What We Wish We Knew Before Travelling With Kids

5 September 2019
Read Time: 4.5 mins

Real advice from those who’ve flown, road-tripped and caught public transport with kids in tow. Because who doesn’t need help navigating the ins and outs of family travel?

Working for Flight Centre, we’re a pretty well-travelled bunch. Whether it’s flying overseas to take the new baby to meet the grandparents for the first time or organising a cruise for your entire family tree, chances are we’ve been there, done that. And lived to tell the tale.

So here’s what we’ve learnt and wished others had told us before our first family trip. You’re welcome.

two boys watch planes at the airport Watching planes land and takeoff at the airport is part of the journey.

“The number-one thing I wish someone had told me: Halve your itinerary. Whatever you think you're going to get done in a day, halve it. Everything takes longer and you need to allow time for the unexpected good (impromptu bird watching or curiosity about an ant, for example) and the unexpected bad (tantrums).”

Erin Bennion, Content Writer

“That you’ll have to adapt how you travel now (i.e before kids) to accommodate a little person who needs to sleep, eat, go to the toilet, play and sit down. Often. If you’re used to travelling at a breakneck pace and plan a lot of active adventures when you holiday, you’ll need to slow down and pace yourself for plenty of playtime. Not necessarily a bad thing actually!”

Cassandra Laffey, Content & Social Engagement Manager

“Car seats are expensive to hire, it’s often cheaper to buy one in the destination and donate it at the end of your trip.”

Tim Watts, Flight Centre Exclusives & Complex Air Marketing

“Kids actually don't care where they are, as long as there's a playground.”

Kari Edie, Destination Owner – Oceania

RELATED: Baby's first time on plane? Top tips to fly by

 

“Or a pool! Really, we could be holidaying anywhere just as long as there is a pool.”

Cassandra Laffey, Content & Social Engagement Manager

“If you are bottlefeeding a baby, always take extra supplies of formula in case of delays on the journey.”

Felicity Allan, State Marketing Manager South Australia 

“There's a nanny service on Etihad Airways!”

Luke Wheatley, Head of Brand, Creative & Content  

Mother and baby in NYC Be prepared and you can take the baby to the big city.

“Travel as much as you can before they are on the move. As intimidating as it might seem to travel with a new baby, especially as a first-time parent, it is so much easier to do so before they start crawling or walking. Once they are on the move, getting them to sit still on a plane is mission impossible.”

Karen Thysse, State Marketing Manager WA & NT 

“Once they are on the move, local driving holidays are much easier than getting on a plane. Enjoy some domestic and local breaks until they are around three or four years when flying becomes a bit easier with the use of iPads.”

Karen Thysse, State Marketing Manager WA & NT

“Road trips with a child under one year old is NEVER a good idea.”

Kari Edie, Destination Owner – Oceania

“Always have games, books and technology for a long flight.”

Allisa O’Connell, Executive General Manager

“Pack a small drawing book, colouring pencils and felt tips in a compact case that zips shut. It’s invaluable for planes and in cafes while travelling.”

Matt Fryer, Traffic & Content Production

Child looking out car window Tackle long road trips with older kids and take plenty of diversions and snacks on board.

“Kids won't always like plane food – always have back-up food on hand including snacks.”

Allisa O’Connell, Executive General Manager

RELATED: Want more tips for flying with kids? Here's 50 more tips from the experts

“You can never take too many snacks on a plane.”

Kari Edie, Destination Owner – Oceania

 

“Take a change of clothes in your carry-on, not only for your kids, but also for yourself in case your angel vomits on you!”

Felicity Allan, State Marketing Manager South Australia 

“Villa or apartment accommodation is a great option if you have kids under three. Kids that age are still quite dependent on their nap times and early bed times, so with a villa or apartment, once the kids go to sleep, you'll still have an area (i.e. lounge or pool if you're in a pool villa etc.) that you can enjoy while they are sleeping. It is also very convenient to have a fridge and microwave available for their food or milk.”

Karen Thysse, State Marketing Manager WA & NT

“If you are staying at a resort for a holiday, the kids club is almost as important as the pool, bar and room size. If you can, upgrade your room size so that adding an extra rollaway bed still leaves space for everyone.”

Allisa O’Connell, Executive General Manager

Boy and dad swim in the ocean Beach resort holidays generally tick all the boxes for all the family.

“Spend the money and get the bigger room. Especially if your child is having daytime sleeps.”

Kari Edie, Destination Owner – Oceania

“Bottle or breastfeeding your baby as the plane is taking off and landing will help them with their ears. The movement of their jaws as they swallow helps them pop their ears, which means they won't be in a lot of pain.”

Karen Thysse, State Marketing Manager WA & NT 

“Relax. No one cares if your baby is crying on a plane – it's OK.”

Luke Wheatley, Head of Brand, Creative & Content  


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