Christmas is for many a time for being with family, and if you’re living abroad that means there is the likelihood you’ll be hopping on a plane or jumping in a car to get home in time for the festive season.

This in itself isn’t an issue, in fact it’s usually a time of great excitement. However, add in a young – or a number of – young children, and the journey could be full of highs and lows. Travelling with small children can be exhausting, with time differences, boredom, lack of sleep and inadequate food, only adding to the heady mix of tension.

Experts recommend that the only way to survive the journey with your sanity in tact, is to be prepared. We’ve prepared a list below of ideas to keep the children – and you – happy.

1. Load up on apps: You may not be the biggest fan of technology but using it whilst on the move could save you a lot of anguish. Flight delays and traffic jams may well be inevitable over the festive period so load up on the best tech has to offer. You can always limit their access over time, but if you’re in need of some peace and quiet, they will be the way to go. See here for a list of the best apps for your children from toddlers to teens.

2. Be prepared: Many years ago you may have travelled without much thought given to time zones and stopovers. But if you now have a toddler in tow this relaxed attitude to travelling will probably be best avoided. Plan your flights in advance to keep waiting around at the airport to a minimum. The quickest route will be the safest. Skyscanner has a great list of flights across a number of airlines.

3. Make sure you have all the correct documentation: You may need special insurance or documents if you’re travelling with a child who has recently had an operation, or one that has been adopted. Visas will also be needed for children so make sure you have these to hand if this is something you require.

4. Pack a bag for each child: A favourite toy, colouring book or game could help while away the hours. Pack them in a separate rucksack to everyone else’s gear to avoid the hassle of finding it when you really need it. No one wants to hunt for hours for a nappy! Older kids could pack their own, but don’t let small children do it. You’ll probably end up with nothing useful. Trunki’s are still big favourites for small children.

5. Keep it simple: You can’t possibly load the car or your hand luggage with everything you may need. Kids like simple things too. A game of eye spy at the airport can keep a child very happy, especially if it involves moving around and spotting interesting things. Stuck in a car? A game of Top Trumps can easily alleviate boredom.

6. Plan your meals: Hungry children are inevitably miserable children. And who can blame them? If you are travelling through the night, you might be lucky enough to avoid too many food extras, but it is best to be prepared. Favourite snacks such as bread sticks or rice cakes, small sandwiches and treats can help fight hunger and tiredness in even the weariest travellers. However, check restrictions on what can and can’t be taken in hand luggage.

7. Keep to a routine: Most kids like to know what’s going to happen, and when. This is tricky when you’re travelling but if you bring out familiar items at certain times of the day, you’ll be one step ahead. Carry a toothbrush, PJ’s and a pillow for night-time journeys and during the day, attempt a midday nap with a snuggle and their favourite toy.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.