A few years ago I took my son on a trip to Disneyland Paris for New Year. It was a lovely trip but, as any parent will tell you, you must be prepared for a coach trip with a child.
Even though this trip was a while ago I am planning to take the trip again to see in 2019. This time my son is a lot older, but my sister’s children will be coming along too, and they are very young. So, this post is a reminder to myself of what it is actually like to take a coach trip to Paris with children.
A 10-hour journey, with a few stops along the way and a ferry crossing, the drive to Paris may be a long one but is cheaper than taking a plane so it’s the method of transportation that suits me best. As an adult, the travelling time can fly by with a couple of films, coffee’s and toilet breaks but as a child, sitting on a coach for 10 hours can seem like torture, even if you’re on the way to Disney.
There are a few ways to keep the children entertained and keep the noise down to a minimum so as not to disturb other passengers:
- Starting with the most obvious; tablets, video games, and portable DVD players are all items that can come in handy when on a long journey. However, it’s good to create some form of a plan so that the children are not stuck on these all day.
- Decide when snack times and lunch will be and make sure they put all systems down whilst eating.
- Take a book and have 15 minutes reading time. Perhaps do this to encourage nap time.
- Travel board games still exist so invest in a few and have a game.
- If you’re travelling with more family members, swap the seating after each stop, this way each journey will seem slightly different and bring on different conversations.
- Let the children bring a couple of their favourite small toys.
- Pens, pencil crayons, and colouring books can be fun.
- Other activity books with their favourite characters make their imagination flow so buying a couple of these may take their mind off the journey for a little while.
- Other than activities, remember to bring all of the essential items such as dummies, spare clothes, blankets and a cushion – sometimes we forget the most obvious things and everything becomes more difficult.
These options are brilliant for on the way there, but it’s on the way back that can be the most tiring. The excitement has gone and you’re on your way home, so the journey feels 10 times longer! It is at this point things become difficult and frustrating, but as long as the children have their new toys with them, they haven’t overindulged on sweets and you have worn them out, hopefully, they will sleep for most of the journey – wishful thinking.