Travelling with kids can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right preparation and planning, you can enjoy your trip with your children instead of feeling frazzled and frustrated.
This is especially important if you’re travelling with an infant or toddler who needs constant attention. The following tips will help keep you organized and calm while on the road with children in tow:
Pack a pre-departure activity kit.
- Pack a pre-departure activity kit. You know what’s best while travelling with kids, so pack something that will keep them occupied during the trip. Here are some ideas:
- Portable DVD player and movies
- A bag of toys and games (don’t forget the space for the aeroplane tray!)
- Portable charger to keep their electronics charged up.
- Portable fan if you’re going abroad in the summertime or somewhere hot and humid (like Southeast Asia) during the monsoon season
- Portable speaker—you can watch Netflix together! Or stream music from your smartphone with Bluetooth! It’s like having a mini disco on board!
These items can also be used at home or when travelling around town after arrival.
Bring a hand-held gaming device.
Gaming devices are a great way to pass the time on long flights, and they can also help distract kids from their surroundings and keep them occupied when they’re bored.
If you’re travelling by plane, consider bringing something like an iPad or Kindle Fire with educational games and fun.
Games like “Number Munchers” teach essential math skills, while “Where’s My Water?” trains your child’s problem-solving skills by helping them find water in Swampy’s rubber ducky bathtub.
Find the right shoe
Of course, it’s essential to choose your kids Uggs that are comfortable, durable, and easy to clean. But it would be best to consider the environment you will be in and your children’s activities while on vacation. For example:
- If you spend a lot of time outdoors or on muddy floors (like parks), look for water-resistant shoes that offer good traction on wet surfaces.
- If you are travelling with kids who will have access to grassy areas where snakes or other critters could hide underfoot, make sure their shoes have high enough sides so they don’t get bitten by anything creepy crawling around underneath them!
Book the best seats possible.
Next, you’ll want to book the best seats possible. A good heart will keep your child comfortable and happy, which means less grumbling from them and fewer headaches for you.
You should book the seat closest to the bathroom (if there are two bathrooms on that flight). This way, when they need to use it, it’ll only be a short walk away.
Also, consider booking an aisle seat so that if your child needs something or needs help getting out of their chair safely, someone will be able to assist them without having to climb over other passengers or disturb their neighbour’s sleep.
If possible, book a window seat so they can look out at the scenery during takeoff and landing—but remember: once we’re in the air, we have strict rules against turning lights off at night! If those rules don’t apply where you’re going, then switch things up!
If power is available near your row, then consider getting one with extra legroom; this way, when they get bored playing games on their iPad, they won’t have any trouble stretching their legs comfortably across both armrests instead of just one side like usual.
Finally, ensure enough room between rows so when people get up during flight (often), everyone else isn’t uncomfortable because someone wants some space.
Prepare comfy kid’s clothes.
A great way to make sure their clothes are comfortable while travelling with kids is to buy them from kids clothes in NZ with a good return policy. If you don’t like the shirt or pants on the first day of vacation, you can return them and get something else.
Keep in mind that children’s clothes are often cheaper than adult clothing, so if you do decide to buy new outfits at home before your trip, try buying more than one item per size so that if they don’t fit right away or if they grow over time while you’re away, they will still be helpful later on.
Remember that certain fabrics tend to be more breathable and moisture-wicking than others, which means they’ll dry faster after being washed (and thus won’t start smelling like garbage).
Cotton is usually considered one of these fabrics, but some synthetic blends also work well, too—it depends on how much money you want to spend versus how much comfort and performance increase there is between each pair of pants!
Give the kids a travel journal.
You can find these at any bookstore or online. They’re great for keeping travelling with kids entertained on long trips and also serve as a way for them to document their adventures.
Some journals are more like scrapbooks where you can glue in pictures and notes from your travels; others come with scratch-off paint so you can draw pictures right onto the page (these are great if your kids are into the drawing).
You could even go old-school with a colouring book! Either way, it’s a fun activity that will keep your kid engaged during travel time.
Use baby gear
- Use baby gear. Consider using a Noosa stroller hire or carrier if travelling with young children. If you don’t have room for both, choose the stroller; a page is much easier to carry around but only practical when your child is asleep or still.
- You’ll also need to bring along their car seat—check the airline’s website for specifics on what type of seat they recommend and if it needs to be checked in (most airlines allow passengers to fit in an infant car seat).
- Bring extra diapers, wipes and formula, just in case. It’s always better to be safe than sorry about your kid’s fragile physiology!
Keep snacks, books, and games in your carry-on bag
- Snacks: Bring something easy to eat and read. Something like a yoghurt or fruit cup makes a great snack because you can open it with one hand while you read on the other side of the book (or iPad).
- Books: Bring something easy to eat and play with. A board book works well because no pieces could fall off or be dropped as quickly as regular hardcover books. We recommend bringing books by Dr Seuss! If your child isn’t quite old enough for these, try some picture books by Sandra Boynton instead! They’re all about animals who go about their daily routines without any human interaction whatsoever… which means they make fantastic aeroplane companions too!
Choose clothing that’s easy to move around in.
Choose clothing that’s easy to move around in. This is especially important for parents who want their children to be comfortable and happy during their travels.
While it may seem an obvious choice, make sure your kids wear loose-fitting clothes that don’t restrict movement or hamper them from running around and having fun.
Also, if you’re travelling with a baby or toddler, choose clothing that will help them stay dry (and warm) when you’re out on the road—it’s not fun for anyone if your kid is wet, cold, and miserable!
Here are some other tips:
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing; they can constrict movement and make dressing difficult.
- Choose a dress that’s easy to put on/take off (especially important if you have younger children)
- Ensure the dress is easy to pack/carry when going through airport security.
- If possible, select light colours and quick-drying fabrics; the last thing you want when travelling with kids is extra wet laundry!
Avoid tight or scratchy fabrics.
- Tight or scratchy fabrics can irritate you, making you and your child uncomfortable during the trip. If you’ve ever worn an outfit that makes you feel like a bee in your pants, it’s because of the fabric: wool sweaters are notorious for this!
- To avoid this problem when packing for your trip, choose clothes made from natural fibres such as cotton, linen, or silk (which is very soft but also doesn’t wrinkle easily) instead of synthetics like polyester and rayon.
- If you’re travelling in winter conditions where it might get freezing outside (say, below freezing), then be sure to layer up with multiple layers of clothing so that if one layer gets wet, it won’t ruin everything underneath it.
Always pack some water, even on short trips.
We all need water to survive, which is even more critical when travelling. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and nausea—not great if you’re trying to enjoy your trip. Water also helps keep you alert so that you don’t miss anything! On top of that, it can help prevent getting sick during travel due to dehydration.
Bring bottled water with you if your flight is long enough (3+ hours) because airlines charge for water. If the flight is shorter than an hour or two, it’s probably not worth getting a bottle with you since there will likely be plenty of opportunities for drinks on board.
Bring comfort items from home, if possible.
- Bring comfort items from home, if possible. You may not be able to bring your child’s entire bedroom from home, but you can certainly pack some of their favourite things. A good rule of thumb is to fill in one item for each year of life.
- So if your kid is 5 years old, bring five comfort items—a stuffed animal, blanket or toy, pillow (or two), and a book that you know he or she loves reading repeatedly.
- Pack your kid-friendly snacks! When travelling with young children, it often feels like you’re always on the go—and that means finding food when there isn’t time for a sit-down meal. But packing some snacks that are healthy and familiar will make all the difference in keeping everyone happy and comfortable while away from home!
Prepare and plan to stay organized and calm while travelling with kids.
- Prepare a list of what you need to pack.
- Prepare for meals, activities, and sleep.
- Bring entertainment for kids.
- Bring comfort items from home (blanket, pillow) if your child is used to them or if you think they will help your child sleep better at night (if you’re travelling by plane or train). This can be especially important if your child is going through a growth spurt and needs his or her bedtime routine to get enough sleep during travel time!
- Keep supplies on hand: toilet paper rolls; bags for dirty diapers; wipes; baby powder/talc for diaper rash; diaper cream (if needed); hand sanitiser// spray; tissues — these are especially helpful when travelling by car, so everything isn’t bouncing around in the back seat while everyone else is driving!
We hope you find these tips helpful on your next family trip. Travelling with kids can be an adventure, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or chaotic.
You can stay organized and calm by preparing ahead of time, packing wisely, and choosing the right shoes. Remember that it’s all about making things easier for yourself so that you can focus on enjoying your kids’ company!