Travelling with children can be daunting, but it's certainly not impossible! You may have to plan and make more considerations than in your past kid-free travel; however, everyone can have a fantastic time.
We have put together the following list so you and your children can enjoy a hassle-free trip that you will remember for a long time to come.
Tips for travelling with children - flights:
Costs: Airline charges vary from company to company. Some don't charge for babies and children under a certain age, and some do, so make sure you do your due diligence before travelling.
Food: When booking your family's flights, make sure that you request a kids meal. Also packing snacks can be helpful to keep your child occupied on a long trip.
Requests: If you have a baby, you may need a bassinet. When you are making your booking, make sure you include if you will need a bassinet as you are not guaranteed one if you don't.
Consider carrying books or toys to keep children occupied during those long hours of travel.
If you are taking a long flight, consider booking an overnight flight as your children will most likely sleep through most of it.
The air pressure during take-off and landing can be a bit much on small ears so try and encourage your children to frequently sip on a drink. For young babies, feeding them during take-off and landing can be helpful.
In your carry-on, pack an extra set of clothing for you and your children in case there is an accident. Wet wipes, lip balm and your toothbrushes and tooth paste can also help keep you fresh
Tips for travelling with children - packing:
Packing can be stressful, especially if left to the last minute. To avoid unneeded stress, try and start packing in advance so, in the days leading up to you going, all you need to do is add anything you may have forgotten.
Prepare a comprehensive packing list to ensure that you include everything. We recommend packing the following: - Anything that you need daily - Pack enough wet wipes, pull-offs and extra clothes to help keep your children fresh. - Pack pain medicine (Panadol or Nurofen for fever and pain), antihistamines for allergy (for example Phenergan or Zyrtec), bandaids for those unforeseen circumstances, sunscreen and insect repellant topical preparations and nets.
Tips for travelling with children - destination and accommodation:
Not every destination is super suitable for young children, especially if you are planning on using a stroller. Many places in Europe, for instance, have cobblestoned streets, which would make using a stroller quite tricky. If you have young children and do wish to go to places like this, consider alternatives to strollers such as a baby carrier.
Check to see if your accommodation will provide a cot for toddlers and babies. If not, you may need to purchase and bring along a travel cot.
What will your primary mode of transport be? If you are hiring a car, ensure that you request baby or booster seats if needed. Also, it can help to check the safety rating of the car you are hiring.
Tips for travelling with children - fun:
Travelling when you're young is an amazing opportunity for your children to see new places and appreciate different cultures. If they are old enough, encourage them to:
Enjoy the food (make sure it's from a reputable restaurant to minimise risk of food poisoning. Looking at online reviews can help).
Take their own photos. Taking their own photos can help your children feel more involved and they will have the photos to look back on when they are older.
Keep a diary of their experiences. Writing in a diary can help them retain the memories from their trip for years to come.
Before the trip, try and build your child's excitement by showing them a map and involving them in the travel plans.
To keep your child enjoying the trip, try to not over pack your days; this will help reduce stress and fatigue on everyone in the family. It may help to focus on one location too, rather than hopping from one destination to another.
Tips for travelling with children - health:
Always make sure your children’s immunisation schedule is up to date.
Talk to your doctor to check if you and your children may need any travel vaccinations or medications.
Children can be more susceptible to certain conditions while travelling such as: - respiratory, gastrointestinal and skin infections - insect bites - malaria Your doctor can provide some advice on how to help avoid your children getting sick while you are away. See our article what to do if you get sick while travelling for helpful tips.
Make sure you always carry enough food and fluids.
These tips for travelling with children is helpful, but by no means exhaustive, so it helps to do your research before your trip and to see a doctor for travel advice.
If you wish to visit our travel clinic, please book an appointment online or call us on 03 9741 1200.