Planning is key when it comes to travelling with children during those long, hot Summer months. Luckily, with a bit of organisation and putting your child’s safety and comfort first, it needn’t be a stressful experience. Whether you plan to take your little ones on their travels by train, car or airplane, there are some simple but effective ways to make sure that your kid’s well-being is top of the agenda and your travels are a breeze!
Take the Heat
As you know, Spain can get very hot during the Summer months as the average temperatures for August can easily reach over 30 degrees daily, with sunny days and mild, warm nights. If you travel during the midday heat, ensure you take along plenty of fluids for the children and dress them in light, cotton clothing. It is also a good idea to take a flannel that you can soak and press against the child’s forehead and neck if the heat becomes too much to handle. Try to travel in vehicles with good air conditioning systems for comfort. Children can become restless and irritable when they are too warm and sometimes their tantrums can be hiding the fact that they are overheating – so keep cool and stay safe.
If your child is a good sleeper, lucky you! If your child enjoys a nap, try to tire them out prior to your journey with sport or games. Once the excitement of the travel adventure wears off, the motion of the travel should help them get some shut-eye (and you adults a bit of peace and quiet!)
Attention to Detail
You can never bring too many activities for your children to do on long journeys! Be sure to pack plenty of story books, colouring books, travel toys and mind games to attract their attention and avoid boredom. Children love technology, so why not pack a portable DVD player or a tablet/laptop? The more activities you can distract them with, the safer, more comfortable and happier they will be on their travels.
When travelling by car, always make sure that you are up-to-date with safety regulations for the country you are travelling in, with regards to seat belts and child seats or boosters. In Spain, for example, only EU-approved car seats are legal and seats or boosters are used until children are 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first. Stay on the right side of the law and protect your children in the event of an accident. While it is all very well having the correct legal child seat or booster, you also need to make sure it is fitted properly so that is and keeping your child safe.
The other thing to be aware of is seat belts. If the vehicle you are travelling in is fitted with seat belts (airplane, car, bus, mini bus etc), make sure your child is wearing one and that it is fitted correctly.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Air travel is a perfectly safe way for children to travel. One trick is to take some sweets with you to give them for take-off and landing, to help avoid their ears popping which can be quite an uncomfortable experience. Cabin crew will advise you on suitable safety belts for different age groups, so make sure you get advice on safety precautions and regulations. Trains usually allow for the most space for your child to sit with plenty of leg room, although most trains are not fitted with seat belts. Try to avoid walking around the train too frequently, as children can be unsteady on their feet. Cars can be a comfortable way to travel around Spain if you abide to safety regulations and have suitable air con! A car can be a small, close way to travel and you can keep each other entertained with lots of fun car games. Try to take stops and comfort breaks along the route.
Sometimes, a change of routine or a new environment can cause stress for children. Try to keep children, young and old, involved in the travel plans. Share with them facts about where they are travelling and keep them entertained. If you choose to fly, one way to eradicate the stress of airport transfers altogether is to take an Airport taxi. TaxiLeader.net (which operates in Barcelona and Madrid) is pleased to be a partner of The Olive Press and offers safe and comfortable travel for all the family. So if you need a ride do not hesitate to get a free quotation for a Barajas Madrid airport taxi; TaxiLeader.net offers expert drivers, hassle-free travel and privacy for your family. When you travel, you can be confident that your taxi will be a safe and easy way of getting to or from your airport – one less thing to think about!