Family on vacation with kids

The secret to traveling with kids

Facing Challenges · 5 min read

*This blog is written by mid-30s mum with 3 kiddos, now age 9, 7 and 5 whose longest trip was out to Australia and back from the UK when the kids were 5, 3 and 1.5 year old (a whole 24 hours door to door each way).*

When it comes to parenting so often it’s easy to slip into survival mode, and there are some seasons when this is the only way to get through. Travelling with kids does not need to be one of those seasons. Getting to show our children a world outside of their own, be it an hour down the road or half way around the world, is a gift. It opens up their perspectives in new ways and helps them see new places beyond their imaginations (and screens!). It is one of the ways we help shape them into being adults one day, and it instills a sense of adventure. It is easy to forget this whilst in the midst of cleaning up vomit from a green child with car sickness, or trying to change a particularly brutal soft-serve nappy in a tight airplane toilet, the key is to keep it in perspective. 

When we look back at our time in Australia we remember the epic adventures we had exploring new beaches, seeing new animals and eating fairy floss. We remember the funny bits of the flights, and the games we played whilst waiting in the airports, but none of the hard stuff has stuck, our overall feeling was how awesome the trip was, and not how hard the travel may have been.

TikTok and Instagram are full of amazing travel hacks from useful car caddies to special snack boxes for flights and long distances — there are so many great ideas and helpful purchases just a google away. Most of our travelling with little people happened before all of this, and here are some notes that helped us:

Some tips:

Here are some hacks:

For shorter journeys (less than 3 hours):

For journeys that take longer than 3 hours and/​or involve airplanes where movement is limited:

Top tip, so that you don’t fall out of love with travelling yourself, (or with your partner for that matter) try to book at least one overnight/​weekend away a year. You’ll be amazed at the ease with which you can pack essentials into a backpack in mere minutes. Not everyone has family around to help out with childcare, if this is the case why not ask some like minded parent friends to set something up where you can help each other out. 

One final note from a self-confessed busy mum who works part time;

Often in daily life it can be hard to carve out time to spend really talking to your child, there is always laundry, dishes, homework and general chores to done. There is something about travelling that opens up new space to chat idly about what is going on your child’s life at that time. A little snapshot into what they are thinking, and how they experiencing this new place that they are going to. Sit in those moments and really listen, there are golden opportunities to see they person your child is becoming.

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