Top tips for travelling on the train around London with the kids

Top tips for travelling on the train around London with the kids

Ah yes, families and trains. Not necessarily two things that work seamlessly together, yet we still like to mix them fairly often. The thing is: trains are useful. They get you where you need to be on the cheap and you don’t need to worry about stuff like who’s driving or hitting traffic. That makes them pretty good for a nice family day out.

The other thing, though, is trains can be stressful. Packed, hot, delayed – none of these things are good, especially if you’re a child. Thus, if you’re planning a family day out around London (where things can get pretty busy) and a train trip is involved, you need to be prepared to help get your children through the journey as best they, and you, can.

A disclaimer: when kids are involved, nothing is guaranteed. These tips, however, may just get through the train ride in one piece.

Traveling on the tube is NEVER a problem for the kiddos but it CAN be stressful for parents!

Planning

If you’ve got a big day out in London planned, you’ve likely created a bit of an itinerary detailing the key parts of your day. If you haven’t already, do it now. If you have, but haven’t thought about the travel part, you need to take a look at that, too.

Alongside figuring out what you want to see and when, think about how you’re going to get there. Where a train is concerned, you’ll want to find the quickest, cheapest and most direct service possible, and these are much easier to find when you plan in advance.

What’s more, if you know that travelling from Finsbury Park to Enfield Chase will only take 20 minutes, you can prep the kids on how long the journey will be, and then maybe make a deal with them – but more on that below.

Distractions

Now, you know your kids better than anyone, but if you think looking out of the window and a solid game of ‘I Spy’ is going to cut it, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Obviously, you don’t want to bring a carry case of toys, but perhaps pick an item or two of your children’s’ that you know they love. Sticker or colouring book, favourite toy, a game they enjoy – you get the idea.

Keep them busy and there’s less time to get stressed or fed up.

Bribes

Sometimes, when the toys, colouring books and whatever other paraphernalia you’ve brought with you aren’t doing the trick, you’ve just got to make a deal. Deals at a young age usually involve delicious snacks of some form, so you might want to bring some with you.

Perhaps a piece of fruit to keep them busy during the journey. Maybe the promise of a chocolate bar on arrival in exchange for good behaviour. It could just be a bargaining chip Haribo if one of your little ones is on the verge of tears. Drinks and snacks generally make things better and stave away the frustrations attached to thirst and hunger. Plus, you can dip in on them too.

So, the key to kids and train journeys: plan ahead and stock up on general goodies. Not rocket science, but the kind of simple preparation that will make your life, and your day out, a whole lot easier.

Another top tip is to try and make sure they don’t fall asleep in multiples on the ride home… Carrying more than one kid off a train is HARD WORK – I Never learn!