19 articles Tag travel

The Dos And Don’ts Of Keeping Kids Interested While Travelling

Kids are notoriously difficult travel companions. Even if they might be excited to head off on holiday at first, all of that excitement can quickly wane once they have been on a train or plane for a few hours. They can quickly become bored and fed up of all the travelling that is usually involved with going away on holiday, and this can be extremely frustrating for everyone they are travelling with.

So, there’s no wonder that many parents try to think of as many ways as possible to keep their kids entertained while on the move. If you are planning to go away as a family any time soon, you might want to know these great strategies.

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Do Visit Somewhere The Kids Want To Go To

This might sound fairly obvious, but there are still some families who head to destinations that their children have no interest in whatsoever. The first thing you need to do is make sure that your children actually want to go, and then they’ll stay excited for longer on the journey. Travelbag’s great guide to film location destinations could give you some destination inspiration, as it could be worth going to where your child’s favourite film or show is filmed. They will love the idea of being in the same place as their TV and movie heroes!

Do Pack Plenty Of Entertainment

Make sure that you pack as many books and travel games as you can into your hand luggage. These will be invaluable once the boredom starts to hit. Most older children will be able to pass the time by getting engrossed in a book, while you can distract younger kids from the boredom of travel by playing a game with them.

Don’t Forget Snacks

If your kids get hungry when out on the road then they will immediately start to complain. In order to prevent this from becoming a full-blown tantrum, it’s a good idea to pack a few snacks and drinks into your hand luggage as well. Try to stick to healthy snacks as giving your kids too much sugar could send them as high as a kite, something which certainly won’t go down well with all the other passengers on your mode of transport!

Don’t Take An Indirect Route

If you are booking flights, try to always fly direct if you’re travelling with kids. Needing to change will only lengthen the journey, and that will mean that there’s more time for your children to moan and complain. So, stick to a direct route so that you get to your destination a lot quicker!

Do Get Them To Keep A Travel Diary

Another way you can keep the kids entertained is to encourage them to keep a travel diary. If you give them a notebook, they will be able to jot down their observations while travelling. It’s also a good idea to give them a disposable camera for the trip as well.

Hopefully, your kids won’t complain too much on your next holiday!

5 Hacks for Comfortable Travelling

TravelIt’s getting to that time of year when we’re all thinking about jetting off to warmer places to enjoy a week or two of relaxing, and as far as I’m concerned the relaxation should begin the moment you start travelling. Whether you’re travelling by pane, train, automobile or some other method of conveyance, I’ve got 5 hacks that should help you to feel more comfortable while you’re doing it.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

We know it’s tempting to want to glam up to sit in the airport lounge and drink champagne, but being comfortable should trump everything when it comes to choosing your outfit. Damartex UK is a great place to grab some trousers which will be loose and stylish which will have gorgeous prints but will be made from breathable fabric which stretches with you.

Add Layers

You can’t control the climate at the airport and on the plane. If you arrive at night, expect the temperature to drop suddenly. Have a cardigan or jumper on the top of your suitcase, so you can put it on immediately after you land. Likewise, leave some space in your luggage for taking off layers when you are too hot, so you don’t have to carry extra items in your hand, while you are pulling your suitcase.

Pamper Yourself

Now you’re sitting comfortably, it’s time to settle in. A few simple essentials can really amp up the luxury in your Economy seat. It’s no secret that recycled plane air wreaks havoc with your skin so fighting it before it gets out of hand is always a good idea. Go on, treat yourself to those lavish miniatures in Duty Free.

Pack a Travel Pillow

We’re just not meant to sleep sitting upright, but when a 10-hour flight awaits you, you need to be prepared. Those free cushions don’t cut it and they won’t give you the support your neck needs. If you suffer from lower back pain, you may want to consider a lumbar cushion for the small of your back too.

Carry a Reusable Water Bottle.

Durable water bottles are a simple way to keep hydrated, especially while travelling. To be sure you’re getting enough water, use a water bottle with time increments to show you how much to drink throughout the day. At rest stops you can refill your bottle without buying another plastic bottle.

The Three Basic Travel Insurance Plans

Are you buying travel insurance plans without understanding what you’re actually acquiring? Have you noticed whether or not you could have got a discounted price while traveling with your whole family? Well, if you answered yes to all those concerns, then you’ve come to the right post. This write-up is surely for you as I will certainly share 3 simple types of insurance coverage. You’ll be shocked how much you have skipped over.

First plan

At this point, the first insurance coverage which I am going to talk about is the typical single australia domestic travel insurance which is the most frequent plan. This particular deal is the one that you buy each and every time you go abroad, irrespective of pleasure or business. I’d recommend this offer if you’re only planning to travel annually as the premium will be inexpensive yet dependable – certainly the ideal choice.

Second plan

The second plan of travel insurance policy is the yearly single pass insurance deal. This particular deal will continuously provide protection over a specific number of journeys. The number of protection provided can be increased with a minor surge in the price tag. This particular offer is highly recommended to people who’re either working abroad or even studying as they need regular insurance coverage while traveling back and forth. It can also help to protect yourself from the problems in obtaining insurance coverage every time you travel.

Third Plan

The last offer is the multiple insurance policy. This particular deal is focused on categories of people or family unit traveling together abroad. The monthly payment made by each individual is a lot less costly in comparison to the other sorts of holiday insurance deals. So, if you’re traveling with friends or family in the near future, don’t hesitate further and buy this plan. Why cover more if you can pay a smaller amount and stretch your budget? Make sure to go for this deal while traveling with a group of people.

Conclusion

These are the 3 standard travel insurance plans which are usually acquired by tourists. You can find, obviously, many other different types of options which you can conveniently search on the internet. There’s even a plan known as a personal package deal. This particular travel insurance policy package means that you can personalize your own coverage in accordance with your preference and needs. On the other hand, it costs a lot more. Thus, I would strongly suggest you choose a pre-set deal closest to your choice.

You need to figure out what benefits you want to include and find an established company. You can find quote websites accessible that help you enter particular requirements such as age. Within a firm, there are various options. Figure out what features you will actually need. If you’re not carrying sports equipment or gear, for instance, you may need a smaller amount of insurance coverage. You may well be in a position to rent a few of the equipment while you arrive at your vacation spot.

6 Must-Visit Chocolatiers For The Traveling Sweet Tooth

Middlebury Chocolate with Andy Jackson” (CC BY 2.0) by Breville USA

Engaging in the cultural delights of the countries you visit on your travels defines the adventure. But everybody does the obvious ones – from visiting iconic historical buildings and grand natural landmarks to experiencing local cuisine and once-in-a-lifetime leisure activities.

But there’s one thing that binds us all and that’s a love of chocolate. And through this much-loved confectionary, the sweet-toothed traveler can bring a new dimension to their trip. Here are six must-see chocolatiers from around the world.

Jacques Torres in New York

Now boasting eight locations around New York, you’ll find it hard to miss Jacques Torres when visiting the city. It’s probably best to head to Torres’ Rockefeller Center chocolate shop. That way you can tick two things off your bucket list – eating Mr. Chocolate’s sugary delights and a visit to one of the city’s landmark locations.

Melange in London

Melange is different. Its reputation has been built on weird and wonderful flavour combinations. Now multi award-winning, Peckham-based artisan chocolatier Isabelle Alaya specialises in tantalizing the taste buds with a fascinating and surprising mix of spices, herbs and fruits in her handmade chocolate bars and truffles.


chocolates from Teuscher” (CC BY 2.0) by Alanna Risse

Teuscher in Zurich

Years of painstaking research have gone into making Teuscher one of the world’s great chocolatiers. Dolf Teuscher founded the business over 70 years ago, having travelled the world seeking the finest cocoa. Experimentation saw him develop unique flavour combinations with various ingredients, including marzipan, fruit and nuts, combining to forge a then-pioneering chocolate empire. Teuscher chocolates are now found all around the world but visiting its outlet in Zurich takes you back to where it all began.

Coro the Chocolate Café in Edinburgh

Coro the Chocolate Café doesn’t claim to be an expert chocolatier, but it does know how to make eating an exciting and unique experience. Boosted by Deliveroo  bringing its chocolatey delights direct to customers’ doors in Edinburgh, Coro’s aim is to deliver your chocolate fix in new and interesting ways. So you’ll see a menu brimming with choice that includes everything from crepes and fluffy waffles to ice cream, milkshakes and even savory items.

Debauve & Gallais in Paris

The oldest chocolate shop in Paris charts its beginnings back to 1800 when Sulpice Debauve founded what would become Napoleon’s official chocolate supplier. Debauve had been experimenting with chocolate for years, even curing Marie-Antoinette’s headaches with a remedy blended with cocoa butter. The company’s dark chocolate, some of which is 99% cocoa, is arguably the best you’ll taste anywhere in the world.

Belle Fleur in Sydney

Belle Fleur might be better known as the chocolate sculpture experts but there’s still a winning combination of aesthetic imagination and delicious flavour. With exciting combinations of ingredients, from fresh lemon meringue with white chocolate ganache and whipped cream topping to local favourite The Aussie, which sees a salted ganache smothered in dark chocolate, Belle Fleur has plenty to interest a sweet tooth.

Our whistle-stop tour of international chocolatiers showcases a few select artisans and their imaginative approach to satisfying the taste buds. Travel doesn’t have to be all museums, tall buildings and 22-hour bus journeys – it can also mean chocolatey indulgence.

Days Out – Visiting Bristol

BristolGiven the fact that we’ve just got a new puppy, a foreign holiday is pretty unlikely for us this year. We are, however, planning a few day trips around the country (now that we’ve managed to rope some of our lovely family members in to look after Maureen for the day!) and one of the places I really want to visit is Bristol. I’ve got a fair few friends who live in or around Bristol, so I thought I’d ask them what the best things were to do on a day out in Bristol. Here’s what they said:

Jennifer from My Mummy’s Pennies said “Visit Brunel’s SS Great Britain and have a lovely walk around the quayside. We were there two weeks ago and really enjoyed it.”

Stacy from It Takes a Woman said “We The Curious is really good. Loads of experiments and activities and you can scan your wristband and access your results/photos etc when you get home…”

Liz from Me and My Shadow said “Do the Banksy trail – there’s an app!”

Aly from Bug, Bird and Bee said “We like visiting Cabot Tower at Brandon Hill. The tower is over 200 ft tall and looks out over Bristol. It’s smack bang in the middle of a nature reserve. There’s a big kids play park.”

Carolin from Mummy Alarm said “The street art south of the river is amazing. There’s so much to see on your own or on of the many street art tours and there are some really cool and quirky restaurants along North Street in Bedminster.”

Rachel from Rachel in Real Life said “For parks I’d recommend St Andrews Park and Blaise Castle. From Easter until September (maybe October, can’t remember) St Andrews has a paddling pool. Blaise Castle is near us and we go regularly. It has two separate play areas and loads of open space. Excellent value for money is Avon Valley. Reasonably cheap to get in and lots to do. Though again, mainly outdoors so best on a nice day.”

Cass from Frugal Family said “I went to Hestercombe Gardens yesterday – it was beautiful!”

My friend Becky, who isn’t a blogger but is a displaced Bristol native, said “Go and see a Rovers game!”.

Lots and lots of wonderful options of things to do! If you need transport while you’re in Bristol, why not give AA Taxis Bristol a call?

6 Family-Friendly Things to Do in the Algarve

Over the last few years, prices for family-friendly holidays have rocketed, with many families opting to save money by vacationing at home instead. Yet, rather than a trip to Blackpool, there is one European destination that can be incredibly affordable for families, with budget flights and a low cost of living. Even better, it still has scorching weather!

The Algarve, in southern Portugal, is framed by a stunning coastline. Predominately a region frequented by families, this means the Algarve is filled with restaurants and beaches that are extremely accommodating for children, making it simple to plan your holiday. Here are just some of the best activities you can add to your family’s itinerary:

A Boat Tour of the Sea Caves

The Algarve is known for its gorgeous beaches, which become extremely popular during peak summer season. Yet, it’s still entirely possible to find a secluded beach in the Algarve, where you can take one of the many boat tours on offer. These range from trips to beaches that can’t be accessed by land to spectacular sea caves with their own lagoons. Be sure to take some snorkelling gear and a camera as you may even spot some wild dolphins.

Family Adventure Water Park

Perfect for the whole family, the Zoomarine has something to keep everyone happy. First and foremost a water theme park, there are plenty of thrilling slides, a man-made beach and even a toddler wet area that is safe and fun for the younger children. The park is also home to lots of marine life, including spectacular live dolphin shows.

Stay in a Local Portugese Home on the Beach

As mentioned above, the Algarve is very reasonable when it comes to its prices, and this is reflected in its accommodation, including private rentals. You can easily rent an affordable and traditional Portuguese villa right on the beach. Just imagine waking up to a spectacular view every morning! These can be far more family-friendly than hotels as, instead of being all squashed into one room, you get that home-away-from-home feeling with a full house. Plus, kitchen facilities can be extremely useful for babies and toddlers.

Rent a Car and Go Beach Hopping in the Algarve

Home to 74 Blue Flag beaches, one of the best things about the Algarve is, that if the first beach you go to is too busy, then simply move on to the next beach. Renting a car and beach hopping your way through the Algarve is a fantastic way to explore this stunning Portuguese region.

Train for Wimbledon at the Local Tennis Academy

If the kids are being too energetic – what ever happened to snoozing by the pool? – then a trip to the Valo do Lobo Tennis academy is an absolute must. Here the kids will get to train like a tennis pro with either one-to-one coaching or in a group lesson where they’ll be able to make some holiday friends and have fun. Even better, there’s facilities for the parents with a steam room, sauna and swimming pool. There’s also adult tennis lessons too, to help you keep up with the kids!

Feed the Llamas at the Local Zoo

There’s nothing the kids love more than a trip to the zoo, especially when they can get up close and personal with the animals. Krazy World zoo has a host of different animals and shows, including live demonstrations with the resident crocodiles and birds of prey. A trip to the petting zoo is a must, with goats and llamas who all love a stroke. There’s also an exotic area with iguanas, camels and snakes. There’s even a pool and various carnival rides.

Exploring Northern Ireland: Family Travel Tips

Deciding on the perfect family holiday location can be a bit of a chore. Not only do you have to take budgets, time and activities into account, but you also have to plan for the whole family. It might seem obvious, but you have to make sure that each member of the family will be happy with the location that you have chosen. Otherwise, you might find yourself left with a group of grumpy family members ready to sulk throughout the whole break!

Of course, this is something we all want to avoid, so it is vital to get that all-important location just right. For the perfect balance between a UK staycation and an exciting trip abroad, why not choose Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland is great for an enjoyable family getaway, offering stunning scenery, plentiful sights and attractions and all the fun of travelling abroad without the long, tedious journeys and the worries of trekking the whole family thousands of miles across the globe.

As well as this, large parts of the country are off the usual beaten tourist trail, offering a quieter atmosphere and a chance to escape the never-ending crowds usually encountered at the most popular destinations. Add to this the sheer array of places to explore and sights to encounter, and it isn’t hard to see why Northern Ireland makes the perfect destination for a memorable family holiday.

Where to Go

With so many attractions on offer, it can be tricky to decide where to visit. A good place to start can be to get the whole family involved – set everyone loose to do some research, and come up with a shortlist of places to visit that everyone has contributed to and helped to put together. That way, you can easily put together a rough guide itinerary including places that suit everyone. Avoiding sulks and family arguments – what could be better?

Of course, as with any holiday destination, there are a few must-see sights. For example, no trip to Northern Ireland is complete without a visit to the capital, Belfast, or the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. If you do decide that you want to head out and visit some of the more popular attractions, a great way to ensure that you see everything without giving yourself a headache over excessive planning is to book yourself onto a tour. Head out on a Giant’s Causeway tour from Belfast, where you will stop off at all the most stunning, famous sights along the way, perfect for plenty of photo opportunities!

What to Pack

Of course, you are probably familiar with the seemingly endless list of things that need to be packed when you are preparing for a trip away with the family. But aside from the usual spare sets of clothes and toys to keep the little ones entertained, don’t forget to pack according to the season, weather and the length of your stay. Northern Irish weather is very similar to our own, so even if it’s forecast bright and sunny, it’s always worth packing a raincoat and brolly just in case! If you are planning to head out on your own to explore the beautiful countryside, it may also be worth purchasing a local map or guide book to help you throughout your stay. Getting lost is never much fun, but if you end up getting lost in an unfamiliar country with the kids in tow, it’s guaranteed to be even worse. That being said, with the proper preparations, there is no reason why you can’t get organised and have a fantastic time.

Although we may be reaching the tail end of summer 2017, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still get busy planning your next getaway. After all, Northern Ireland is a country that can be enjoyed throughout the year, and you never know where your travels might take you next!

A New Family Car for Us

It’s a sad fact that our old jalopy just isn’t going to cut the mustard for much longer. It’s 20 years old now and although it’s still working just fine, I’m not convinced it’ll go through the next MOT and there are lots of bits which seem to have just given up the ghost – the door lining is peeling off (although I DID use my new glue gun to mend it, which I was most pleased about!), the wiring has seen better days and the fumes that the exhaust blow out absolutely STINK! Our budget isn’t huge, although we might consider getting a car loan  to help us afford something a little better, but here are the things which will be the most important factors when choosing:

Safety

The main reason we have our current car is that it’s made by a manufacturer which is known to be super safe. Whenever we look at second-hand cars, we always check the safety rating and if it’s less than satisfactory then the model doesn’t make it onto our list.

Economy

As much as I’d probably have great fun driving around in some huge tank of a car, it’s really not an economically sound choice for us. We’re looking for something with a mid-sized engine, decent fuel consumption because I do a fair amount of miles, something which isn’t going to be in the higher Road Tax bracket and also a car which is cheap to fix if something goes wrong!

Size

Our current car is an estate, and while it’s been handy (like when my tumble drier broke in the middle of winter and I went and collected a replacement in the boot of the car!) to have the extra boot space, we probably don’t need it. More seats would come in handy though, so I suppose we’d consider a 7-seater, if there is such a thing as an economical 7-seater!

Comfort

One thing that can be said about our current car is that it’s pretty comfy. The seats are decent and the car feels like our little home from home. Before we had this car, we briefly had a little Fiesta which we drove to Liverpool in a few years ago and the seats were so uncomfortable that I was numb down one side by the time we got back!! I don’t expect Rolls Royce-level comfort but seats which don’t hurt my ass are pretty important.

Entertainment

I know that the girls would absolutely love a car with screens in the back of the headrests for them to watch on our journeys and we do spend a lot of time in the car so I certainly don’t begrudge them that. For me, a radio and decent speakers are super important – I’ve never liked driving in silence and I NEED to be able to listed to Pop Master on BBC Radio 2 every morning!

What family car do you have? Do you love it? Would you recommend it? Do leave me a comment below, all inspiration is more than welcome!

Incredible Child Friendly Places To Visit In East Asia

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Some people tend to want to stay close to home when they have young children, while others see it as the perfect opportunity to take them out to see the world and kick start their adventurous streak when they’re young. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but being mindful of the customs and quirks of your destination is really important for safety and comfort. Some destinations further afield are great with families with small children, such as East Asia. With so many incredible sights, smells, sounds, and tastes to experience, as well as cultures and colors that they’ve never even dreamed of, East Asia is sure to get your little one’s travel bug started at an early age. Here are my top five recommendations for travelling with young ones in East Asia.

Bali, Indonesia

With stunning beaches for mum and dad to relax on with the little ones nearby making sandcastles, it’s like a more tropical Scarborough, only without all the arcades and seagulls. The shows in Bali are every kid’s dream, with bright colours, energetic music, and lots of singing and theatre. If you’re a bit worried about travelling so far afield with young children, the number of expats in Bali should put your mind at ease. There is lots of great food, including some more Western styles for any fussy little ones, and delicious dishes for the adventurous among you. The scenery is just incredible with paddy-field walks and pretty hikes. The Balinese love children as well, so they’re happy to have them in restaurants in the evenings, ridding you of the worries of childcare.

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia is a brilliant melting pot of cultures from around East Asia, making it great for kids to explore and experience new things. If you’ve got particularly young kids, it’s said that Kuala Lumpur is particularly great for prams and pushchairs as their infrastructure is so well managed and their paths are so smooth. Kids love the trek up the 272 steps to a Hindu temple hidden high above the city, and there is also a Skybridge with views over the city, and even a Legoland with a mini Asia to explore – it’s any kid’s dream destination.

Hong Kong

If you’re looking for an Asian city which caters brilliantly to kids and adults alike, Hong Kong might be the one for you. It’s ridiculously easy to navigate, even by public transport, and everyone speaks English as well as we do, which is really reassuring if anything goes wrong. The locals love kids, especially Westerners, so they go out of their way to make you all feel welcome and entertained. There’s even a Disneyland for a treat, which is specifically geared towards the under ten crowd, making Hong Kong even better for young families. And kids and adults alike will fall in love with the traditional Chinese dumplings served everywhere.

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Tokyo, Japan

Japan is a great destination for families with both young and older children. It’s futuristic infrastructure makes Japan tours between cities particularly straightforward, and the huge variety of sights and scenery make a little tour of the country and attractive holiday plan for many young families – what kid wouldn’t love a trip on their bullet train or up one of Kyoto’s skyscrapers? Tokyo itself is chock full of entertainment for both adults and children, such as Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and SpaceWorld. Further afield there’s even a Hello Kitty park and a Studio Ghibli Museum, so they’ll never get bored – just make sure that you do your research before you set off so you don’t miss anything amazing.

Laos

The people of Laos make it an incredible family holiday destination – they’re so welcoming, generous, and helpful that you’ll probably never want to leave. Its natural landscapes, incredible flora and fauna, and beautiful rice paddies make it an amazing country to explore by foot, boat, or by land. If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, Laos is probably going to be more your cup of tea than Tokyo. The food is to die for too, and there’s enough variety that even fussy little ones will find something they enjoy. If you want a bit of adventure, and mum and dad fancy a few drinks, head to the lively town of Vang Vieng for a couple of days and get out and explore.

East Asia is a treasure trove of beautiful scenery, incredible food, and new sights and sounds for the whole family to fall in love with. While it might not have been your first choice of destination, there are many areas of East Asia which are perfect for family holidays with young children, and great for both adults and kids to explore and enjoy.

 

Travelling with Kids – Pre-Travel Prep

When it comes to booking a family holiday, the actual “booking a holiday” bit is only a small part of the prep. There are lots of other things to think about in order to make a family holiday go smoothly and I thought I’d write a little list to help you if you’re still in the prep stage.

Pet Boarding

There are lots of options if you’ve got pets, such as leaving them with family or asking someone to move into your house to care for them (this option also doubles-up as having someone to keep your property secure, too, giving you peace of min while you’re away). You can also find in-home boarders who look after your pets withing their own houses, as well as large commercial kennels and catteries. Don’t forget to budget pet boarding within your total holiday budget as it can often be pricey.

Airport Parking

If you live a long way from the airport, you’re going to need a way to get yourselves there. Often, airport parking (great deals here http://www.parking-at-airports.co.uk/) works out a lot more economical than getting a taxi or minibus and it means you know that your car is secure while you’re away. It’s also nice to get into your own vehicle after a long flight as it feels like a little slice of home! The value of being able to control your own temperature and listen to your own stereo will feel priceless after a long-haul flight.

Online Check-In

Often, its possible to check in at the airport online, which means less queuing when you get to your terminal. This is worth its weight in gold if you’re already wrangling excited kids and can make your whole airport experience 100% less stressful. This will leave you more time for perusing the duty-free shops and lounging in the airport lounge!

Pre-pay Credit Cards

If you’d like something a little more secure than a whole wad of paper money, ordering pre-paid credit cards and loading your holiday money onto them is a great idea. You can split the money across a couple of cards which means you won’t be stuck if one gets lost and many of them also offer an app which allows you to add money and move your balance across, so if anything does happen to one of the cards you can always transfer it all onto one.

Preparing for the Flight

If you’re flying with kids, then making the flight as seamless as possible can take a little prep work. Give each child a compartmented lunch box filled with snacks to keep them fed while you’re flying, Putting together a gadget bag containing games consoles and tablets (as well as the corresponding chargers) is also a good idea, as well as a bag full of colouring books, drawing pencils, and activity books. Be prepared for them to find the take-off and landing uncomfortable on their ears, and giving them chewy sweets can helo to relieve the pressure. It’s also wise to take paracetamol/ibuprofen with you in case anyone feels poorly on the plane.