How to keep Tube travel fun...

How to keep Tube travel fun…

Travelling on the London Underground can be a stressful enough experience even before you add children into the mix the idea and if it’s not something you do often the idea of navigating it with children can be quite daunting. However, don’t be put off, it really is totally manageable and the best way to access the wealth of wonderful events and attractions London has on offer.

Organise…

Plan your route in advance and look at any other routes just in case there are any changes to service; this is rare but when it does happen it really helps to have an alternative option in mind. There are lots of apps that can help you plan a tube journey, I use the Tube Map app which gives me all the routes between two stations. If you’re travelling with smaller children you will find the Mumderground App with details of access to every station really useful because it lets you know exactly how many steps, lifts and/or escalators are required to access every platform. Another thing I always suggest looking at is the Walking Tube Map which gives an idea how long it takes to walk between stations. You’ll notice in central London there’s often little more than 10 mins walk between stops and sometimes it’s much more enjoyable to get out stretch your legs and see the sights.

Be Prepared…

Before entering a station, make sure the children are prepared; tell them it’ll be busy and they need to stay close to you. Tell them what they should do if you become separated either in the station or boarding a train. I usually say to stay exactly where you are and I’ll come back, unless on a moving train then get off at the next station and wait there.

Prepare yourself too, pack a rucksack so your hands are free, if you need a buggy take one you can carry. Take a book and snacks because sometimes you’re not rushing but delayed and it’s nice to have some simple methods to distract and entertain.

Avoid…

I hate to say it but AVOID RUSH HOUR wherever possible,Β not only will no one have any sympathy for you with buggy and/or small children, they will often be quite irritated by your being there! That said if you find yourself stuck travelling at that time it’s best to just get on with it. In my experience rush hour goes on for more than an hour, in the mornings 7-9am and evening Β 5-7pm making it hard to get out of. Expect it to be very busy, stand close together, you will have to squeeze onto a train as soon as you can.

Ask for help…

At times other passengers can seem busy and disinterested – don’t forget they’re human. If you need help carrying a buggy up the stairs then ask. I prefer to make sure I’m able to manage this myself but have often asked someone hold my younger child’s hand whilst I carry another up. Sometimes people don’t think to ask but are almost always happy to do so. This is the same when it comes to seats (although people may not like it so much) if you really need one then ask, it’s rare there won’t be one person who offers.

Relax…

It’s easy to get caught up in the general hustle and bustle of The Underground, just try to remember that unlike all those on the commute, this journey is often an exciting novelty for the children. See it through their eyes and enjoy!

Or have a look at this infographic which gives an idea of what the commuters are going through and if you do have brave the commute then this blog may just give you some ideas for more efficient working…

keep tube travel fun