Travelling with toddlers

*If your toddler is a little bit hungry and tired before you board your flight, then you can kill a few hours with food and sleep.

*Take little presents of travel games or books. Wrap them in tissue and let your child unwrap and play with them one at a time.

*A lot of airlines have kiddies clubs. BA, Virgin and Air New Zealand have some of the best. They offer perks such as reduced fares, priority check-in, special luggage allowance for buggies and child seats and goodie bags to keep children occupied during flights. Emirates is also excellent, as is Canadian Airlines.

*Before you book your hotel, ask if it has any facilities for toddlers, such as a crèche. Meridien (Forte Group) offers excellent resources and all-day crèche facilities in its hotels and resorts in this country and abroad.

*If flying, give a child over 3 years a boiled sweet to suck, or a bottle or dummy for a baby. The changes in air pressure in the cabin can hurt little ears, but sucking can help reduce any pain.

*To avoid travel sickness in cars, make sure there’s lots of fresh air, use booster seats with good head support, and also support her feet rather than letting her legs dangle. Play games to get your toddler looking out the window or ask your pharmacist for age-appropriate travel-sickness tablets.

*Avoid sunburn by keeping her out of the sun between 12 and 3pm, covering her up with hats and cool, loose clothing, and applying child’s sunscreen 15 minutes before going out.

*To avoid dehydration, ensure your child drinks plenty of fluids and stays cool. Offer food with a high water content, such as watermelon, for snacks. If she becomes dehydrated, use an oral rehydration solution. In a severe case, get medical attention.

*A basic first-aid kit kept in a plastic lunch box is a godsend. Include antiseptic wipes or cream, bandages, gauze dressings & plasters, calamine lotion, child’s sunscreen & insect repellent, cotton wool, infant or child pain relief, safety pins, scissors and tweezers and a thermometer