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7 tips to take the stress out of travelling with children

According to the Telegraph, going on holiday has a plethora of benefits for a child, helping with everything from family bonding to stress relief. For us parents though, travelling with children can strike fear into our hearts. Will the journey be horrific, will they fight and most importantly, how can we keep them safe? Here are 7 tips to take the stress out of travel with kids and a giveaway to make it easier.

little girl in a car, strapped in on a pink bubblebum inflatable booster seat

1. Slow it down

The first rule of travel with children is that it takes longer. So, don’t rush. Leave time for stops. Not just toilet breaks but play breaks too. If you’re taking a road trip in the UK, I shared my 21 best family stops over on the Hertz blog. We sometimes even make an overnight stopover to visit family or visit somewhere we’d love to go en route.

Timber framed building by a river, you can see the reflection of the building in the river. Geese in the foreground.

2. Keep boredom at bay

Eliminating boredom for children means giving yourself a break. On a long journey, there’s no harm in allowing them to watch films or play games on an iPad or tablet. Take some snacks and treats, invest in some travel games and save up some TV episodes or films that they’re desperate to watch. There’s nothing worse than the constant drone of, “Are we nearly there yet?” So take the boredom out of it to make it a more pleasant trip for everyone.

3. Play it safe

I don’t know about you, but I hate the thought of the girls travelling without a car seat. I know it’s legal in the UK for short taxi rides but I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of them being unsafe. It may be only a small risk, but the stress of worrying about it always puts a dampener on things. So, if you’re not travelling in your own car, why not pack a BubbleBum inflatable booster seat? They are inflatable so they don’t take up much space, but the peace of mind they offer is invaluable.

Two little girls strapped into the back of the car to travel. Both on pink inflatable bubblebum booster seats.

4. Get them involved in the planning

Planning and anticipating a holiday can be almost as much fun as the holiday itself. Deciding where you want to go, what you’ll do and where to stay. Getting excited about the amazing experiences you’re going to have. So, why not get the children involved in that process? My two have very different ideas to us about what makes an exciting holiday. Knowing their opinions often makes us change our plans – and we always end up having a great time.

Putting our Konfidence swim jackets to the test at Alton Towers waterpark

5. Travel hand luggage only

Did you know that children have the same hand luggage allowance as adults? If you make the most of their allowance as well as yours, you might find you can travel hand luggage only. This will dramatically cut down on waiting time at the airport so you can get on with your holiday as soon as you leave the plane. The BubbleBum car seats are hand luggage friendly too – I even took one to London in my handbag when we went for brunch in case we needed a taxi.

pink bag with bubblebum logo on a label attached to it

6. It’s their holiday too

This is a big one for me. It can be pretty difficult to chill out when you’ve got kids. The parent in you wants to make sure they behave all the time. But let’s face it, who really behaves impeccably on holiday? So, remember it’s their holiday too and make a point of saying yes more. They want an ice cream on the beach or chips for tea? Why not?

two little girls in sun hats and jumpers, one with her arm in the air smiling, the other holding an ice cream with chocolate ice cream all round her face.

7. Team up with friends

A few years ago, we wanted to go on a self-catering holiday to Scotland. At the time, the girls were tiny, we had an elderly dog and a puppy and my husband was on crutches. So, instead of a week of exclusive family time we decided to make time to see friends. We went for a big cottage where we could all stay – four children, four adults and three dogs. The other family helped out with the chaos and it took the stress out of the trip. In fact, we enjoyed their company so much that we make a point of having a few days away with them every year now.

Win a BubbleBum inflatable booster seat

Bubblebum have kindly agreed to give away one of these seats to a lucky winner. If you win, you’ll be able to choose your favourite colour seat. Head to the Rafflecopter below to enter. Please read my competition terms and conditions before entering and don’t forget to check out my other competitions too, there are some brilliant prizes up for grabs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Travel with kids | If you want to travel with your children but get stressed out at the thought of it, these easy tips will make the whole process less painful. From safety tips to boredom busters, we've got you covered for fun family holidays without the stress. #familytravel #familyholidays #travel #travelwithkids

Monday Stumble Linky
Please note, the BubbleBum car seats were provided to us to allow me to write this post and I was compensated for my time. BubbleBum are providing the prize to the winner of the giveaway. All views, opinions and scruffy children are my own.


  1. Tracy Nixon
    February 9, 2018 / 2:55 pm

    I’d choose the BubbleBum Travel Car Booster Seat Pink thanks!

  2. Katie
    February 9, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    Id choose black I think, as it’s suitable for my niece and nephew then

  3. Solange
    February 9, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    I’d choose the black one.

  4. john prendergast
    February 10, 2018 / 12:05 am

    The Union Jack one

  5. alison bonsor
    February 10, 2018 / 4:31 pm

    I’d choose the black one.

  6. February 10, 2018 / 4:54 pm

    Sensible ideas ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to dread travelling with the boys, but getting so much easier now they’re older and, lets face it, not horrifically distracting and poorly behaved on long car journeys (sending Ollie to sit in the third row of seats in our 7 seater every time he started misbehaving did the trick). Actually looking forward to heading to Cornwall this month! The booster looks really useful – we spent a fortune hiring booster seats for our hire car when we went to Germany two years ago. It cost more to hire them for a week than we’ve seen them for sale in the supermarket!

    • February 10, 2018 / 9:45 pm

      Oh gosh, what a nightmare about hiring the seats! Yes, these are really useful. I hope you all have a lovely time in Cornwall.

  7. Anna Stimson
    February 10, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    I love this idea, I would choose the pink one for my daughter else she would never forgive me!

  8. Chris Bull
    February 10, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    Love the green one, such a clever idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Kevin Honey
    February 10, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    It would have to be the Union Jack

  10. Rhia P
    February 10, 2018 / 8:58 pm

    I feel a bit boring, but black would be fine for us. Cheers!

  11. Victoria Thurgood
    February 10, 2018 / 11:20 pm

    I would pick the Union Jack for my son

  12. Angela Treadway
    February 10, 2018 / 11:34 pm

    the union jack one x

  13. Sadiyya Maryam
    February 10, 2018 / 11:54 pm

    This is such a great idea and so important too. Green please if we are lucky enough to win!

  14. Graham Ross
    February 11, 2018 / 12:51 am

    The Union Jack one

  15. Sarah Lambert
    February 11, 2018 / 9:21 am

    I would choose the pink as it’s our fav colour x

  16. iain maciver
    February 11, 2018 / 1:40 pm

    the black one

  17. Laura Pritchard
    February 11, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    I’d choose the pink one.

  18. Pam Francis Gregory
    February 11, 2018 / 4:55 pm

    The Union Jack

  19. ashleigh allan
    February 11, 2018 / 9:17 pm

    I would choose black!

  20. ZARA
    February 11, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    As I am super boring, I Would choose the black one as it matches with everything and will not look dirty! Also, it would look quite elegant and formal too but I did like the other colours too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Laura Lee
    February 12, 2018 / 6:19 am

    I love the union jack seat. Amazing giveaway i have my fingers crossed

  22. Louise Reeks
    February 12, 2018 / 12:01 pm

    The black one looks great

  23. February 12, 2018 / 12:51 pm

    Wow! This is the ultimate list of tips for a fun and careless trip, Natalie. I will make sure to share these tips with my friends who travel with kids! Well done!

    • February 13, 2018 / 10:07 am

      Thank you, I’m so glad you found them helpful.

  24. February 12, 2018 / 4:13 pm

    The pink chevron pattern. #mondaystumble

  25. Hayley Colburn
    February 13, 2018 / 12:23 am

    I would choose the black then it would suit both my son and daughter, my son first though as he’s the older one and can sit without a backed seat

  26. Sarah Austin
    February 13, 2018 / 8:53 pm

    I’d choose the black one!

  27. Elizabeth Smith
    February 15, 2018 / 12:11 pm

    Union Jack please

  28. Gary Topley
    February 16, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    I would choose the pink one, thankyou for the competition x

  29. February 17, 2018 / 5:37 am

    Hi Nat, just the name Bubble Bum is funny enough to make sure children don’t let parents forget the booster seat. I imagine it could come in handy when eating out too. Getting the children involved with the planning of a break is a great idea. And if we can’t be a little lenient when on holiday, then when can we? Ice cream for breakfast all round!


    • February 17, 2018 / 3:11 pm

      Yes, I love the name of it too! And ice cream for breakfast sounds like a great idea!

  30. Ruth Harwood
    February 20, 2018 / 2:13 pm

    My daughter is obsessed with green, so I can’t choose anything else lol!!

    February 21, 2018 / 6:47 pm

    The black one , useful for when we have grandson in the car

  32. Danielle Dudley
    February 23, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    Love this idea! Def would chose the black one as itโ€™s easier to keep clean.

  33. February 24, 2018 / 3:29 pm

    The Union Jack version, not having a block colour should make stains harder to spot. Hopefully.

  34. Edward Guerreiro
    February 26, 2018 / 1:29 pm

    I’d probably go with the Pink Chevron.

  35. Kerry Taylor
    February 27, 2018 / 12:15 pm

    I’d choose the plain black one.

  36. Rich Tyler
    February 27, 2018 / 10:26 pm

    Black One ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Kimberley Ryan
    February 28, 2018 / 9:36 am

    these are such a super idea, my daughter is at the age/size where she is getting too big for a full backed car seat so this would be ideal. I would choose the black for her

  38. Becky Duffy
    February 28, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    I think Iโ€™d like to choose the Union Jack Design ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Nicola Marshall
    March 1, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    I would choose the pink chevron.

  40. Christine Caple
    March 1, 2018 / 2:38 pm

    I like the pink chevron, I think it would be the one my granddaughter would choose

  41. Allan Fullarton
    March 1, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    Union Jack looks great.

  42. Laura Corrall
    March 1, 2018 / 7:00 pm

    The pink chevron design. This would be so handy for when we go abroad for the first time later this year.

  43. Stevie
    March 2, 2018 / 1:05 pm

    I’d pick out the BubbleBum Inflatable Car Booster Seat, Group 2/3, Union Jack

  44. kara dale
    March 2, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    Id choose the black one, as it would be suitable for either my son or daughter.xx

  45. Lynn Neal
    March 2, 2018 / 9:14 pm

    The union jack would be a hit with my grandsons!

  46. ellie spider
    March 3, 2018 / 1:07 am

    i’d choose the pink chevron (altho if they add a welsh dragon to the range that would be awesome too)

  47. Cathryn Crawshaw
    March 3, 2018 / 8:49 am

    I would love the pink one for Ava

  48. Jeanette Leighton
    March 3, 2018 / 11:54 am

    The union jack

  49. Kim Neville
    March 3, 2018 / 12:22 pm

    My son would like the union jack

  50. Simone Griffin
    March 3, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    The Stars and Stripes seat – great idea!

  51. Susan B
    March 3, 2018 / 1:31 pm

    The green in the Irish Shamrocks looks pretty and practical.

  52. Lisa Houston
    March 3, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    union jack would b fab

  53. Katrina Adams
    March 3, 2018 / 2:54 pm

    The Union Jack one is cute!

  54. Rachael Sexey
    March 3, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    I would love a pink one for my daughter

  55. Jenny Rogers
    March 3, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    I like the green one, but I would probably go for the black one.

  56. Margaret Gallagher
    March 3, 2018 / 5:37 pm

    Pink chevron for me

  57. Emma
    March 3, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    The black one! ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. Samantha Atherton
    March 3, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    If I won I’d like the black one.

  59. paula cheadle
    March 3, 2018 / 11:00 pm

    would have to be the Union Jack

  60. Adrian Bold
    March 3, 2018 / 11:31 pm

    The Union Jack one would be great!

  61. Michaela Turner
    March 4, 2018 / 7:05 am

    I’d choose the Union Jack one

  62. Emma Kinsey
    March 4, 2018 / 11:16 am

    the blue one

  63. Rachel B
    March 4, 2018 / 12:14 pm

    I’d choose the Pink Chevron ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. janine atkin
    March 4, 2018 / 12:31 pm

    id choose black

  65. Carol Boffey
    March 4, 2018 / 2:02 pm

    the black one please

  66. Jennifer Baker
    March 4, 2018 / 4:13 pm

    Pink Chevron for my Girlie, I’d love to win to take to Florida where we are hiring a car x x x

  67. Natalee Gosiewski
    March 4, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    Union Jack

  68. Tricia cowell
    March 4, 2018 / 5:46 pm

    Union Jack for my Grandson would be fantastic

  69. jackie curran
    March 4, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    I would like the pink chevron one

  70. laura stewart
    March 4, 2018 / 6:41 pm

    the Union Jack one please

  71. Jo Glasspool
    March 4, 2018 / 9:55 pm

    I love the union jack one.

  72. natalie Crossan
    March 4, 2018 / 10:22 pm

    Union Jack please xx

  73. Emma Whittaker
    March 4, 2018 / 11:29 pm

    As this would be for my daughter I would pick the Pink Chevron ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. Natalie Gillham
    March 4, 2018 / 11:45 pm

    I would choose black x

  75. March 5, 2018 / 3:18 am

    Your kids are so cute! I can relate. Before when it was just me and my husband, there was so much less to think and worry about. Thanks for the tips.

    • March 5, 2018 / 9:57 am

      Oh yes wasn’t it easy pre-kids?? Hopefully it will get easier as they get older.

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