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.
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 and choose your airline carefully. Enquire about in-flight
entertainment, kids meals (pre order these) and any services provided for
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Travelling with Infants
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.
Most Australian airports have strollers available for you to use once you have checked in your own.
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
On domestic flights infants under the age of 2 can travel on the
parent's ticket. International services, infants must have their own
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
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
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.
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
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.
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:
Products such as baby milk powder that are not liquids, aerosols or gels can be taken onboard.
- baby milk, including breast milk;
- sterilised water;
- baby food in liquid, gel or paste form; and
- disposable wipes.
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.