Whether you are a new parent or a slightly wiser parent we can all remember the uncomplicated joys of travelling BC (before children) I don't think anyone can argue that it is easier to travel with kids. The stark reality of the matter is if the kids aren't happy the parents aren't happy, you know what I'm saying.

So at Kids Accom we have compiled some travel tips to help make the family holiday run smoothly and stress free. We've endeavoured to keep them simple and straight to the point as we understand that as parents you are busy people and time is precious. Enjoy.

Feel free to contact us with any other tips or ideas that you may use when holidaying, we would love you to share.

General Tips

  • Take your time >
    • Its greatest thing you can take - whether at the airport, sightseeing or getting from A to B - is extra time. Babies, toddlers or children in general don't care for the time pressures of travel and it's the unexpected nappy changes, dawdling or exploring that will have you running late in no time. With children in tow plan for a slower pace, be realistic about what you can achieve in a day. Allow for a day or two of rest or no activity days in the itinerary, this gives you breathing room to cope with factors like bad weather, sickness and tiredness.

  • Research >
    • Research and choose your airline carefully. Enquire about in-flight entertainment, kids meals (pre order these) and any services provided for kids.
  • Book ahead >
    • It's always a good idea to book ahead. Trying to retain the spontaneity of travel BC (Before Children) doesn't work anymore, its best to know you at least have somewhere to sleep for the night.

      So if you do want to keep things flexible, it's worth pre-booking for your first few nights, this will allow you to look for other places in a more leisurely way.

  • Packing >
    • You will not need as much as you think you'll need on holiday. So pack half as much stuff and take twice as much money.
  • Be prepared for the climate >
    • It's simple, research the climate where you are holidaying and pack accordingly. But don't pack too much, you can always wear layers to cope with temperature changes or the same piece of clothing twice.Ut is dolorae cumquas et esequam fuga. Itatem fugitem ant ium nobitem di conseniamus, sim aperit adi dolo eos dis ratio. Et lam que explicatia imi, natatet eostiorit, voluptatur, con plabore labo.

  • Airports >
    • Allow enough time! Ask if your flight is full when checking in, some attendants will offer you the option of seating next to a vacant seat.

      Most airlines let you check in online, which allows you to book preferred seats from home and cuts out queuing. When you get to the airport, you usually join a fast-track queue to hand over your checked luggage.

      It is a good idea to dress the children in brightly coloured clothes or at least T-shirts so that you can spot them easily in the crowd.

  • In-flight >
    • Bring new toys, books, apps or electronics. Whatever it is that your kids are into, bring a new version of it, something that they have never seen before and this will hold their attention for longer than a preloved item.

      Bring one carry on only as you will appreciate having one bag to keep track of in a busy airport.

      If your child is old enough let them bring their own carry on and be responsible for their own possessions and inflight entertainment however be mindful of the size and weight of the bag as you may well end up carrying it as well.

      The low humidity of cabin air can cause mild dehydration as well as dry and irritated nostrils, so it's important to get the kids to drink regularly.
  • Utilise technology >
    • There are so many types of electronic devices on the market at the moment that all have Apps for all ages of children so utilise the technology available to you.

      There are all sorts of sturdy, drool and damage proof cases out there so let the kids play.

      Technology like your phone can be used to record information such as flight itineraries, hotel details, reservation numbers and you can even snap a photo of where you parked the car in the parking garage. It is useful for keeping so many things in the one place and when you are done with that information you can simply just delete it.
  • Use public transport >
    • Most kids love the novelty of travelling by train, bus and boat, so ditch the hire car and use public transport where possible.
  • Keep bugs at bay >
    • Where ever you are travelling, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer are handbag essentials. Your child will be touching something gross before you have chance to call out their name, so make sure you have your hand cleanser of choice with you.
  • Don't forget the medicine >
    • No one likes being sick whilst on holiday so don't forget the medicine and a small first aid kit including antiseptic wipes, plasters, sting treatment, bandages and a thermometer.

  • Bring snacks >
    • Meals on flights will not always be arriving at the right time for the kids. So pack snacks they are familiar with, that don't need refrigerating and are still edible after a few days of being in your handbag. The right snacks for all types of travelling will come in handy whether you are on that road trip or airport, they can also be used as a bribe in desperate times.

  • Think outside the weekend >
    • Sometimes shifting your flights one or two days forward or back can make a big difference in airfare. Also, midweek flights are often less crowded, which makes for a more pleasant trip.
  • Pack an extra bag >
    • Pack a crushable duffel bag into an outside zippered compartment of your suitcase and if when checking your bag it happens to be over the weight limit, you can just take out the duffle bag and transfer some of your belongings into it so as to avoid the extra weight penalty.
  • Travel Insurance >
    • You should always have travel insurance for those unexpected moments on holiday.
  • Take the early flight >
    • If you want to avoid long periods of waiting in the airport, fly as early in the day as possible. Afternoon and evening flights are always more likely to be delayed due to back-ups at the airport.
  • Order Online >
    • In most parts of Australia major groceries stores provide home delivery, so it's a great idea to pre order your groceries to be delivered to your holiday apartment.
  • Special needs >
    • It can be helpful talking to parents whose children have similar conditions, and who may have useful travel tips. Getting an identity bracelet that has details of your child's medical condition, treatment and their doctor's name is useful in case of emergencies

      Similarly if anyone has serious allergies, you might want them to travel with a card that specifies, in the language of your destination, what they're allergic to and how serious the condition is.
  • Stick to a routine >
    • If you make the same trip frequently, there is a lot to be said for knowing your route. It may not be worth changing the route or routine of the trip in order to save some money. Stick with what you know and what works well.
  • Stay sane >
    • Ignore rude people and don't stress about annoying others with your screaming child or children. You're trying your best, and you're never going to see these people again, so take a deep breath and enjoy the trip.

Travelling with Infants

  • Baggage >
    • Carry on and checked baggage allowance for children is generally the same as adults. Baggage allowance can include collapsible stroller or pram, collapsible cot/bassinet, car seat or capsule.
  • Strollers >
    • Most Australian airports have strollers available for you to use once you have checked in your own.
  • Medication >
    • If you child requires prescription medication bring enough for the duration of your trip as may be difficult to find when travelling overseas. Carry all medication on board so it's on hand if required and keep a certificate from your doctor so you can declare it if need be in some countries.
  • Bookings >
    • On domestic flights infants under the age of 2 can travel on the parent's ticket. International services, infants must have their own ticket.
  • Bassinets >
    • Bassinets on flights are limited so request one at the time of booking. Pre-allocation of bassinets is on a first come, first served basis. Bassinet dimensions and weight restrictions can found on most airlines website.
  • Prenatal >
    • If you are booking and the infant is not yet born, make the booking just for you and once the baby is born you can add their name to the booking.
  • Child seats >
    • Research shows that the safety of your child will be enhanced with the use of a child seat. If you plan to use your car seat you will need to reserve and purchase a separate seat and receive approval for the device 24 hours prior to departure with the airline.
  • Child restraints >
    • You can also purchase Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES) - CASA has pre-approved this harness style restraint device suitable for children aged two to four years.
  • Meals >
    • Request a child's meal when you are booking your flight and be sure to mention any allergies or special dietary requirements your child may have.
      If your infant is less than 2 years of age and has any special requirements, we ask that you provide their meal for the flight. Some airlines do provide a limited range of baby food, milk, baby bottles, cereals and rusks but it is a good idea to bring the brand your baby knows and prefers.
  • Drink lots >
    • Make sure your child rehydrates regularly on the flight, particularly on longer flights to counteract the dry air on board.
  • Liquids >
    • Passengers travelling with an infant or toddler are permitted to carry a reasonable quantity of liquid, aerosol or gel products for the infant or toddler onboard for the duration of the flight and any delays that might occur. A 'reasonable quantity' will be at the discretion of the security screening officer at customs.
      Baby products may include, but are not limited to:
      • baby milk, including breast milk;

      • sterilised water;

      • juice;

      • baby food in liquid, gel or paste form; and

      • disposable wipes.
      Products such as baby milk powder that are not liquids, aerosols or gels can be taken onboard.
  • Travel documents >
    • Infants, like adults, need the proper travel documents to travel. It is best to organise valid passports and visas for your infant well in advance of your travel date. Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs website for further information about what travel documents you need.
  • Take off & Landing >
    • It is not uncommon for an infant to cry, and/or put their hands over their ears, during take-off and landing. Please do not be alarmed or feel embarrassed. Crying is a natural way for your infant to clear their ears and it is best to let them go. Cabin crew can heat bottles and assist you with preparing and washing bottles or pacifiers.
      There are generally no private areas set aside for breastfeeding, but you are welcome to feed your baby in your seat.Try and time feeds for babies to coincide with take-off and landing - whether breast or bottle, the sucking action helps.
  • Change tables >
    • Baby-changing tables are available in selected onboard bathrooms. For your own comfort and the comfort of fellow guests, it is suggested that you use these facilities rather than change your baby at your seat.
  • Spare clothes for everyone >
    • Bring a spare t-shirt for yourself. You most likely wont be able to pack a full change of clothes for yourself, but if you are thrown up on you will appreciate a clean smell around your upper body instead of wiped up vomit. And it's a given that you will pack at least 2 fresh sets of clothes for baby in your carry on.

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