Travelling with children is both exciting and really nerve wracking. Readers of Life Unexpected will know, that we’ve been really busy preparing for our world travels at the end of the year. It’ll be our first time going long haul with our toddler, despite us being seasoned in our road trips and stay-cations.
Our family loves going on holiday together and we are beyond excited to go away in winter and see more of the world. We have already started planning our route and are starting to write lists of the essentials we plan to take with us.
Recently, George at Asda got in touch and asked us to share our top tips and essential items, for making travelling with children a little bit easier.
Plan, plan, plan!
Going on holiday is so exciting! But, whether you are planning to travel by train, plane or car, make sure you do your research.
Are you travelling with a baby or a toddler?
When booking your accommodation, make sure you ask if they have facilities for children. Do they have high chairs? Travel cots? Are they family friendly?
Work out if you need to take things like a travel cot with you. We once got to a hotel, only to find out that there wasn’t a travel cot in our room. With a young baby in tow, this wasn’t an ideal experience.
Are you going on walking holiday? Do you really need to take a large travel system? Would a stroller be easier or a baby carrier?
Think about what you need to take to make your luggage lighter, but your travels easier. Here are some of the things we love!
Plan in advance what you are going to pack. You’ll be so surprised about how much you need to take when you are travelling with a little baby or toddler. Do they need toys? Pull-ups? Formula?
Before you start packing, make a list of everything you need. Travelling with children is a little bit different than travelling as a couple. You need to take a lot of extra things with you.
Have your list with you when you’re packing your suitcase and triple check it. We’ve experienced rush packing with a toddler only to get half way to our destination and realise that we didn’t pack nappies. Although it was easy to find some, it was an extra expense that wasn’t necessary.
Prepare for the road trip!
We love the road trip. We love listening to music, the stops in the services to get snacks and magazine, and the whole excitement of getting to our destination.
When travelling with children, too often people forget to prepare for long car journeys. Hitting queues can be really frustrating. Make sure you’re not caught out by taking with you lots of activities, snacks and water!
We love some of these essentials that make travelling in the car a little bit easier and a bit more fun:
Munchkin Day and Night Music Mirror £20 // Munchkin Deluxe Snack Pod £8.49 // Munchkin Backseat and Pushchair Organiser £15 // Chicco Baby Driver £15 // Koo-di Ipad Holder £14.99 // Easton Tote Changing Bag £26.99
We often get themed magazines for our daughter, and bring a few select toys that she can play with en-route. We pack them in a backseat organiser so they’re easy for her to reach when we’re driving.
Pack A Carry On Bag!
Even if you’re not going to the airport, pack a bag full of easy to grab items, so you don’t need to rummage around in your suitcases while you’re travelling. A word of warning, don’t let your child pack their own bag, or if they do, make sure you check it over after!
Fill your carry on back with snacks, activities, water and any other essentials you might need on the way.
Plan Your Itinerary
Being spontaneous is a lot of fun, but when you are travelling with children, planning is really sensible. Make sure you note the attractions you want to see with your children and plan for transport.
How are you getting from the airport to your hotel? Do they have transport going to each place you want to visit?
Prepare for the costs of transport too! We recently stayed at Bluestone National Park and didn’t plan for how big the site was.
Our lodge was quite far away from everything, so we ended up hiring a golf buggy to get around. The buggy would have been half the price if we’d pre-planned and pre-booked. It doesn’t hurt to make a lose plan before you leave and to see if you can get pre-booked travel for cheaper.
Prepare For Accidents
You never know what could happen when you are travelling with children. We’ve got an emergency car breakdown kit full of goodies. Our car kit is so handy and is full of essentials we can use in a traffic jam, if our car breaks down or if one of us falls ill or falls over.
Don’t forget to take some essentials like this with you on holiday, just in case your little one gets poorly or hurts themselves. Even if it’s just plasters, medicine and after sun, having a few items like this can be really helpful.
Not sure what the weather is doing? Make sure you double check it before you leave your house. We’ve recently been on a couples holiday to Italy. The weather a few days before said it would be glorious. We didn’t check again just before we left and arrived only to be met with rain and cold.
Naturally we had packed our summer clothes and the only warm clothes we had were the ones we travelled in. Luckily we saw the humour in it and still had a great time.
Most importantly have fun. Travelling with children creates life long memories for both you and for them. Travelling to your destination can be a little bit stressful and your children getting used to their new surroundings can take a little while.
Try and make the whole process of travelling a fun experience for them, so it’ll be easier for all of you. Most importantly, enjoy it all!
What are your top tips for travelling with children? Do you agree with this list? Is there anything you would add? Let us know in the comments below.
*This is a collaborative post! All thoughts are honest and are our own.