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Our Top Ten Tips for Train Travel with Kids

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Train journeys can be a world of fun for little ones, especially if you follow our top ten tips. Keep the kids entertained and your train journey is sure to fly by, no matter how far you’re travelling.

Read on to discover how to make travelling by train with children simple…

Be sure your children’s memories of family holidays are special from the get-go by making the journey magical too. And, if you take your children on the train a lot, use the tips below to stop train travel becoming dull.

1. Make a Master Plan

The best way to keep your train travel on track is to make a careful master plan beforehand. Pack everything you’ll need the night before and always book your tickets in advance so you don’t have to queue with (bored and restless) kids for tickets at the station. You could even get the kids in on the organising fun by giving them little tasks and responsibilities like packing their bags.

2. Pack Snacks

Hunger is the perfect recipe for grumpy travel. Pack plenty of tasty and healthy snacks to enjoy on the train and keep an eye out for trolley services to keep tummies full and spirits high. Bringing a packed lunch could help you save too, as you won’t have to fork out at the station shops either.

3. Check for Cheap Tickets

You’ll be in a much better mood when you know you’ve got your tickets for less, so always check our journey planner for cheap train tickets before you set off to see how much you could save. Sometimes splitting up your journey can be cheaper than travelling direct, so if you’re not in a rush you might want to check your stop-over options . Even if you end up spending any savings on treating your wee ones, it’ll definitely help make travelling easier on the bank of Mum and Dad.

4. Bring Books

There’s nothing like a good book for whisking you away to a magical place. Choose excellent children’s books with fast-paced adventures to give you and your children a great way to pass the time. You can even check our monthly RSH Book Club for some suggested reads to take on board with you. If you’ve got a Kindle or e-reader you can try websites like Project Guttenberg for free reads too.

5. Play Lots of Games

Put a smile on everyone’s face by getting your family involved in a few travel-friendly games. Whether you bring board games or prefer things like I-Spy, there are plenty of excellent games for long journeys.

6. Try Electronic Entertainments

If you’ve got a long journey ahead of you, it’s a good idea to experiment with some electronic entertainment. Whether it’s an audio book, portable DVD player or handheld games console, you’re sure to find your kids appreciate the effort. Just make sure to bring batteries or check your seat’s near a socket to avoid any temper tantrums.

7. Bring Blankets and Soothers

Sleepy children tend to be unhappy ones. Make it easier for them to have a nap by packing familiar items like blankets or soothers from home and let them curl up for a snooze during the journey. Some trains will have quieter carriages too where mobile phones must be turned off – so if you’re travelling with a sleepy little on, try to pre-book a quiet seat.

8. Start Sketching

One great thing about train travel is the fact you can get arty on the go. Bring pens, pencils, colouring books and paper, and let your kids explore their artistic sides. Set a train-related theme or just let them go wild. And don’t forget to take a snapshot and share it with us on Facebook.

9. Set Competitions

Get in touch with your kid’s competitive side by setting competitions taking inspiration from your journey. Who can spot the most cows/cars/tractors? Who can correctly guess how many stops the train will make? And, an old favourite, who can stay quietest the longest?

10. Set a Good Role Model

Train travel should be fun. Make sure your kids know how to chill out and enjoy themselves by avoiding stress yourself. Sit back and appreciate the view, give yourself plenty of time for changeovers and remember the excitement of taking a train trip when you were little and you’ll be able to set a good example for your kids.

Are you an expert on keeping kids happy on the rails? Do you have some top tips for train travel with tots? Tweet or Facebook us, we’d love to hear more…

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