3 Tips To Turn Travelling With Kids Into A Fuss-Free Adventure

Travelling with kids can be a nerve-wracking, albeit joyful, experience. The chances are that you have worries regarding how they’ll cope with travel, or how well they’ll sleep away from home. You’re also probably wondering how your kids will deal with the less exciting elements of travel. Unfortunately, getting away isn’t all sunshine and beach days. Most overseas trips also involve paperwork and a lot of waiting around. That doesn’t mean traveling with kids can’t still be a fuss-free fun adventure for everyone involved. It does, however, mean you’ll want to make sure of family fun in the following crucial ways.

travelling with kids

Summer school holidays are going to be here before we know it and we’re shifting gears with travel as kiddo is almost 4. We made a recent trip to Singapore without the pram and it turned out fine with just a few small meltdowns despite the heat and fatigue. Flying and long road trips don’t make me as nervous as before as we’ve survived and chalked up transits, long haul, train rides and long road trips in Europe since the end of the pandemic.

This is a collaborative post for tips and tricks. Do the prep work before the trip and you should be good to go as there’s not much you can control once you’ve hit the road. Don’t forget to always pack some medicines and paracetamol, our kiddo always has waves of fever while we’re away, but it’s mostly symptom-free, with the immune system doing overtime to build resistance to new viruses.

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Tackle technicalities well in advance

If you fail to tackle the boring travel bureaucracy before you head off, there’s a risk that your whole family will have to spend at least some travel time in dull corporate offices, or airport back rooms. And, if that happens, you can guarantee that your kids will get bored, argumentative, and generally downhearted.

Avoid this by tackling boring form-filling and technical stuff well in advance.If you need to fill out visa or insurance forms, aim to fill and send them at least a month or more before your trip. A week or so before, you should also tell your bank you’re going abroad so that you don’t waste vital vacation days chasing up additional spending money, or worrying about what happens if you click a phishing link or fall for some other financial scam during your time away.

Make sure, too, that you keep things like copies of any insurance, visas, and your bank’s overseas number in a handy travel pack. That way, even if the worst happens, you can deal with things before your children even notice anything amiss.

I can’t stress the importance of travel insurance – delays, lost baggage, missed connections. There are plenty on the market and you have to find what works best. We have an annual family travel insurance plan and there are many booking sites that offer insurance add-ons at a favourable rate.

Packing in Advance

Your children will likely wake up fizzing with excitement on travel day. Keep that buzzing feeling alive by avoiding boring tasks like packing your bags on the big day. Instead, make sure to have ready-packed bags already in the back of the car. That way, even if you have a later flight, you can spend the morning or day doing fun tasks to get your kids in a good vacation mood.

To make sure your bags are ready in time, why not turn this into a fun preparatory task throughout the week before you head off? This way, as well as avoiding a buzzkill on travel day, your kids can pack in half-hour chunks that, over time, get them more and more excited about going away.

Our kiddo loves packing his own suitcase “valise” and it gives him a sense of ownership and excitement for the trip to come. I know it may not work for everyone as a packing exercise that takes 30 minutes could take hours. Personally, we’ve had great experiences getting kiddo involved.

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Don’t Arrive Too Early

Organized travelers might like to arrive at the airport or for excursions hours early, but this is rarely a good idea with children. There’s only so far their excitement to get on a plane will take you before your kids start to get bored. And, any parent knows that boredom is the death of good family time. Admittedly, you don’t want to leave things so late that you’re at risk of missing flights or excursion transport, but there’s more leeway for this than you might think. Arriving at the airport the advised two hours before travel is plenty of time to get through security and explore before they call your gate. Equally, aim to arrive no more than fifteen minutes before an excursion so that your kids are fresh, having fun, and ready to go without any risk of boredom seeping in.

If all else fails, distract distract and snacks!

Don’t be afraid to dangle a carrot

Travel isn’t always fun. Even the trip from the airport to your hotel can take an hour or more depending on where you’re staying. Or, it may be that an excursion doesn’t start on time. If you do find yourself in any kind of financial trouble, or needing to claim your travel insurance for any reason, there’s also sure to be some time spent waiting in a bland overseas office. 

But none of this needs to be the end of your children’s fun if you simply learn how to dangle a travel carrot. After all, there are plenty of things to look forward to on any trip. Keep a brochure with you, and if all else fails and you feel your children starting to grumble, get it out and start making plans for the coming days. As well as bringing your kids back to the fun of your trip, this is a great distraction technique that will keep everyone busy until those passing boring moments are done. 

I highly recommend stickers, crayons, sketchbook and snacks to get through pickles. And if all else fails, the ipad always saves the day.

Save kids from ever having to complain about vacation boredom with these simple techniques to keep things fun for everyone. I always wondered if all the stress and preparation for travelling with kids was worth it since children don’t form long lasting memories until after 4 years old, but I realised that all these new experiences are fantastic learning opportunities about the world around them.

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