Travelling with your children can be one of the best experiences you can have as a family. With a little planning, patience and effort, you can help reduce stress and make sure you enjoy your holiday. And while I can’t promise that your toddler won’t have a meltdown, hopefully these travel tips help make your trip more efficient and keep everyone in good spirits.
Whether it be via plane, road or transport – make sure you make it as easy on yourself as possible is my moto. And here are my top tips for not going insane when travelling with kids!
Be strategic with your travel times
This one I have learnt since travelling with an infant/toddler, is that there really isn’t any amount of money worth saving when it comes to choosing appropriate flight times. Bored and overtired children become cranky and frustrated kids in a hurry and it isn’t worth flying super early morning or into the night (unless of course travelling overseas).
That’s not to say I am not always on the prowl for airline sales, however, if the times a not appropriate then I don’t consider it a bargain!
We also started booking our eldest daughter her own seat from about the age of one as we found there was absolutely no way she would last even 30 minutes sitting on one of our knees. We just fork out the extra for her to have her own seat we can strap her into and plonk the iPad in front of her!
Invest in a lightweight pram
Now that we have two kids, it has made it important that our transport for them is as versatile, small and easy as possible! Even though the two-year-old is completely capable of walking, she sometimes gets tired and cranky and wants to be carried. And when you’re in a crowded airport, hauling luggage and trying to get checked in, you don’t want to be carrying fifteen kilos of extra weight, or chasing a rouge toddler through customs.
Same goes when you’ve had a day of activities and exploring planned for your holiday. The long and short of it is, toddlers get tired! So we opted for a glide board accessory for our pram rather than a double pram. This meant Annabelle can jump on when she doesn’t want to walk but we don’t haul a huge pram around that takes up tones of room in the car!
Baby Jogger Citi Mini GT – This is literally the ‘best-of-everything’ pram. It is easy to use and fold in one piece, doesn’t take up too much room in the car and easy for travel AND it has a glide board accessory so that the toddler can be easily transported too! It ticks all the boxes of a practical everyday pram AND a light weight travel stroller!
You can purchase Baby Jogger from all good baby stores. To find a retailer, visit their website here.
Choose your accommodation wisely
Holidays can become super expensive when you’re always out and about. So we always try and find accommodation with a reasonable amount of entertainment included so we don’t always feel like we have to be out spending money!
We look for resorts with pools, playgrounds and play equipment like bikes and playrooms. Especially on those days where you just cannot be bothered, we just head down the pools and our little one is entertained for hours. One of our Aussie favourites is Paradise Resort on the Gold Coast – a resort dedicated to kids!
Otherwise, we check out Stayz and AirBnb for a house, which will always have full facilities like laundry, full kitchen and outdoor area – perfect for longer stays!
Whenever you’re on holidays, doesn’t matter where or how far or how you get there, you need to be safe and cover yourselves for any kind of accident!
When flying, make sure you have travel insurance in case anything happens. Especially if your heading to another country, make sure you check what’s going on in that country before going! You don’t want to get stuck stranded because the country goes into a civil war or has some unknown weird flu like thing going around!
When travelling by road, make sure your car is in perfect shape for a long trip. Have you had a service lately? How do your tyres look? Are the car seats installed correctly? Are they the correct seats for your kids?
Annabelle recently out grew her car seat, and to be honest, even in a few years’ car seats have come a long way. We wanted to get a new seat that included all the very best safety technologies.
Britax Safe-n-Sound Maxi Guard PRO™ – We opted for this one as it seemed to have the latest and greatest making it one of the best Harnessed Forward Facing car seats on the market. With SICT™ Safety Technology and an inbuilt Hassle Free Harness™ this car seat is suitable for growing children from approx. 6 months to 8 years. So Annabelle could use this seat till she’s in school – yay!
It also includes Thermo5™ – a high performance fabric made with Bamboo Charcoal which means your child will travel in quality and comfort. Perfect for those long road trips especially in the warmer months (did I mention that the seat has cup holders and arm rests as well!!).
You can purchase the Maxi Guard PRO™ at all baby stores, or check for retailers at the Britax website here: http://www.britax.com.au/where-to-buy/
While there is going to be those days where you just want to chill out. I find it’s good to have a few activities planned in advance as to be prepared. Especially if you want to be savvy about your travels, I find having a bit of an itinerary is a really great help.
When heading to popular destinations I always like to check out deal websites for events or activities on special. Same goes for doing some research on what’s in the area so were not finding ourselves stuck for ideas once there.
Make sure you have the essentials
And of course, for when everything does all go to shit, make sure you have the necessities to help calm your little one down. I always make sure I have a bottle on hand, their dummy (or seven), Nurofen, an iPad full of Peppa Pig and snacks – BULK SNACKS!