Travelling with kids is one of the most memorable family experiences - and also the most challenging. Follow these do’s and don’ts of travelling with your kids to replace unpleasant family mishaps with an unforgettable, stress free family journey.
Do pack wisely. It’s important to make sure you have all the essentials when travelling with kids. Make a travel checklist that includes the necessary medications, entertainment, food and comfort items. Avoid packing bulky items such as blankets or pillows that take up precious space. Remember, there’s a fee for extra carry on luggage.
Don’t book flights that will throw your child’s sleep pattern off. Sometimes it will be near impossible to schedule flights that suits your child sleeping pattern perfectly - especially on the long hauls. But when you can, aim for night flights. This will prevent one very grumpy trip to the hotel.
Do take advantage of the freebies and discounts. Most hotels support additional discounts of rooms and extra beds for families. A child younger than 12 usually doesn’t come with an extra charge fee, so make sure you check with the hotel before booking as you may find cheaper elsewhere. Kids meals are also generally discounted at restaurants. Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter - we know those foreign menus can be overwhelming!
Don’t forget the snacks. Kids often get irritable when they’re hungry! This makes travelling with kids very difficult. Long flights, bus, car or train rides can leave you with hours of no food to buy. Make sure you always have snacks at hand to feed your child’s insatiable hunger.
Do plan fun activities. There is nothing worse than having bored, frustrated kids when they have no way to let their energy out. Plan ahead and make sure there are plenty of things to do that the whole family will enjoy.
Don’t rush. If you are a frequent solo traveller, you’re probably use to squeezing in as many tourist attractions as you can in one day and leaving very little time at the airport. Don’t be fooled, it is not the same when travelling with kids. Everything is a much slower process. Allow yourself plenty of time to avoid stressful situations.
Do your research. It’s likely if travelling abroad your kids will need additional vaccinations. Health risks vary with different countries and you may need specific vaccines. Book a visit with your doctor two months before your trip as most vaccinations are given at least one month before travel.
Don’t let your kids practice their bartering skills. Avoid the horror stories of kids trading their passports for a surfboard or paying way too much for a key-ring by keeping a close eye on them when exploring local street markets.
Do take plenty of pictures. Years from now you will be able to look back on the fun times and cherish those moments forever. Family holidays are a unique event in your kid’s life - you will want to have a permanent reminder of it!
Don’t forget to relax and have fun. Enjoy the adventure and don’t get caught up trying to make everything perfect. Sometimes the unexpected adventure becomes the best.