too big for lit­tle ears) - it’ll help them to zone into what­ever’s on the screen. Re­mem­ber to take an air­line head­phone adapter too (these are avail­able at Vir­gin and most elec­tron­ics stores).

SNOOZE YOU WIN

Take child-friendly neck/travel pil­lows to prop up lit­tle heads when they doze off. Just Kid­ding does some great ones, which will keep them cosy and comfy.

It’s also worth get­ting the chil­dren to travel in hood­ies so that you can pull the hood over the pil­low and keep it in place.

GET CRE­ATIVE

Use on­board blan­kets to make a lit­tle tent for the kids - just tuck them into the back of the head­rest and into the top of the head­rest in front - they’ll feel cosy and more likely to sleep.

BE PRE­PARED

Pack smart - a great big bag with no com­part­ments will just add to your frus­tra­tion as you rum­mage around, un­able to find what you re­ally need.

Choose a back­pack with com­part­ments and keep spare clothes in one (for you all - you never know what might hap­pen) and every­thing else such as wipes/di­a­pers, snacks etc in their own sec­tions.

IN THE BAG

Take a spare plas­tic bag or two. If you need to bag up wet or dirty cloth­ing there’s noth­ing worse than hav­ing nowhere to put it. Also, when the kids have fin­ished their meals and you want to re­move the trays pronto be­fore all that food ends up ev­ery­where, sim­ply empty the con­tents into a bag and hand to the crew.

WIPE OUT

Take dis­in­fec­tant wipes that are gen­tle enough to use on dirty hands but that’ll give trays, bath­room ar­eas and any­where that your lit­tle peo­ple might be tempted to touch a clean.

OC­CUPY AND FLY

Take plenty of toys! Don’t for­get com­forters for those melt­down mo­ments and also pack a cou­ple of sur­prises such as sticker books, and play-doh. Also make sure your iPad has a few new kid­die apps.

FAM­ILY FUN: Sim­ple things like pack­ing snacks and plas­tic bags can make a long trip far more pleas­ant

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