15 Tips for Travelling With Kids
Family trips are rich with new experiences and are just the ticket when it comes to spending time together as a family.
The ideal trip with kids is a well-planned one, whether you're heading to the Gold Coast for some theme park action, or Melbourne for the concert of your dreams. We love it when a family trip comes packed with life lessons and new experiences, and all the better to have everything sorted before you go to minimise mishaps and maximise fun!
As the air and bus travel experts, the SkyBus crew has put together our collective top fifteen travel tips for when you're on the move with your kids. Let's go!
1. Get clear on charges and costs
From booster seats to travel cots, kids often need extra gear. Check with your airline before you fly for hidden costs, necessary bookings or straight-out banned items. You're better to be prepared, pre-paid and have the right gear.
2. Plan your luggage end-to-end
It's one thing to pay for your extra luggage on your flight, but what about airport transfers, and if you need to hire special beds at your accomodation? Think through and plan for each step of this process.
3. Plan your packing
Map out what can go into your checked luggage, and what you need to keep as carry-on. From medicine to snacks to clean-up and comfort (like dummies) the right item in your carry-on can save the day.
4. Check in online
Check in online beforehand so you'll get seats together and get through the airport faster.
5. Activity packs
A bored child can be a challenging child, so it's worth packing some compact activities, from pencils to cards to games and iPads (don't forget the chargers!). A great activity is to journal the trip, so a cute diary for each child with plain pages will quickly fill up with draw-ings, ticket stubs and more.
6. Packing back-ups
If you're travelling with a baby or young toddler, a change of clothes for both you and them on the plane will be invaluable if there's a spill or bathroom accident.
7. Clear customs fast
We know better than most that aircraft bathrooms aren't especially roomy, but it's worth getting the kids to the toilet, then well-hydrated and fed before you disem-bark to avoid under tantrums and pee-knees while trying to get through customs.
8. Adjust to the local time zone
The sooner the whole family can adjust to a new time zone, the better. It's easier to keep kids awake than send them to bed extra early for the long-haul. It's important to remember that you're on holiday, and you can relax, enjoy activities and if little naps are needed, it's not the end of the world.
9. Slow down
The backpacking pace you might have managed with a few mates in your 20's isn't going to fly with kids in tow. Be realistic about what you can see and do, and plan for plenty of quiet times so the kids (and adults!) can recover.
10. Keep on strollin'
If you're going to be on the move a lot and your kids are a bit younger, even if they're good walkers, it could be worth having a stroller to hand for when they're tired, to pop luggage or souvenirs in, and even for them to have naps in.
11. Kid-Friendly accomodation
Accomodation that caters to kids will make a huge difference to your trip. From food choices, child care, parks and play zones, it'll keep the kids entertained in safety and adults can even enjoy some down-time.
12. Check sleeping arrangements
There's nothing like arriving at your accomodation and check-ing in to have the beds set up just how you want, or space for the travel cot. Make sure when you book that the hotel is clear on what you need, as it all adds up to a fast, comfortable arrival and first night's good sleep.
13. Keep bedtime familiar
Routine and familiarity makes for good sleep. Put the kids in bed at the same time you would at home, and follow the same bath, pyjama and reading rituals you nor-mally would (no matter how much you're itching to enjoy a daiquiri on the balcony). If they're comfortable, they'll sleep well. And a familiar sleep toy or book can work wonders.
14. Have food back-ups
Having a stash of healthy snacks will be worth its weight in gold if you face any travel delays. Lots of grumpiness can be staved off with a quick snack.
15. Expect the unexpected
You can't predict a bout of food poisoning the same way you can't predict a bout of the toddler grizzles or teen angst. From air travel delays, sickness, cancellations, lost luggage to missing passports, it's all part of the journey. Stay positive, use that travel insurance if you need to, and teach your kids by example how little these issues matter in the big picture and enjoy your trip!
We love that so many airlines are geared up for travelling with kids, just like SkyBus is. We have no limits on luggage, including sometimes tricky items like prams, and it's safe to travel with children of all ages on our buses.
We also have family ticket bundles that help you to save, and our fixed fares mean that there are no scary surprises when you're travelling on a budget.
To find out more about our family-friendly travel and ticketing, click below for more details. Happy travelling!