It’s that time of the year. Whether by planes, trains, or automobiles, families everywhere are getting ready to travel. You might be visiting family, getting away from the everyday, or just doing some epic day trips. That’s right, it’s time to celebrate our collective insanity at daring to go travelling with kids!
While Ash lives in Brisbane, Em lives in Bermuda, so we travel a lot and frequently with our young families in tow. We’ve survived the meltdowns, dragged tiny bodies across the international terminal, and taken so many deep breaths the oxygen mask drops from above.
So you’re hearing it straight from the horses’ mouth. As well-travelled parents who only THINK about ditching the kids and making a run for it, here are our time-tested tips for successfully travelling with kids.
Em’s tips for travelling with kids
Since moving to Bermuda we fly A LOT. We need to in order to get, well, anywhere! And if I’m honest, it’s not always a treat. It often requires a very stiff drink once we’ve boarded. While we’ve never pulled a ‘Home Alone’, my son Sebastian has made a run for it. Once in the queue to go through US customs in Atlanta, he bolted through customs into the airport. I then had to run after him, which he of course thought was a game of chase. So now we had him running, looking back giggling, me chasing after him screeching, and US customs barking closely behind me... I did have a very fleeting desire to stop dead in my tracks and wave SAYONARA to the brat leaving customs to deal with him!
Regardless of the occasional blooper, we’ve become a well-oiled travelling machine. Here’s what works for us:
- iPADS, iPADS and more iPADS – Haha! But seriously, lots of iPads
- Loads of snacks
- Change of clothes for everyone – including me as I have been vomited on, had nappies leak on me... you can imagine the rest
- New colouring-in books – I also get them to choose a magazine or fun thing in the airport shop and when they completely loose it that’s when I whip it out. Works a treat!
- On a night flight they don’t get to watch the iPad, instead I drug them force them to sleep first. Then if they wake up they can watch it
- No walking around on the plane unless they need to go to the bathroom
- I recently discovered travel cubes – the kids and I travelled for 5 weeks over the Summer with one suitcase between us, and these saved my life. We each had 3 cubes (well I had about 5, but I need options 😉) and I separated out the clothes so I didn’t have to unpack at every stop
Ash’s tips for travelling with kids
Don't do it!
No, I'm kidding :D What I’ve found is that it's best to be over prepared. It’s like what they say: hope for the best, prepare for the worst!
- Load up the iPad with games, movies, and TV shows. Buy activity books and something new for each child – novelty is a powerful distractor
- We also have this awesome magnet puzzle which keeps them entertained for ages - every little bit helps
- Snacks and lots of them. We've been delayed for hours and then NOT given a meal on a 14-hour flight before. The lesson is: always have food
- Change of clothes for the team and loads of wipes and nappies
- How cool do these things look? I'm yet to try them, but the feature that allows kids to lie flat in a plane or car would be amazing!
- The Ergo 360 – comfortable, flexible, and keeps the little one on you so your tired travel brain doesn’t leave them behind. Lifesaver
- Or Baby Bjorn for getting on and off the plane EVEN if they are walking. Carrying hand luggage and a toddler when they decide they don't want to walk off the plane is a pain in the a**!
Oh, hello happy jetsetting parent!
Well there you have it. If you ever see us looking cool and calm at the airport (or whatever form of transport we’re using) with our kids, you now know how much prep went into it. Prep and iPads. Did we mention the iPads??
How about you? What are your lifesavers when you’re travelling with kids? Share your tips below, and we guarantee it will help out another parent, and us!