Giving kids the experience of travel, both within Australia and overseas, is something which will teach them so much, more than any text book can.
Showing kids other peoples culture and history, learning new languages, trying new foods, showing them how other people live, will not only create so much learning but will also create so many great memories.
The key to a stress free holiday with kids is to pay attention to their needs. Do not try and do too much, gone are the days of seeing 7 countries in 15 days! Kids function better with some stability so try and stay in one location for at least 3 nights. (Also makes unpacking and repacking kids stuff easier)
Plan your days to allow for rest, food and play stops – babies and young children still need to sleep in the day and older children will get restless if there is no play time allocated.
Bored and overtired children become cranky kids in a hurry. By remembering the kinds of things that keep children entertained, you can be prepared before the journey begins.
Have your kids be a part of the holiday planning – that way your itinerary will include things that will interest everyone.
When Booking Accommodation
There are loads of accommodation options suitable for families, holiday resorts with kids club, hotels with kid’s activities and so on. A lot of these places offer kids stay and eat for free (at certain times), and really welcome young travellers.
When you are booking ask about room facilities – e.g. for safety (balcony type, courtyards that are closed off), kitchen, microwave. It’s also handy to ask about room configurations to ensure they will suit you and your children.
We recommend booking at least a one bedroom apartment (separate bedroom to living area) with a baby and two bedrooms if you have two or more children. Remember babies and small children still need to sleep in the day and go to bed early, so if they are sleeping where you are living you won’t have a holiday at all.
Also look into baby equipment rental companies, they operate in a lot of major and regional areas, and offer portacots, prams, car seats and toys for hire. (it will save you lugging this stuff with you)
Safety whilst travelling
- When travelling by car, always have your vehicle serviced before you go – have the oil changed, your tyres checked, brake lights checked and so on to ensure your vehicle is in top condition.
- Always put ID bands on your children, especially in a crowded place, like a theme park, the beach or in a city. These record your child’s name and your contact details in case they get lost.
- If travelling overseas or to a remote location, check what medical facilities are available, whether that is at the hotel, or local hospital or medical centre. You do not want to be looking for this information when your child is sick. Always pack a comprehensive medical kit appropriate to your destination.
- Water and food hygiene is critical to ensure nasty bugs do not ruin your holiday. Always take care, drink bottled water if you are unsure and use common sense with foods you buy. Also use an antibacterial spray to kill germs in toilets, on table tops, in public transport, anywhere.
- Get a hotel card containing their contact details in the local language so you can easily give it to a taxi or bus driver to take you back to the hotel or nearest stop. Also get the concierge to write down any other places you will be visiting in the local language so you can easily communicate this to your taxi or bus driver.
- Leave details of your holiday with a family member or close friend at home, including flights, hotel details, insurance details, copy of passport and birth certificate. Here’s an easy to complete form to hold all of these details.
Most importantly enjoy the experience with your children, take lots of photos and get the kids to write a journal – it will hold all of the great memories of your trip.
This post was written by Donna Fingland of www.haggusandstookles.com.au and www.kidstravelblog.com.au. Haggus and Stookles and the Kids Travel Blog aim to help parents with products, tips and reviews to travel and get out and about with their kids.
If you like to contribute to our blog, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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