Virgin Trains are currently celebrating 20 years of trains and with this in mind I thought that I would put together a few of my own top tips for traveling by train with young children.
I have travelled to London and back with the kids a few times now and while I’m no expert, I have definitely learnt a few things from this experience.
Try to explain as much as you can about your destination, what happens at the train station, how long it will take and how many stops there are until you get there. This worked particularly well for us with Max, as we were able to make a little game out of it and countdown the number of stops left.
Take plenty of things to keep your children occupied. Colouring books, magazines, toys and even iPads for long journeys. Play games too, like eye spy, my kids love this game and it’s a really easy and fun way to pass some time.
It’s also a good idea to take any comforters that they might have, just to try and calm them down if they are upset at all, or if they need a nap. For Evie, she has a little blanket that she’s had since she was a baby and taking this on train journeys really helps her.
If all else fails, feed them! If my kids are playing up, I always resort to bribery and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. But, try to avoid sugary treats as you will most likely regret it when they start running around on a sugar high whilst confined to a busy train carriage!
If possible, book your trip in advance to try and secure a table. Having a table make things so much easier with children, not only does it give you more space and it’s much easier for them to draw, use their colouring books, and to eat too.
Travel off peak
If you can, I would always suggest travelling at off peak times. This will of course mean that your train is less busy and should make your journey much calmer and stress free. For me, having a child with autism means that travelling off peak is pretty much essential as otherwise he would end up over stimulated and anxious, but of course this can apply to any child, so it is definitely worth bearing in mind.
Do you often travel by train with your children? Do you have any tips to add?
Thanks for reading.