Monday, 2 February 2015

Our Budget Holiday - Step 2: Planning the journey

Well all our holiday is booked and I must remember to go and pick up the tickets from the train station.  If you missed Step 1 of my #BudgetHoliday series then you can catch up here.

The next step is to plan the train journey, because when you have kids nothing is as simple getting on a train and reading your book until it gets there.  Especially when the journey takes 3 hours (each way) and the kids happen to be 3 and 6.

They do have tablets, portable dvd players and ds's but to be honest I quite enjoy the 'family time', that and you are never guaranteed a seat - let alone one with a plug socket (and these things do seem to eat the battery). 
  On the other hand we are on a train with 2 small boys for a 5 night holiday - there is a limit as to how much we can carry..... I have learnt that lesson!

My aim on journey's is for each boy to have their own rucksack with everything they will need for the journey (including their favourite soft toy, drink and a snack or 2).  This is no easy feet, especially when you think the 3h journey involves 2 or more trains, and but here is my guide as to those little extras that either I have used historically or have spotted online that can make a very long journey fly. 

Usbourne puzzle packs/tins.

These look fab.  They are basically a series of wipe clean activity cards contained in their own boxes/ tin that can be taken out and completed.  The beauty of being wipe clean is that the dry erase marker can be rubbed out and completed again but boy 2.  The activities include mazes, spot the difference, word searches and codes to crack.  They may also contain games to play that don't require any equipment.

I love this holiday themed pack, which retails at £9.99. 

DK Factivity Series
These really caught my eye, they may not be the smallest thing to carry ( but I can always hide them in my bag) at A4 size but the range is huge, from Lego City to Superhero's, Dinosaurs , Rocks and Minerals to Frozen and Fashion there is bound to be something for your kids to relate to.
But the themes weren't the thing that first caught my attention, they look just like FunFax Books (kids of the 90's I am sure will agree, they will be featuring on an upcoming #flashbackfriday too)

They are a great idea, facts, activities and stickers all in one book, all you need to pack are the pencils and they are bound to keep the monsters quiet for ........... at least 10 minutes.

The Factivity series has an RRP of between £7 and £9 depending on release date.

Hasbro family travel games

We love Guess Who, Monopoly and Scrabble but they are just too big to take away on holiday and as you can never be guaranteed a table seat on the train travel games need to be easily playable on laps or those fold down desk things.  Hasbro recognise this and have developed a range of travel games, which include Guess Who.   YAY.

Jumbo Magnetic Games

Magnetic Games are a great idea for travel as the pieces don't fall off.  The problem I've found with most of them tho is the dice.  It is not magnetic nor contained so you roll it (tiny) on a train and it's gone for ever.
The Jumbo Peppa Pig travel Ludo/ Snakes and Ladders however takes this into account - the die is in a sealed capsule.

Michelin I-Spy Books

We have some very well loved and used I-Spy books and they are every bit as good as they were when I was a child.

The boys wish there was double points when you find the actual item listed as a few of the pictures are taken at Sheffield Station in I-Spy Train Journeys.

We have the "Working Vehicles" and "On a Car Journey" as many of the trains run along roads.

After our holiday last year we had to get "Camping Holiday".

I'm going to get "In The Street" for this holiday, not necessarily for on the train but it'll be great for honing observational skills from busses and on walks.

I did debate on I Spy Dinosaurs....... but, and I don't know about you, I've not seen many roming the streets recently.

Story Books

It's always a good idea to take some books with you.  We'll be packing a chapter book as well as some favourites - the Dinosaur That Pooped series went down really well on the last train journey.

Do you have any activity tips for surviving a very long journey?

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