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How to cope with a long taxi journey when travelling with young children

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Going on a long car journey with little ones can be challenging at the best of times. It can be even more difficult if you're travelling in a taxi, rather than driving your own car, as you may have to face the stress and embarrassment of dealing with a toddler's temper tantrum or a baby's crying fit in front of your taxi driver. If you intend to take a long taxi journey with your children in the near future and are a bit concerned about how you'll cope, here are some tips which should help.

Pack several forms of entertainment

It's crucial to pack a selection of family-friendly entertainment for the journey. Keeping your little ones calm, quiet and occupied is important for two reasons. Firstly, it will make for a far more pleasant and peaceful journey.

Secondly, it will prevent them from distracting your taxi driver from safely operating the car. If you've ever driven with your children before, you'll know that trying to focus on the road whilst listening to a screaming baby or a cranky, overtired toddler can be extremely difficult.

Don't rely on one specific form of entertainment, particularly if the journey is longer than an hour, as young children have short attention spans and a single game or book probably won't keep them engaged for more than 10 or 20 minutes. Bring a selection of books and toys and, if you own a tablet, make sure to load it up with your children's favourite cartoons and games.

Make an effort to chat to your taxi driver

When you're preoccupied with keeping your children happy and well-behaved throughout a long car journey, it's all too easy to completely forget about the existence of your taxi driver. However, it's worth establishing a good rapport with them from the outset. Doing so will not only make your travel experience more enjoyable, but it will also increase the likelihood that your driver will be kind and understanding if the worst should happen (for example, if your child gets sick inside their car or if they have a full-blown tantrum).

Bring along plenty of snacks, drinks and creature comforts

Making the journey as comfortable as possible for your little ones is crucial if you wish to avoid the dreaded temper tantrum. Children who are well-fed and have a few creature comforts will be far less likely to go into 'meltdown mode'. On the other hand, if you fail to bring along a sufficient supply of these essential items, you're virtually guaranteed to end up dealing with some decidedly grouchy and uncooperative children.

Add some healthy snacks, such as crustless sandwiches, peanut butter on celery and low-sugar cereal bars into a lunch box, along with a few bottles of juice or water. Additionally, bring along a small blanket (or even just a generously-sized scarf, if that's easier to carry) as well as their favourite cuddly toys, so that they will feel more comfortable taking a nap if they need to.