As most parents can probably attest, when it comes to travelling with kids you can’t ever really be too prepared. Expect the unexpected is my motto. You’ll inevitably end up with a curve ball being thrown your way whether it’s a bout of vomiting or losing a beloved toy along the way, and you’ve just got to try and find humour in the situation and take it all in your stride. Whilst you can’t plan for absolutely everything, I do believe in preparing as much as possible to mitigate potential issues. We’ve travelled with the girls in Australia and internationally and it’s taught me a few things about how to handle travel with children in tow. Yes, travel will never be as straightforward as it was pre-kids days but it’s oh-so worth it for the amazing memories you build as a family along the way. If you’re about to embark on a trip with your kids then read on for some of my best tried and tested tips…
Choose flights around sleep times
If you’re flying it pays to try and book flights around sleep times. When I’ve done this, most of the time I’ve been lucky and have been able to get the girls down for a bit of a sleep. Whether it’s 30 minutes or two hours, a napping child is invaluable when you’ve got to kill time on a plane.
Book essentials in advance
I never leave anything to chance when I’m travelling with the girls. For example if we require transfers from the airport to the hotel I always request car seats and confirm prior to departure that everything is locked in. I can’t think of anything worse than getting off a long flight, with two tired kids and having to deal with the fact we can’t get to our accommodation.
Give yourself plenty of time to pack
I like to have all the girls’ things packed well in advance as I know I’ll forget something crucial if I do it at the last minute. I normally make a list of everything the kids will need and then I pack a few days before we leave. This gives me plenty of time to get any last minute things washed or take out things I don’t think they’ll need anymore. I normally like to have outfits and nappies for each day sorted and take a few extras just in case.
Bring lots of entertainment
It is a lot easier to travel with Sophia now because she’s three and most of the time she’s excited to watch movies on the plane. But Grace is at that tricky age of being in between a baby and a toddler and wants to be on the move all the time. This is why I always like to bring plenty of entertainment with me to keep the girls occupied. I bring an assortment of games, toys and books with me and make sure to have a few new books or toys with me as I find it keeps them entertained just that little bit longer. If you don’t want to buy anything new just round up a few of your child’s favourite toys and keep them out of sight for a few days so when you pull them out again they’re excited and interested to play with them. (You can find a few more of my in-flight essentials here).
Come armed with plenty of food
On our recent trip to Bali we had to take into account that we were flying during the girls’ morning tea time to lunch then afternoon tea to dinner. I had to bring all the right amount of food with me as I wasn’t sure what we’d get on the plane. I also packed plenty of snacks just in case we had delays on either side and I needed to give the girls something to eat. Also this came in handy when we were in the hotel room and the girls woke up early and we weren’t able to go anywhere for breakfast yet. I was able to pull out a few snacks from my suitcase to tide them over.
I think with the right preparation you can make a family holiday as close to stress-free as possible. And if a few little things do go awry, just take a few deep breaths and think that one day you’ll be able to laugh about it with your kids!
What are some of your tips for travelling with kids?