9 ways to get a seat on the tube

"That's my seat! Mum the bear's on my seat, get the bear off."

Here’s a tongue-in cheek list about how to travel with children on the tube – inspired by half term trips on the Piccadilly line. For info about my book Homemade Kids with lots of sensible ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly parenting, click here.

How to travel on the London tube with small children

1 Let the kids run around. It’s boring if they have to sit still.

2 Whatever you say, say it LOUDLY. Better still, shout.

3 Feet on seats. That’s a rule.

4 Share snacks. Crumbs aren’t a worry – they just add to the pointilist floor pattern of each tube carriage.

5 Swear at your kids, especially if they sit down quietly and start reading a book. What will happen next? They might become an intellectual or campaign against library closures.

6 Park your buggy across the aisle. That way the little one’s can’t escape, and the Bugaboo/Bee can’t tip up.

7 Life’s not fair, so make sure that you tell several of your group that they are being “stupid”.

8 Pervert old school nursery rhymes. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words just don’t excite me…” Keep repeating.

9 Leave a few memories: empty sweet and snack packs are ideal. Well there aren’t any litter bins on the tube platforms are there?

Verdict: it can be hard travelling with young children, but try not to make it an all out war against the other passengers!  BTW if you are ever going to London either ask for a group discount at the tube ticket office, or if it’s just your family get your own pre-pay Oyster card. This makes all journeys cheaper and children under 11 years travel free. Get your 11 year old their own Oyster (it’s called a zip card) and they can have discounted tube journeys and free bus trips in London.

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5 Comments on “9 ways to get a seat on the tube”

  1. hedgehoghugh Says:

    you forgot the chewing gum cunningly placed to adhere to the calf of one trousers.

  2. nicola baird Says:

    Ah, but I know how to get chewing gum out of my trousers! Take home, take off and put in the freezer. Wait until they are really chilly and then scrape off with a knife. The other method is to rub with an ice cube, but that’s more for emergencies. N x

  3. nicola baird Says:

    From Facebook
    Marina: very good Nicola! However it baffles me why children of 5yrs + need a seat on the tube anyway? Mine are perfectly able to stand or the smaller one sit on my lap. It always amazes me how folk are quick to offer a seat for a child but not so quick to offer for someone much older, on crutches or pregnant!

    • nicola baird Says:

      Nell is 10 and can still fit on my lap. I often make her do so on the tube and notice that this often encourages other families to shunt their children out of seats and on to laps. N x

  4. tomte Says:

    Randomly found a link to this. Great post!! Got me to smile! Pretty cool- thanks!


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