travelling with kids

Travelling With Kids – Practical Tips for Parents

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Most parents travelling with kids will tell you that it is not easy and can be quite stressful thanks to the unpredictable nature of children. Everyone wants to travel light and have a peaceful journey, then enjoy what their destination has to offer, and finally peacefully head back home satisfied. Having children in tow during your travel will require adequate preparation beforehand for the travel experience to be satisfying. You will be inclined to keep your kids seated, quiet during the journey, happy and safe throughout the trip.

The prospect of doing all that can be horrendous for many parents, but it can also be quite exciting when proper planning and precautions are carried out. Once you know what to do you will be happy sharing your amazing travel experiences with your child or children whether they are newborns, toddlers or teenagers. Some useful tips to help make the travel experience easier and more exciting are further outlined below:-

When Travelling with Kids - Always Book Early!

It always works in your favor when you book early and it doesn’t matter whether you will be camping, staying in a hotel, or living in a holiday home. Book your flight, train or bus ticket early and don’t forget where you will stay. Make reservations early before you leave because you definitely don’t want to arrive at your destination with your kid(s) tired and hungry only to find that all places are fully booked and you have no place to stay.

What To Pack When Travelling With Kids?

what to pack when travelling with kids

A few essentials that should be packed are as follows:-

  • Change of Clothes

Pack enough changes of clothes for the kid(s) and ensure that the clothes are appropriate for the weather at your destination. Pack clothes that the child will be comfortable in and let weather and the terrain of your destination guide your selection. A comfortable pair of shoes should also be packed, they will definitely want to get out of their travelling shoes and wear something breathable for their feet once they get to their destination.

  • Pack Adequately For The Baby
pack adequately when travelling with a newborn

If you are travelling with a newborn, don’t forget to pack all the items they will need such as baby wipes, diapers, and enough clothes for the duration of your stay. A baby carrier or a backpack will be necessary when you move around especially in those hotels without elevators, or when you just want to move around comfortably while enjoying the sights. If your kid(s) are still at the potty training stage, consider packing Pull-Ups to take care of the little incidents that might occur en-route to your destination. A fabric high chair can also be very useful because they will enable your child to stay in place when sitting at a table. It is very convenient since it can be wrapped around any type or size of chair. Find out early if the airline you will be using allows strollers for the baby or baby seats aboard and prepare accordingly. When travelling with kids, if you decide to take a car seat on the plane with you ensure it is FAA Approved; check out our review article on ones that are here.

  • First Aid Kit
pack a first aid kit

The likelihood of kids getting ill while on holiday is high and it is always better to be prepared for that eventuality with a first aid kit in your luggage. Pack an anti-fever medicine such as Calpol or paracetamol or whatever that is available in your area. Include antiseptic wipes, a thermometer, sting treatment and a surgical tape. You never know when you will need all that and when you do, you will be happy that you had your first aid kit with you.

  • Pack With Them

Never allow your children to pack their own rucksacks because they will probably pack things they don’t need. Some have been known to pack all their toys in a single rucksack or even their pets. Know what your child is packing to avoid any incidents at the airport. Confirm before leaving the house that they haven’t brought along anything unnecessary.

Dealing With Delays

how to deal with delays when travelling with kids

Photo credit: Jordiet. via / CC BY-SA

It is not uncommon to experience delays for one reason or another when travelling and when you have kids in tow, delays can be quite unpleasant. However, you can properly deal with delays and both you and your children can wait out the delay without any unpleasantness. Keep your children involved in some positive play especially if they are having a difficult time waiting. Never let your kids know how frustrated you feel because of the delay because you will make them frustrated too. If they are old enough, engage them in a story or simply talk about interesting things with them. You can also keep them quiet with some high protein snacks but never ever give them sugary treats because they will be restless throughout the journey.

Staying Safe Tips

take note of safety advice

Safety is important during the journey and you need to take some measures to ensure the safety of both you and your kid(s).

  • Keep Your Kids Informed About Safety

If your kids are old enough to understand, talk to them about safety matters like keeping their seat belts on during travel, knowing where the fire escapes are, swimming pool safety and not wandering around in unfamiliar places. They should also know what to do in case they get lost and so on.

  • Get The Required Vaccines Early

Before departing for the journey always check with NHS or CDC and get the vaccines and the medicines you will need to protect yourselves from diseases. Those booster shots are very important and some vaccines might actually require several visits before the full dose is complete. Find out what vaccines you need before visiting that destination and get them early enough for them to be effective.

Help Them Create Memories

family travel creates lasting memories

Photo Credit: Lisa Niver Rajna from

Make your kids more involved when travelling by encouraging them to keep a journal of what the day has been like, the things they have seen and what they think. You can also consider getting them their own child-friendly camera to help them become more aware of their surroundings. They will take pictures of the things that interest them and you never know, it might just develop into a career. Anything they capture on their little camera from pictures of feet, the ground, animal poop, flowers, the sky and so on, will make the trip unforgettable. Making them more aware of their surroundings is a good way for them to create their own little memories of the trip.

child logging memories in a journal

Photo credit: lecates via / CC BY-SA

Travelling with kids doesn’t have to be a nightmare and with the above tips things should be more exciting and less worrisome. Savour every moment you a travelling with your kids, explore together, answer their questions and encourage your kids to have fun and relax by relaxing and having fun yourself.


Robert is a father of a young daughter and has developed an expertise in child car seat safety. He is a keen supporter of the use of child safety systems having seen his daughter come away from a side impact collision unscathed due to the use of a child car seat. When he's not spending time reviewing child safety systems he works as a Technical Manager on major construction projects.

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