Travelling with kids: it’s not for the faint of heart. I say this not as a parent, mind, but as the Responsible Eldest Child among three siblings (my brother is a whole 17 years younger than me). On family trips from London to Hong Kong, I have witnessed first-hand the number of tantrums thrown, toys lost, and demands made – all before we’ve even left the house.
I have vivid flashbacks of helping my mum make the 12-hour trip with two small children in tow, complete with tedious layovers and jet-lagged tears. Not to mention the pushchair that was necessary to wheel my small emperor of a brother around the airport.
Luckily for today’s parents, things have improved somewhat. There are iPads and fidget spinners, and even suitcases that double up as kiddie rides. I get a strangely smug kick out of seeing children willingly transport themselves and their luggage around (they’re being useful but they don’t know it!).
Available at London Heathrow’s Hamley’s store, this clever little case is only £44.99. With its distinctive London bus design, it’s also a great way of bringing a little bit of the capital with you on your travels.
From trunks to T-
Of course, sometimes the oldies are the goodies. It’s hard to beat the classic comfort factor of a cuddly toy, especially when travelling in unfamiliar environments. Sadly, this unicorn doesn’t have wings, which is why he needs to travel in economy with you. Available in airport stores from November 2017 to February 2018.
While smartphone apps and inflight computer games are handy ways to keep kids busy, there’s nothing quite like a pack of cards for getting the whole family involved. Featuring the characters from Despicable Me 3, this Top Trumps set is a good one to keep in your back pocket for delays and long layovers.
This one isn’t strictly going to entertain your small person, but it will help them get a decent nap so you can entertain yourself. The idea for the 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow came about from the founder’s experience of travelling long-haul with her own children. This ingenious cushion inflates and sits on the floor in between the passenger seats, so it can be used on a plane, in a car or even on a bus.
And if all else fails, you can always rely on sugar, right? The travel-exclusive Haribo Travel Bag (800g) is packed with portion-controlled 100g bags of Goldbears, Happy Cola, Starmix and Tropifrutti. What’s more, the kids can take the shoulder bag with them on their next adventure.