Travel Tips

Family travel tips

At Travel Without Tears we’ve learnt through years of travelling with our kids and speaking to many, many families what works and what doesn’t. In fact, we’ve written a whole book about it and we reckon we’ve only just scratched the surface. The same questions pop up time and again. Fortunately we have most of the answers. Read on below for our top travel tips, or click through here for more essential tips.

  1. How do I survive a long plane flight?

This is the question we are asked most often. The thought of having to cope with a long-haul flight is the reason why many parents won’t travel with their kids at all. The best thing you can do to reduce the stress of air travel is to change your attitude. Think like your kids, for whom flying and all that’s associated with it – from soaring above the clouds to meals in trays – is a fascinating adventure.

Click here for more tips on travelling with a baby and travelling with toddlers.

  1. Accommodation: hotels vs apartments

When travelling with kids you do need to choose accommodation carefully. If your children still have daytime sleeps you need somewhere where you are happy to spend a bit of time – so ideally you’d find somewhere with a separate living space (rather than a studio), or a balcony or veranda, where you can read a book or relax while they rest.

Having some sort of kitchen facility is a real bonus for families, and can save you money too. We love travelling to places where we can go to the local market and buy fresh produce to cook up back at our accommodation. Dining out for every meal gets wearing after a few days.

  1. How do I keep my kids healthy when we’re away?

Staying healthy when you’re away starts with planning well before you go. The first thing to do is see a doctor about what sort of vaccinations are recommended for your destination. You should start thinking about this about eight weeks prior to departure in case you need a course of vaccinations.

See Travel Health, Travel Vaccinations and Travel First Aid Kit for more travel tips.

  1. What’s the most important item I should pack?

A sense of humour and a sense of adventure.  Plus any medications you require – and ALWAYS pack these in your carry on. With babies and toddlers, make sure you’ve got a collapsible lightweight umbrella stroller that you can wheel to the airport gate.

See Travel Packing List for more packing tips.

  1. What sort of trip is right for my family?

Every family is unique, and children at different ages and stages have specific needs and wants. However we often talk about “now and then” trips – things to do before your kids get to a certain age and things that you should wait for, until they are old enough. The other thing to remember is: it’s your holiday too – not just your kids’ – so it pays to have something for everyone.