Admit it: if you have a small child, travelling by train is not going to be your first choice. However, as the summer approaches, you may have to, possibly on a short journey.
The travel time and the kind of train will play a major role in how exhausted you are at the end of the journey. Some trains (not just high speed trains) are clean and new and some are hot, dirty and slow. We recommend booking seats, even on trains where it is not compulsory – just imagine standing all the way in a crowded coach! The seats at the end of coaches are the most suitable for strollers and prams but they are the most difficult to book. Be ready to do your best to get a good seat. Usually other travellers are quite understanding.
Regardless of how long your journey is, here is a list of essentials.
- Water (a thirsty child is tantrum-prone and you may not find any water on the train)
- Snacks of various kinds (as above – a hungry child is impossible)
- A mat/sheet (seats can be very dirty)
- If you are travelling at night, have a hat (or something similar) to cover your child’s eyes (neon light can make it difficult to sleep, even for adults)
- Baby wipes (or similar) – what children can get their hands on is unbelievable
- Books and toys – keep children busy when they get bored