Top Tips for Mums Travelling Around London
- Mums Tips
- Travel with kids
- Published on Saturday, 06 October 2012 09:00
- Last Updated on 17 October 2013
- Eve Robinson
- 0 Comments
Let’s face it, prams and public transport can be a bit of a nightmare, but driving in and around London isn’t always a barrel of laughs either. Lots of parents – especially new parents – feel nervous about using buses and trains with their little ones. It can be claustrophobic, chaotic and extremely stressful, especially if you’re lugging about large prams, shopping and small children. Here are a few tips on how to make getting around that bit easier, so you feel more confident getting out and about with your kids.
Whether you’re a new mum or an old pro, packing for a day out with your child is often more like going on a mini-break. If your changing bag weighs a tonne, take a look at what’s inside and chuck the items you don’t need to take.
Necessary items include a drink and snack for older children (or for a baby, a bottle and formula if you’re not breastfeeding), nappies or spare pants, a small pack of wipes (full-size packs are heavy), cash and your mobile phone. You do not need to cart the entire Peppa Pig library through the London underground. If worst comes to worst, the city is fairly well stocked when it comes to baby products.
Before you became a mum, traipsing the streets in stilettos was easy work, but unfortunately parenthood generally puts fashion on hold. Make life easier for yourself and choose a pair of durable, comfortable shoes for hopping about the city with your kids.
In the winter, coats with pockets are a mum’s best friend. Make sure your jacket is warm, waterproof and has many secret compartments for storing the bits and pieces you need to make travelling easier – your Oyster Card, for example. Less rummaging about in bags for cards and tickets makes getting around much less stressful – and pockets are the ideal solution if you need to stash a dummy or two somewhere on your person.
Choose your pram or pushchair carefully
The best pushchairs for public transport are smaller models. Ideally, go for one that’s light, that can be easily manouvered and can be folded up with one hand. Buses in particular can be difficult when you have a pushchair as they often involve steps, and have only a small area for prams. The designated pushchair facility often doubles up as wheelchair space, so if the spot is in demand you will be required to fold up your buggy.
If you’ve ventured out of the house with a mammoth pram which folds down into two heavy separate pieces, you can make life very difficult for yourself – especially while juggling your baby and the shopping bags at the same time. A small, light, umbrella fold pushchair will make the whole debacle much easier.
Alternatively if you have a small baby, why not try an infant carrier and rucksack instead of a pushchair and changing bag? Obviously this depends on the weight of your child and your own general fitness, but it can be a more convenient manner in which to navigate the busy London public transport system.
If you have an older child that you feel confident can walk longer distances, ditch the pram and invest in a pair of reins instead – for peace of mind that your little one can’t wander off.
Driving in London
There are benefits to driving into the city with children – you don’t have to worry about the amount of clobber they bring with them and the return journey with your piles of shopping is much simpler. However, on the down side, congestion charges and parking costs mean it can be an expensive way to shop in the city.
If you have to drive into the city, make sure you choose a suitable vehicle to do so. Smaller cars are easier to park in tight spots and they tend to be more economical so you can get further on a tank of fuel. Try to choose a small vehicle with a large enough boot to cater for prams and any shopping you might do.