Family Life

5 things to avoid when travelling with kids

everyday moments

This is a guest post by Sally-Ann from Toddlers On Tour


Let’s be honest, travelling with kids can be a challenge. It all gets a bit too much; so let’s just concentrate on what we should avoid and the rest should just come together.

1. Assume you are going to have a lovely relaxing romantic holiday.

Remember the days when you went on holiday, brought a great book, lazed around the pool, took a dip, went to dinner, ordered an expensive bottle of wine with a 3 course meal and gazed into each other eyes.  Not going to happen!!!  Yes you decided to reproduce.

In the pool the kids will want you to play.  Heading out for the day, the kids will dawdle and walk slowly.  At dinner the kids will talk, be fussy, play up – yes it’s just like at home but you are in a foreign environment.

I’m not saying you will have a terrible time.  I’m just reminding you that your kids will be as demanding on holiday as they are at home.

2. Choose a destination with no kids’ facilities.

Want the kids to be bored, continually asking what they can do?  Choose a place with no kids’ facilities and activities; resulting in no other kids to play with and yes your kids will be bored and ANNOYING!!!

When choosing your accommodation, consider the age of your children their likes and dislikes.  My 4 year old loves the pool preferably with a slide and a kids club that has craft activities.

You don’t have to stay in 5 star accommodations to get all the bells and whistles either.  Many caravan parks have playgrounds, swimming pools, splash zones, large bouncy pillows, flying foxes and trapeze swings.

Just do your research and think about what your kids like as well as what you want to do on your holiday.

3. Forget to pack snacks, drinks and the snuggle friend.

Whether it’s a day trip, flight, road trip or train journey, kids (big and small) eat constantly.  On top of that their fussy.  Not to mention the nut, diary or egg allergies.  It’s just too hard relying on the transport companies or that a supermarket will appear to provide a meal they will like, they can eat and when they’re hungry.

So pack food for a day trip or in your hand luggage on aeroplanes, buses, trains and cars.  You want it easily accessible.  Also don’t forget to pack more in your main luggage for the duration of the holiday.

While your packing the food into your hand luggage, add the “favourite snuggle friend”.  The “snuggle friend” will help relieve anxiety in foreign environments; it is your child’s best friend.  Whether you are on a plane, out for the day or relaxing at your accommodation your child will turn to this soft friend for comfort.

4. Overlook preparing your child for the journey ahead.

Many kids get anxious when you alter their routine.  So prepare them before you leave.

Once you have done your initial planning include them.  Explain the type of transport you will be using and the time frame that you will be travelling.

Talk about where you will be staying – if possible show them pictures (use the internet) to help with the preparation.  Remind your children that you and their sibling will be there all together.

Let them know the types of things you will be doing on the trip: Swimming, walking, train trips, ferry rides, or visiting wildlife.

Get them excited about the trip!

5. Remain fixed and rigid in your plans.

Finally this is one you should already know.  Kids very rarely follow our set schedules.  If you try to be unyielding in your plans you will end up with grumpy children.

Remain flexible.  Of course you want to make plans, but if it’s not absolutely essential (like a prepaid tour) does it really matter if your child fell asleep when you planned to go out.  Make alternative arrangements or have back up plans in place.

If you’re already out and they nod off.  Take that moment to stop in at a bar or restaurant and grab that mini romantic moment.

By avoiding just a few things you can ensure that your family will have a great holiday.

What are your travelling tips?


Sally-Ann is a mum, writer and travel lover. After having her son and joining her mothers group, she realised many mums were stuck on tips and advice of how to travel with kids. Toddlers on Tour was formed, a place for tips and advice when travelling with kids. You can also follow Sally-Ann on Twitter and Facebook.

If you have a story to share or some tips or pointers and want to guest post here on this blog, send me an email at

Linking up with Essentially Jess

{photo found at Classic Play}

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  • Ai Sakura

    Great tips! Traveling with kids is definitely not like how we used to travel as non-parents. It’s only right they get to enjoy as much as we do I guess so always important to plan activities for them as well :)

    • tahlia @ the parenting files

      Ohh those days of holidays before kids….. (insert dreamy face). We now know what to expect, and I think parents need to also adjust their expectations of holidays. And planning for the kids is very important.

      When everyone is happy, happy holiday xx

  • Rhianna

    great pointers, I love the way you wrote it all out, gave me a few giggles. For me the flexibility tip is the biggest, if you remain flexible and open to anything then it is very hard not to have a great time away.

    Swinging by as part of #teamIBOT and leaving some fairy wishes and butterfly kisses

    • tahlia @ the parenting files

      Thanks for your fairy wishes Rhianna…

      flexibility is so important! I guess having that whole holiday relaxing mode kind of makes it a little easier too… hey, if the kids go to bed half an hour later, no big deal xo

  • Elise @mummy hearts money

    Your so right about the caravan parks offering great kids facilities these days – we’ve found some really great ones lately that cater to the kids brilliantly

    • tahlia @ the parenting files

      We are now getting into the big holiday parks Elise. I am looking forward to the next holiday adventures . There are some really great ones out there too x

  • kim

    Great advice. I’ve done a lot of travelling with my daughter, the last was Jordan (Petra and the Dead Sea) earlier this year – i’d say frequent breaks, an apartment over a hotel, carrots to dangle so there is compromise ie you can go to disneyland if i can see the Louvre, or buy a trinket if you promise not to whinge at Petra, an ipad (a must), a good sense of humour x

    • tahlia @ the parenting files

      Haha.. Love it! Yes, what did we do without the iPad. Did the kids see the Louve too?

  • Jodi Gibson

    Great tips! We do a lot of travelling and I think the most important one is trying to keep to some sort of routine. Kids thrive on routine and it is possible …no matter where in the world you may be!

    • tahlia @ the parenting files

      So true Jodi. I always find routine works well with my kids. Even a simple thing like bed time routine can travel wherever you go.

  • Sally@Toddlers on Tour

    Hi Tahlia,

    I just wanted to thank you for hosting me as your guest blogger this week.
    So pleased to see everyone appreciating the tips.

  • Emily @ Have a laugh on me

    I think making sure you stick to some of the same things you do at home helps, eg milk and stories before bed! Great ideas, a shame we’re not going travelling with kids so I can use them :(

  • Janet Dubac

    These tips are brilliant! They are really helpful especially for parents who often travel with their kids. For us, forgetting to pack some snacks and drinks is a big NO. It’s a necessity because you will find your kids either asleep or hungry and thirsty until you arrive to your destination. This is very important and is always next to clothes on the list. :)

  • EssentiallyJess

    Awesome tips, especially the food one. I think having food is always good!
    I can’t wait for the day we can take the kids on a plane trip again. It’s been years, but they always love it. :)

  • Grace

    Great tips! We pack lots and LOTS of snacks! I can’t begin to tell you how much carry on luggage we had on our way to Bali – mainly full of food!
    But it was well worth it!

  • Luanne

    Ah kids! No matter how fussy and noisy they get they are always a delight. :)