It is quite tricky to know what things you should bring when travelling long-term with children and what turns out to be an absolute waste of space. The most useful things that I brought have proven to be:
Self inflatable little mattress
We hummed and harred about this. It was quite expensive (GBP 45) and it is only a metre long. And although light, it does take up a bit of space in my backpack. However, as we have three children it has proven and absolute life-saver and we’ve made the money back easily already. It assures that we can book a room for 3 or 4 adults and can still all fit in. In a room for three people, we top and tail the older ones in a single bed and the little one goes one the inflatable mattress. I dare to say this has saved us a fortune.
A couple of board games
We brought travel scrabble, bananagrams, pass the piggies and a Dutch game that we call the ‘rabbit’ game. These get used a surprising amount. And bananagrams in particular is a multifunctional game. I also use it to start teaching the youngest one the alphabet and identify letters. We also allow Spanish words with travel scrabble and bananagrams so it ticks all the educational boxes too.
Again, something we thought a lot about as it is a Phil & Ted pram and very bulky and our youngest one will turn three in June and perhaps is close to being able to walk longer distances. I am really glad we brought it, as it helps us lug all our stuff about when we go from A to B and our youngest regularly still naps in it during the day. It isn’t always practical, but on balance for us it was worth bringing. I also have to say that although it gets bashed around a lot, the Phil & Ted make is obviously pretty sturdy and it is still alive and doing well.
We bought the girls their own sarongs at Belize Zoo and they are so useful. I am sure every traveller will say the same thing, they double up as blankets, towels and sheets. Very handy. I would recommend sarongs over travel towels.
Well, it is the 21st century and it has educational apps, tv, music, skype and games. And wifi is just about everywhere nowadays. It certainly has it place and it gets used a a lot by all members of our family.