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Tips for Stress Free Train Journeys With Toddlers

Tips for Stress Free Train Journeys With Toddlers

I recently completed a journey which I was secretly dreading. It was one of those trips which had to be done just to prove to yourself it could be done.  And once the initial maiden voyage was over, it would be plain sailing from forth with.

What made my nerves even more nonsense was that I’d done this journey many times before, the exception being I had children, older children but never a toddler. An adventurous, lively toddler who loves to explore and investigate everything, a toddler who I knew would be beyond excited at doing something new, a toddler who hated to be confined and rarely sat still for more than 5 minutes .

That was the cause of my concerns.

So the very fact that we completed our little journey, Toddler, Tween and yours truly, in a spectacular and stress free manner has compelled me to share how we managed 6 trains over  7 hours on our return trip from Devon to Oxford. And share some tips we picked up along the way for anyone else considering travelling with toddlers.

secretes to travelling with toddlers

The key to my success was in the planning. I knew that to guarantee that Toddler slept for some of our journey, I booked a train that should in theory give me an hour until his nap. This meant that he could get all excitement out of his system not long after boarding and then after a little snack, would settle down to sleep. failing that, the iPad is genius for quiet time. I’m careful never to overuse it as it looses it’s appeal and is only ever brought out at as a last resort.

As we were only staying away for a few days, we made do with a wheeled rucksack. This was our saviour when navigating the platforms or walking down train aisles and was soft enough to pack into the luggage holds. And packing was a crucial part in the planning. My BabyMule changing bag is an absolute game changer for travelling. slung over my shoulders, leaving my hands free and having everything stored in the different compartments makes grabbing snacks and nappy changes simples.


I also made sure I had plenty of snacks, dinners and drinks for distracting any efforts to continually want to toddle around, as toddlers do. I chose snacks which would take a while to eat and hopefully not make too much of mess of clothes or the train floor, thus eliminating any further stress.  Think raisins, Little Dish GoGo’s 

To make getting on and off the train safe, I carried my toddler in a baby sling. This meant I had my hands free to carry my baby bag and suitcase. And reins are a must for more mobile toddlers. I take mine even when I’ve got the buggy as it keeps him close by while I’m collapsing it.

Any experienced parent, who’s learnt from experience,  will know that you can’t really travel anywhere without a few extra items in your parenting ammo, one of these being a few first aid items and while my mini break was hardly crossing that Amazon, the basics still applied. Along with an emergency packet of stickers, a small pot of distraction bubbles and a favourite teddy.

Mothercare parenting expert, Liz Day, recommends that when travelling, keep your child’s teddy bear safely in your hand luggage or an easily accessible bag so they are within reach to soothe and calm your tot if there are any upsets during the journey.

So now I’ve got my plan for successful travelling with toddlers I’m hoping to be a little more adventurous with our days out and short breaks. Watch this space!

secretes to travelling with toddlers


This is a collaborative post 




  1. 6th August 2015 / 9:52 pm

    yup, I’ve done the biscuit thing too! I should pack a car vacuum with me most journeys!

  2. 5th August 2016 / 9:03 am

    Brilliant post Ali, with some fab tips. Snacks, games & tv on the tablet = happy kids for me 🙂 Glad you had a lovely time!

  3. Honest mum
    6th August 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Love these tips and will be doing the same tomorrow on a flight with little ones, Snacks and DVD’s are my secret weapons! x

  4. 6th August 2016 / 7:37 pm

    Sounds like an epic journey, I would have been worried too!!! Sounds fab too. Snacks & tablet for us too!

    • 7th August 2015 / 8:07 pm

      I survived, it wasn’t half as bad as I thought either!

  5. 6th August 2016 / 8:18 pm

    Glad to hear it was a breeze. Travelling without children can be stressful enough, so well done for being so prepared. #bigfatlinky

    • 7th August 2016 / 12:38 pm

      We’ve been on 2 more mini trips since so i’ve definitely got over my fear!

  6. Emma's Mamma
    7th August 2016 / 10:22 am

    Well done! I would have dreaded that too! x

  7. al
    7th August 2016 / 11:12 am

    Completely agree, it’s all about forward planning.

  8. Monkeyfooted Mummy
    7th August 2016 / 9:21 pm

    Oh my days you are amazing, even the thought of that many trains makes me break into a sweat!

  9. 8th August 2016 / 7:56 pm

    It’s good when these things go to plan. I worry about this kind of thing, but then find out the reality isn’t so bad. You’re right though, it really is down to the planning!

    • 7th August 2016 / 9:10 pm

      I’m not usually such a worrier but I was nervous doing this journey on my own for some reason

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