Help! I need somebody (on my travels)

I am a worrier. I try to convince myself that planning for all eventualities is simply common sense when you travel with kids but it could well be a huge waste of energy.

Especially because none of us travels in isolation. I’ve fretted that anything less than perfect behaviour from Minnie on a plane could bring out the worst in people, but in reality most travellers are much lovelier than we give them credit for.

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When faced with a woman travelling with a small child and lots of luggage, most people don’t curse and snarl, they offer to help. I’ve had buggies and bags carried up and down stairs, I’ve had kind-hearted strangers hold and entertain Minnie as I wrestle with X-ray machines and overhead lockers. Continue reading

Reviewed: Lonely Planet Kids Adventures in… sticker books

It’s just days to our next flight, which means I’m doing my usual trick of frantically buying all kinds of things which are lightweight enough for hand luggage and exciting/interesting enough to entertain Minnie on the plane.

So far I’ve got crafts, books, new apps, new downloads, colouring and – of course – new stickers.

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Tongue out in concentration…

But as well as raiding my cache of trusty Usborne versions, I’ve been sent the new Lonely Planet Kids Adventures in… sticker books. Continue reading

Teddy Rescue – finding lost toys on trains

One family holiday in France, we stopped off briefly en route to our campsite for lunch and a break. When we arrived hours later, I discovered one of my beloved toys was missing.

Presumed fallen from the car at our stop, I was distraught. I remember sobbing my little heart out, and later discovered my dad had actually driven all the way back to the stopping point to see if it was still there (Thanks Dad…).

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Sadly not. And while I’ve got over the loss, a few decades later, I remember how heart-breaking it is for children to lose a toy. I live in fear of Minnie being parted from one of hers as we have no back-ups… Continue reading

Travel essential: the inflatable booster seat

Hurrah, I thought, as Minnie ditched her nappies for the potty – so much less paraphernalia to carry around in our suitcase. I’m starting to suspect that’s far from true.

As well as a travel potty, a portable toilet seat, some pull-ups for travel plus ordinary nappies for night, I’ve realised we need to start rethinking meal times. Or more precisely, seating at meal times.

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As Minnie’s relatively skinny and still only 28 months, she’ll normally fit into a highchair and is fairly content to stay put there. But after going out for lunch with a friend, where the only highchairs had (perfectly reasonably) got younger babies in, she could barely see her plate. Time for a booster seat. Continue reading

Would you buy your holiday from Amazon?

Travel bath mat. Chopping board. Squirrel-proof bird feeder. Slipper socks. Reward charts. Even a few books. That’s just a selection of the things I’ve bought from Amazon over the past month or two.

When I stop to think about it, I’m always mildly alarmed by the way the online giant is taking over when it comes to shopping (and wondering what bizarre profile they’ve built up of me in the process). But god it’s useful.

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So would I book a hotel through Amazon as well? Well, it seems that’s about the only area of my life which isn’t currently covered.

Continue reading