Including long haul flight tips and travel packing tips
Travelling is wonderful for soloists, couples, and indeed families. It can be a little more difficult with families though. The added stress of entertaining children, finding a toilet at a moment’s notice, and constantly handing out the snacks can take its toll. Suddenly a holiday doesn’t feel like much of a holiday! Use these top family travel tips though and you’ll be enjoying your holiday in no time!
Before you book anywhere make sure you remember the basics which are:
Research for cheap flights. Our favorite price comparison sites are:
Skyscanner – Skyscanner is really easy to use. With no hidden costs or charges, they bring up the best flight prices for that day.
Kayak – Kayak can save you money by searching through all the cheap tickets and bringing you up only the best deals. It works great if you are looking for a last-minute flight.
Cheap Flights – You can search and compare flights really quickly here. They have partnered with loads of different flight companies to try and get you the best deal.
Travel Supermarket – This is a pretty stress-free website to use. They search all flights including economy and budget airlines to get you where you need to go at the price you want to pay.
Remember when searching for flights to use the Incognito mode on your phone and laptop. Flight prices can go up and down when there is a high or low search volume so to keep the prices steady, use the private mode for the best and reliable deals that could save you money.
Start packing early so that you can pack and empty your case a few times.
Wear suncream even when it doesn’t look sunny. Sunburn on holiday is rough.
If you have a baby then ring your accommodation in advance so they can prepare for everything you need. This stops you from having to wait for a cot or highchair to be found. You may even be able to order nappies and wipes to be delivered before you get there saving you from having to brng them.
Remember your sunglasses as I always forget mine!
Download over 20+ free travel printables
If you are looking for more travel tips or packing lists and travel sheets then come join our free Resource Vault. It is packed full of free printables that you can download as many times as you like!
Come join our free Resource Vault here
(By joining giving us your email address you are consenting to us emailing you about our other travel, home and lifestyle ideas. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of every email.)
Family Travel Tips
These are best family travel tips that can ensure you have the best family holiday. We’ve included everything from long haul flight travel tips to car journeys and hotel stays.
Destination is key
We all want a restful holiday as a family so thinking carefully about what everyone needs is a must before you book. Can your kids handle a long-haul flight? Is there enough for everyone to do so you don’t have to keep entertaining everyone? Think of the climate that everyone can handle and how far things are to do from your accommodation.
Get the kids involved
Get the kids to help you plan the holiday. Talk them through the options and see which one excites them more. You may think that they want splash parks and twenty-four-hour entertainment but they might just want a beach and constant food. If your kids are too young to decide then think about what you do at home. Are they active toddlers? Then a holiday park might be good which normally offers loads of entertainment. You really can get kids of any age excited about travel.
Make sure that your family are up to date on all their vaccinations. Some countries have mandatory vaccinations that you must have so make sure that you check with your doctor before you travel. Some vaccinations you do need to pay for and need enough time between doses so make sure you check as soon as you’ve booked your holiday.
Things happen when you go on holiday anyway but with kids, the risks are a lot more. Make sure that you have the kids and yourself covered for anything that happens while away. This could include anything with your health or losses. Also, remember to cover your actual holiday so if you suddenly can’t go for any reason you can try and claim as much back as you can.
Book all transfers
There’s nothing worse then after a long flight than having to find a taxi for bus to get you where you need to go. Book your transfers when you book your holiday so you don’t have to think about anything. This includes car hire or a taxi to and from the airport.
These are your friend. If you are packing suitcases buy some packing cubes keep everything in. It means that you can pull them straight out and put them straight into cupboards without too much hassle.
Pack a first aid kit
This is vital when going on holiday with kids. We all know, as a parent that even the smallest bruise can cause the biggest meltdown. Make sure that you pack everything that you’ll normally carry around with you anyone plus Calpol and anything else you may struggle to be abroad. Our full list is:
Gauze dressings in all shapes
4 sterile eye dressings
Crêpe rolled bandages
Disposable sterile gloves
Alcohol-free cleansing wipes
Skin rash cream
Insect bite cream
You can print this list yourself from our free Resource Vault.
Plan everything that you are going to do on holiday. While it’s nice to have some surprises, not knowing what to do can cause arguments. Get everyone involved to decide what you are going to do each day you are away.
Have a real think about what you need to need to pack compared to what you want to pack. Think about the room you have in your car or the weight of the suitcases if you are flying.
One of the worst ways to feel on a long trip is uncomfortable. Whether it’s too warm or too itchy, it makes the trip feel longer than it is and it can bring annoyance and even tears. Make sure everyone is comfortable before your travel. Be it a pair of joggers and a hoodie so you feel cozy or something a little lighter. If you’re hoping the children sleep on the flight or you’re flying at night, let them wear their pyjamas! Comfort is key when travelling.
Pack By Category
One of the worst things to do is make sure everyone has their own carry on bag with what they need in it. This creates a lot of extra bags! Whilst the kids having their own luggage might seem like a good idea, how long are they actually going to be happy to carry it for? If the grown ups have a bag each (see below) you can simply pack by category. Packing squares are perfect for this, keeping snacks together, entertainment and toys together, spare clothes together and toiletries together. This way you’ll know where to access things when they are required.
You might have some wonderful suitcases but suitcases take up space. No one tends to under pack a suitcase, often taking things they don’t need. When you take things you don’t need, you might end up paying to take items with you that you never actually use. A great holiday for a jumper that is never worn! Suitcases also need a hand to pull them along or carry them.
By using backpacks, you throw them on your back and you’ve now got both hands still available. Keeping your children close by is very important when travelling, as is the other requirements of being a parent, such as helping them go to the toilet or opening the snack they’ve just asked for! Backpacks could be the ultimate family travel hack!
Pack for an emergency
Make sure that you have an extra credit card with you in case something does wrong. It means that you always have money to hand. We both wear a money belt while on holiday and split the money and credit cards between us. That way, if something happens to one of us at least we still have some money.
This includes your suitcases and carry-on bags. This works great for all flights but also if you are leaving your bags at reception for someone else to take to your room or campsite. Put a ribbon on each item so that you can easily spot in in a crowd full of other bags.
Pack Some Sweets
If you’re flying, remember some sweets for take-off and landing. Children have more sensitive ears than adults and might feel the popping in your ears. It’s the pressurisation of the cabin that you feel through discomfort in your ears and children feel it a lot more. Sucking on some boiled sweets or chewing some gum can counteract this and make the take off and landing process that much more enjoyable for all.
Take empty water bottles
You can’t take liquids over a certain size through airport security. Yet you can take empty water bottles and fill them up on the other side. Many airport lounges have water refill points. Take a couple of empty water bottles with you to make sure everyone can stay hydrated and have access to a drink when they need it.
Keep the excitement
You might feel stressed or maybe hate flying yourself. But if the children pick up on this they’re likely to lose interest in the travelling side of things. Maintain that excitement by making a big deal about being on the plane, in a positive way. Ask them what they can see, keep them entertained with games or a new toy, and some screen time. Excitement and fun will help the time pass too.
Wipes are you friends
Be sure that you have some baby wipes in your bag as children will get messy, even when there is no mess to get messy with! From toilet issues in terminals to sticky hands after meals, wipes come in handy everywhere you go.
Keep important documents handy
While you are trying to watch the kids, it can be easy to get flustered when asked for your travel documents like passports or visas. Keep them in a handy side pocket so you can get them out quickly and slide them back in when they aren’t needed. There’s nothing worse than having to go through your whole bag while trying to watch for the kids.
Take photos of all your documents
Take photos of all your documents and passports, including the kid’s birth certificates as they may be needed at the airport. It’s always best to have the originals with you but if the worst happens and you can’t find them at least you have a copy on your phone.
Think about your flight
Think about your flight before you book it. Is it going to be easier or harder to do a night flight? When are the kids in a better mood? Planning your trip around what is easiest will make everyone feel at ease.
Nothing is worse than a hungry child or teenager. Bring as many snacks as you can so that they can eat on the journey. This helps keep everyone’s mood up.
Buy an extra seat
There was a Mummy hack online not long ago showing how with a certain airline carrier if you booked an additional seat for £100, you got an entire row to yourself. This meant you could take advantage of the fact the special seats fold out to create bed space. So you can actually get a decent sleep laying down, instead of creaking your neck trying to sleep sitting up. Sounds good to us!
Use those services
The final family travel hack is to take advantage of the free airport services that airlines offer. Lots of them offer an escort service, giving you a little bit of extra help getting to the plane. This could be a great idea if you’re a single parent travelling with more than one child, any help is good! You never know, you might even get a ride to the gate or be boarded before other flyers. Ask about these services and take advantage of them!
Depending on the age of your kids you may need to do a lot of entertainment while travelling. If you are in the car or plane, I-Spy or Rock, Paper, Scissors is a great game. Sometimes though, only technology will do so make sure that the chargers are packed and the headphones are ready.
Have a stopover
If you think that too much travelling is going to be tough then have a think about a layover somewhere to break it all up. This may help you all to recharge your batteries ready to start travelling again the next day.
Jet-lag can be a killer on grown-ups never mind kids. Think about the time you may need to all recover. Packing too much in on the first day could put a bit dampener on the rest of your trip.
Learn about the country you are visiting
If this will be the first time you are travelling to this country then research all its customs and rules. knowing what to expect will help take any of the surprises out of your holiday.
Is self-catering for you?
The idea of having someone else cook for you does sound nice but is it practical for you? Could a self-catering holiday be a little less stressful even if you do have to make every meal?
Think about the hotel layout
Before you book, check the hotel layout and have a think about how it’s going to work for your family. Is one room enough? Are you all going to get enough sleep? Ask anyone you know if they know of any family-friendly hotels.
Pre-book all activities
If there is something in particular that the kids want to do then make sure you book it in advance. This saves any disappointments from happening.
Try and learn the language
Knowing at least some of the words from the country you are visiting can really help you get around. We always make sure that we learn the name for “toilet or restroom” as it’s always needed when you have kids. You could always use Google translate though if you become stuck.
Plan your route
If you are on a driving holiday then know exactly where you are going before you get in the car. This stops any arguments or a longer car trip if you do end up getting lost.
Stop for ice cream
Everyone can be cheered up with ice cream. If the kids are getting cranky then it may be time to sweeten everyone up with an ice cream stop to remind everyone that you are actually on holiday.
Try something new
Use your holiday as a reason to try something new. Go somewhere you’ve never been before and try something that you’ve never even thought about doing. The kids will love your sense of adventure and it’s something that you call all truly bond over.
While this trip may be your holiday of a lifetime, for the kids, it’s time with you that’s important. Go ahead and plan all the things that you all want to do but know that some of them won’t get done. You’ll going to have days when you need to sit by the pool and just relax.
Make sure that you capture every moment you can. We normally take our phones as they have great picture quality. Pictures and videos are a great way to relive your holiday when you get back.
Try new foods
Use this time to try new foods. Get the kids out of their comfort zones and see what you all like and don’t like. It could be fin trying new foods together and bonding over the good and bad tastes.
Pick up souvenirs
We always pick up magnets wherever we go so that we can look back at them and remember the good times. The kids always get to pick one to bring home.
Bring the family or friends
There is nothing like a huge family holiday to bring out the fun in everyone. Make this trip the holiday that everyone remembers by going together. If you have good friends, then holidaying with another family can be great for all of you. It means that the kids have someone else to play with and you get to have the social side of the holiday too.
Childcare is an option
Don’t feel guilty about using the childcare that is on offer. Even adults need a break. The kids will have a great time with as many planned activities as they can manage while you use the time to do whatever you want.
We hope these nine family travel hacks help you out on your adventures. Happy travels!
If you enjoyed this post and would like some more travel tips then have a look at our section here for our full guide to what you need for the perfect holiday. You could also pop over to our Pinterest boards for lots more travel tips on Travel Tips for Beginners and Beginner Travel Guides.
What the * means
If a link has an * by it, then this means it is an affiliate link and helps S4SM stay free for all. If you use the link, it may mean that we receive a very small payment. It will not cost you anymore that it would normally.
You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. The items we write about are NEVER dictated by these links. We aim to look at all products on the market. If it isn’t possible to get an affiliate link, then the link, or product is still included in the same way, just with a non-paying link.