25 of the Best Tips for Travel with Kids

Travel with kids needn’t be a hassle. In fact, it can be one of the best experiences you have as a family.

Kayaking in Channel Islands National Park, California

The key ingredients to a smooth family vacation when traveling with kids are to pay attention to their needs, and find the right balance between rest time and activities..

Bored and overtired children become cranky and frustrated kids in a hurry.

Whilst our style of travel has evolved throughout the years from being solo travelers, to a couple, and now a family travel, there are some core travel habits that have served us well, and we continue to follow them to this day.

25 of the best tips for travel with kids

1. Slow Down

Plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt if solo or as a couple. Especially if you are traveling with kids and grandparents.

Be realistic about what you can see and do when traveling with kids. Don’t try to cram too much into your itinerary.

The less you feel you have to see, the more enjoyable and stress-free for everyone.

25 tips for travel with kids

For the most part, the pace of the trip should be set to what your youngest child can handle. Build into your agenda time for stops along the way for bathroom breaks, snack breaks, and nap time.

If you can avoid cranky children it will make for a much more pleasant family travel experience.

2. Determine Your Family Travel Preferences

Sit down with your family and discuss your ideas and interests. Memorable trips are those where each member of the family gets to experience something they love.

Talk about budgets, expectations, and how you can work with the dollars available to plan an exciting family trip.

25 Tips for Travel with Kids

Travel experts have found that the most successful family vacations are those that involve both parents and children in choosing destinations and planning for their trip.

Through these conversations, you will learn more about each other’s needs and find destinations and activities to suit the whole family.

Read More: 7 tips for planning a family travel experience everyone will love 

25 Tips for Travel with Kids

3. Be Flexible when traveling with kids

Avoiding holiday periods when traveling with kids and traveling off-season can yield big savings on flights and accommodation.

Even if your kids are in school, consider traveling just outside of major school holiday periods. We enjoyed a quiet family beach vacation to Myrtle Beach by doing this!

Give yourself the best chance to capture a cheap flight. Leaving a few days or even weeks before or after your ideal date could mean the difference of hundreds of dollars.

Think about using airfare sales to help determine your family vacation destination and time of departure rather than the other way around.

Sites like Kayak Explore and Skyscanner can help. Just plug in your departure city and check out the list of available deals.

4. Pack Smart when you travel with kids

Pack the bare minimum when you travel with kids because you can always buy what you need in your destination.

Roll clothes and stuff socks and underwear inside shoes. Wear your heaviest clothes on the flight. Encourage kids to choose and pack their own clothes to minimize complaints and to teach travel skills.

Select versatile and comfortable clothes and color-coordinated separates so if something gets dirty you only have to change part of the outfit.

And pack bags with what is needed first on the top — a change of clothes for dinner, pyjamas, or what is needed during the day including a change of clothes in case of accidents.

Hot Tip – Halve your clothes, double your budget.

Read more:

5. Family Travel Hotel Tips

Pick a Kid Friendly Location – Stay in a safe and central area that’s close to local attractions, food outlets, the beach, the park, and all preferably within walking distance. This will save you time, money, and your kids from getting bored.

One of the great features of the Booking.com website is you search by Family Hotels.

Stay More Than 1 Night – Many hotels provide their best deals when you stay over more than one night.

Stay over Sunday – Many hotels receive Friday and Saturday night bookings from leisure travelers and Monday-Friday bookings from their business travelers, so there can be a void on Sunday nights.

Check for Family Deals – Always ask about discounted rates, free meals for children, and an upgrade at check in – they can only say no.

A Pool and games room – Kids love both of these options. Does the pool have any special features (like a slide or waterfalls)?

25 Tips for Travel with Kids

Make Sure the hotel has a Lift – Carrying strollers, toys, and luggage up several flights of stairs is NO FUN!

What’s the room configuration? – For our family of four two double beds is required or a portable cot. If you have a baby make sure this is available, and for free.

Coupons and Discounts – Check out the brochure shelf in the lobby and any tourist literature in your room for ways to shave a few bucks off the price of your family vacation.

Enrol in a Loyalty Program – Many hotel chains are now offering free loyalty programs with incentives like earning free rooms after multiple stays. If you travel often and stay at the same chain, or one of its participating partners, you may save on future family vacations.

Check the Dining Options – Does the hotel restaurant and room service have a kids’ menu?

TV Channels – Does the hotel offer several family-oriented cable stations, like Disney, Nickelodeon, AMC, Discovery and Lifetime? Is there a movie library with kids’ movies?

Bathtub  – You’ll want to be sure that your room will include a bathtub.

Laundry  – For longer vacations, check to see whether the hotel has coin-operated machines for hotel guests.

Read our post on how to find budget accommodation.

6. Consider a Cruise or All-Inclusive Resort

With activities to appeal to every generation, food choices to suit all ages, and itineraries that can be full-on or you just sit around and do nothing, a cruise or a resort can eliminate daily decision making that can cause conflict.

Look for Kids Eat Free, Stay Free, and Play Free deals.

Relevant Reading: 7 Best Cruise Ships for Kids 

7. Consider Apartment Rental

Darwin accommodation via AirBnB

Most big-city hotel rooms were not built for families with young kids. They usually have no refrigerator or microwave, floor space is at a premium, and neighbors can hear every tantrum.

But with an apartment you get more space, thicker walls, a kitchen, a washing machine, and separate bedrooms.

These extra facilities on a long stay can make your family travel trip so much more enjoyable.

8. Do a Test Run – travel with your kids before the real thing

If this is going to be your first serious trip as a family, consider starting with a shorter trip such as a weekend away or even just a day trip to the zoo as a trial run.

This will help you figure out packing choices, daily routines, how fast you can move around, and how you all get along and interact together.

9. Set a Family Travel Budget 

Travel with kids does not have to be expensive. Decide on a comfortable budget that works for your family and include items such as souvenirs, entertainment, and a few unexpected activities. Once again involve your kids to make sure they feel comfortable with your travel plans.

Hot Tip: Every now and then blow your daily travel budget. We go away to experience things and create lifelong memories.

Don’t limit yourself to just traveling for the sake of traveling.

Go splurge on a famous restaurant, see a big concert, attend a mega sporting event, go on a safari, jump out of a plane, do something incredible.

10. Build in Some Private Time or “apart” time

No matter who you are, everyone needs a break from each other at some point.

While the goal of your trip is to create shared memories, it is also important to remember that children need time to burn off energy and enjoy the company of kids their own age.

Likewise, us parents need quiet periods for rest and some adult company as well. Keep this in mind and be a little flexible on your trip, as children’s moods and interests can change constantly.

If you and your children find something you’d rather do, be spontaneous and go with the flow.

11. Bring a Few Comforts from Home

Allow your children to bring along a few home comforts such as a stuffed toy, reading books, or a portable music player.

Activity packs can be a lifesaver on a plane and car ride

Make one with items such as coloring pencils and books, card games, board games, hand held electronic games, puzzles etc.

12. Capture Your Family Travel Memories

Consider giving your child a journal and a cheap digital camera. Kalyra loves taking her own pictures and it is fascinating to see travel through her eyes.

Pictures can be put into a scrapbook after you return, providing a lasting keepsake of your wonderful experiences together.

25 Tips for Travel with Kids

If your children are writing a journal, encourage them to draw and list things they see, eat and experience. And how about buying a cheap postcard from each destination and help them to note a memory on the back, or they can create a large collage to place on their bedroom wall once home.

13. Keep Meal Costs Down

Food costs can eat up a large portion of the family travel budget.

Go out for Breakfast or Lunch – Try and avoid dinner as restaurants raise prices. OR, have brunch instead of 3 meals a day. Many restaurants offer lunch specials where items on the dinner menu are offered for a fraction of the cost you’d pay for the same meal in the evening. And we find that breakfast and lunch is easier with young kids as they are tired by dinner time.

Eat Away from the Tourist Streets – Just go one street or one block over and it will usually be cheaper and more authentic. Eat where the LOCALS eat. Also, eat at the popular street carts, usually the most authentic and cheapest meal.

Self-Cater Where You Can – On long stays, we make self-contained accommodation with kitchen facilities a priority. Stay in places with a refrigerator so you can store breakfast foods, snacks, and bottled water. Purchasing your own supplies from the grocery store can save you big bucks.

One meal for two kids – Our kids are young enough to share one kid’s meal so on most occasions we only buy one. You can always buy another if they’re still hungry but you can’t send one back!

Free Breakfasts – When booking a hotel look for one with breakfast included. Also, have picnics, barbeque’s, and house parties. This saves precious money.

14. Take Your Own Food

Always take your own snacks on flights, buses and road trips where practical. Long road trips or flights can leave kids feeling cranky and hungry.

Pack plenty of snacks for yourselves and your children.

Do not assume that you will be able to stop and buy snacks along the way as airports especially can be expensive and have a limited selection of healthy options.

15. Do the Free Stuff

Hiking in Karijini National Park

Many things to see and enjoy are absolutely free. See a street fair, concert, or cultural event. Catch a magnificent sunset, take a walk or bike ride, play in the park, swim at the beach or lake, climb a mountain.

Use the Free Days – Attend museums and tourist sites on FREE DAYS or when they are discounted. Most museums have special discount times or free nights. Before you go anywhere, make sure you look on their website or facebook page to find out if they offer free visiting hours or family discounts.

16. Advanced Planning

Finding accommodation when you arrive without booking ahead can be challenging with children in tow. It’s definitely worth pre-booking at least your first couple of nights, even if you want to be flexible on your travels: this will allow you to look for other places in a more leisurely way.

After a long flight or car journey, the last thing your family will feel like is hunting around for somewhere to stay and something to eat. Make reservations and map out your first day or two in advance to make the trip smoother.

17. See Your Doctor

If you’re going overseas and have little ones, see your doctor at least two months before you leave to discuss your plans.

Mention the ages of your children and bring everyone’s vaccination records, and ask the doctor to note down their blood groups for you.

If any of your children has a pre-existing medical condition, ask for help in identifying a doctor in your destination who specializes in the same condition.

18. Make Use of Equipment

A pram or stroller can be useful even if your child is walking.

It can serve as a place for them to rest during day trips, a makeshift bed when out in restaurants, and you can use it to great effect with carrying the bags.

19. Sleep Whilst Traveling

When taking a long flight, train, or bus journey, try and plan it so you are traveling at night. That way, you don’t have to pay for a night’s accommodation.

20. Learn a New Skill Together 

We believe life is “all about the memories”. By doing something new together, your children will be impressed with your sense of adventure and curiosity.

Learn to kayak, snorkel, surf, a cooking class or spot wildlife in nature. Maybe go snow skiing, fishing or roller blading.

Find something that’s new to all of you and share the joy of learning together.

21. Road Trips with kids

Borrow an idea from the airlines: Purchase or borrow a portable TV/DVD player that mounts on the back of the seat in front. Rent a bunch of DVDs or borrow them from your local library for free.

Take Frequent Breaks – Preferably every two hours. Expecting young kids to sit still longer than that is unrealistic. Find interesting picnic spots, historical monuments, public parks or a playground. Let the kids run around and burn off some energy.

Safety – Pack plenty of water, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight in case you break down at night. Call to make sure your road assistance plan is up-to-date and charge your phone beforehand.

Have your vehicle completely checked out by your mechanic. Oil changes, brake checks, light checks are important to the vehicle’s safe operation. Also, double check the installation of all car seats to ensure they are properly set up for maximum protection.

Read more:

22. Tips for Flying with kids

Flying to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines
Movie time on Hawaiian Airlines
  • Take a change of clothes on board for you and your baby, especially on a long haul flight.
  • Feeding your baby with either a bottle or breast when you are taking off and landing, can help them adjust their ears to the change in cabin pressure.
  • Try to keep the same rituals as home when it comes to bedtime. Put the kids in their pyjamas, read them a book, and sing them songs. And make sure they have their favourite toy or blanket.
  • Before disembarking, make sure they have been fed and to the toilet. Trust me, standing for an hour in customs with hungry and tired children is NO FUN!
  • Check in online to book preferred seats from home and cut out the hassle of queuing.
  • If possible, fly direct on long haul flights. Having to change flights mid-way at crazy hours of the night doesn’t help anyone. You want to arrive as fresh as possible.

Read more:

23. Travel With An Open Mind

We travel abroad to experience different cultures, environments, and ways of thinking.

Don’t shut yourself and your kids off to experiencing all there is to offer. If you all travel with an open mind you can have a much more enriching experience.

There are times and moments when other cultures will shock you. Don’t judge them. When this happens, just sit back and say to your kids …“Isn’t that interesting?”

24. Expect the Unexpected

Attitude is everything: no matter how much you plan and prepare, things can and will go wrong. Just go with the flow and everything will work out great.

Travel is not always easy and traveling with kids can be tough. So just treat your trip like one big adventure and any mishaps simply become small obstacles for you to overcome.

Plan for occurrences such as air travel delays, illness, and homesickness. If unforeseen events happen, stay positive.

Your children will learn important life lessons from watching you on this trip.

25. You Were a Kid Once

Try and put yourself in your kid’s shoes.

Remember what you were like as a small child, or teenager, and how you liked to travel and be treated and the things you enjoyed doing.

For more tips from a mother of 5 click here. 

What are some of your best travel with kids tips?

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25 Tips for Travel with Kids - Family Travel Blog

106 thoughts on “25 of the Best Tips for Travel with Kids”

  1. Jeremy Branham

    I did some tips on this as well. However, here’s a big one that I really like – make a kids part of the planning process. Ask them what they want to do. Let everyone in the family have input. When your kids take an investment in the trip, they will feel like they are a part of it and will enjoy it even more.

    1. Agreed Jeremy!

      Always a good idea to have them participate in the planning process, as well as the day-to-day desicions once on the road. Like you said, will make them feel more apart of the whole experience!

      1. Hi Craig
        Do you have any suggestions regarding rental cars when travelling with kids? How on earth do we fit all the luggage into a European rental car? What do you guys normally do? Any suggestions or tips?

        1. Check out Citroën. They lease cars to non-eu travelers for cheap including insurance. The cars are not tiny either. It was one of the most hassle free experiences we had. Motorhones on the other hand ugh.

  2. Improvise!! We are a family of four travelling in Spain for the next six months. The biggest learning we have had is to improvise.

    Instead of feeding our 10 month old baby food from jars, we improvise with the local food and have found some great tapas including ensalada russa, tortilla, albondigas, pan and more.

    Instead of packing heaps and heaps of toys, we improvise with whatever we can find – toilet rolls, stones, flowers, leftover containers, etc.

    This 6 month trip has really made me re-think how I bring up my girls and has pushed me to become a lot more open-minded and flexible in my approach.

  3. I have an extra tip. On returning home, make a small photo book. Let your child take it along to school or when visiting family. Then they can tell their own story using the photo book. I did it with our daughter after visiting Indonesia and it works well. I let her choose which photos we would put in the photo album. Greetings Janneke

  4. These are great. Most of what I’d add kind of combines much of what you’ve already said.

    What I realized while traveling with Lila is that small things that may seem minor to adults while traveling are really important to kids. And the things that strike adults, kids sometimes won’t even notice.

    One of my best memories with Lila is lying in bed in La Spezia during a heavy rain storm and counting the seconds between the lightening and thunder. Or when we

    It’s also ok to do the same thing many times. Lila enjoyed having a routine, and we didn’t have to worry about finding something new to do every day. So the Sunday market in Salta, daily collecting shells and whatever else we found on the beach in Panama and then going home (to our rented place) for art projects.

    One must have for us. Art supplies. Paper, small box of crayons and paints (there are some great paint pens out now, too). They’re small, easy to find anywhere and can turn any place you go or anything you do into an activity.

    1. Hi Leigh,

      Isn’t it great Lila and small kids are easily pleased and get ecited about the smallest of things. For our little Kalyra, just a pool or a playground or paper to draw on and she’s good to go over and over again 🙂

  5. I’ve always been amazed by those that can travel with children and thought it must take a herculean effort (i’m sure sometimes it does). But this list made me realize that what you described was the way we like to travel anyways! Maybe we could actually continue with longterm travel even after kids (assuming we can make some cash on the road). Thanks for the great tips and inspiration!

    1. Hey Tony,

      We are testiment to the fact that when you have kids travel doesn’t have to stop 🙂

      Sure you need to adjust but it’s a great new experience in many ways.

  6. When I used to travel with 3 under fives (they’re much bigger now!) I found the biggest distress arose when a precious comforter/toy went astray. So I used to spend a few weeks before each trip getting each one of them used to two comforters. It was hard work (they always have a favourite!) but it definitely made things easier when a loss did occur – I’d just whip out the alternative and, most times, it worked!

  7. What a great list! Patience is always #1 in my packing list! Especially when traveling with an infant and a toddler!!! The most important thing is to enjoy the ride!

  8. I love this! Great and amazing tips! I’m so glad we aren’t the only “crazies” out there! Traveling with two young children! Your daughters are beautiful too!

  9. Great tips. We are getting ready to embark on a mini-vacation as a family of 8 (and that’s not even all of our kids). Me, my husband, and six of our eight children ages 11, 5, 4, 2, 1, and 4 months. We are traveling by way of vehicle (8 hour drive) and doing a home exchange with a family of 6. This is a first for us and your tips have been great and very useful. I am sure we will find many imperfections on our first go at it but this is our preparation trip before the BIG one in just 3 1/2 weeks. We are all traveling to California from Florida by way of vehicle (4 days and 5 nights) to get there. We are pulling a travel trailer and spending our evening at campgrounds and then when we arrive to California, we will be setting up camp for a few weeks at my father’s property and then we’ll have the return trip home (less one kid, the 11 year old, who will be flying out of California with his oldest 24 year old sister and his 18 year old brother). Both of the oldest kids are flying in and out of California…hmmm, I wander why?? Haha! So we have a lot of little ones (5 that are 5 and under)….this will be an adventure. We too will be blogging our trips. God Bless us and thank you for your travel trips with kids! ~Kat

    1. Hello Katrina, or should I call you Carol Brady? 🙂

      Wow, family of 8. A home exchange sounds awesome and a practical way to do things. Safe travels on your trip. Where in CA will you be based?

  10. cazare bulgaria

    Honestly i say that i will go on vacation with my child that has only two years and I followed many of these advices, thans a lot!

  11. This is a great list; I’d like to add that it’s really fun to go back to places you are familiar with and re-visit with children – you’ll see a whole new side. It’s also a great excuse to do things you wanted to do yourself (Legoland in Denmark in my case!) When I was compiling a list of my 5 favourite travel experiences so far I found that my daughter was involved in two of them – taking her to her first massive rock concert when she was 8 was amazing; we travelled to the Netherlands for an outdoor summer gig. You can see my list here http://grownuptravelguide.com/my-five-best-grown-up-travel-experiences-so-far
    You should definitely add more posts on great places for family travel, too…

  12. Jeremy @ Our Trip To

    Your flightncheckin tip is important. With four of us we try to always get a 3×1 configuration if that is available – the 2 kids and I with my wife across the aisle. We actually pay the extra cost to secure these seats when we book the flights just to be sure. The stress that can occur at the airport if ou end up all separated can be difficult.

  13. I loved the picture of “Savannah and Kalyra enjoying the hotel bed” although i think Savannah is definitely enjoying more!! look into her eyes, she seems to be in heaven. You better make a lot of dough!because you need it for her to keep enjoying the traveling lifestyle.
    Great post, i am definitely bookmarking your blog…i need the tips with kids.

  14. Mike Collins:

    Fantastic tips guys. My wife is due any day now and excited about getting back to traveling. I showed her this post and she loved it. The one thing that bugs us both the most is how kid comfort never seems to be a priority. Car seats have padding that adults would never sit on yet parents go on long road trips without keeping that in mind. Good stuff here!

  15. I like seeing a reminder every now and then that travel doesn’t have to stop once you get married and have a family! Takes the pressure off 🙂

  16. Being stuck at customs in a never ending queue with restless/bored/hungry/tried…. kids is my idea of a nightmare. This is the kind of thing you’d want a separate aisle for.

  17. Hi there! what a great list! we’re currently in Nigeria visiting the in-laws after travelling from Australia with two boys-aged four and 14 weeks! cue 36 hours of travelling door-to-door…we survived-just! I think I focussed so much on the “getting there” (packing, travel logistics) and given that we’re visiting and staying with family (a definite plus!) now that we’re here I’m taking up quite a few of your tips now 🙂 I wished I’d come across this list sooner…will definitely be sharing this!

    1. Awesome Maddy! You sound like you are having quite the adventure. I’m so glad our tips are helping you! Enjoy your travels, it is such a special time

  18. Thank you for your advices! I am planning trip with my children right now, your blog I read just on time. It is very useful information.

  19. I was reading the list quickly, and when I came to the sunset silhouette picture, I stopped. The caption is as good as the photo. KALYRA DANCING TO A FREE SUNSET IN SAN DIEGO. That’s priceless. I love it. Yes, I completely agree, the free stuff, and oftentimes very inexpensive stuff, can be so valuable! And taking your time! I like those two points. very good 🙂 thanks

    1. Pleasure Carla! We spend so much time in nature enjoying what the earth gives us for free. It is such a great way to connect to the environment and have special moments. The kids love the space and freedom too and it teaches them that you don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy– you can find it in the trees and the sunset

  20. Great post, my kids will enjoy next trip for sure, thnx!

    Interesting to know your thoughts on travel seats for kids.

  21. I must say traveling with Kids is not easy, as you have to carry extra luggage of eatables and toys for them. It is really important to keep an eye on your kids comfort because if they are uncomfortable if is difficult to enjoy your trip without any hassle.

  22. Cheap Flights Trip

    very useful information for Travel with Kids. thanks you so much for the sharing your experience.

  23. Great tips! I love all of them except I have found the opposite of #19 to be true for me as I find travelling with small children when everyone else is trying to sleep so much more stressful if the children won’t rest – especially if they are crying or unsettled.

    1. Yes. Very true, If the kids won’t sleep then this strategy is a nightmare! We’ve been lucky so far! Thanks for commenting Christie!

  24. Great tips. As our boys have got older we have also tried to have at least one day in our holiday when we visit a local charity, especially relevant when visiting poorer countries. I really believe that kids, whilst having the best life we can offer, should grow up understanding that not all children have the same opportunities and that they should value their experiences. It didn’t really register when they were younger but as they have grown older they have spoken of the differences they see. I do remember a time though when doing a fresh fruit run to outlying villages in Goa, the local kids swarmed round my boys, playing and hugging and all I could think of was that I hadn’t packed any nit lotion 🙂

    1. I love this Lesley. Such an important thing to do. Thank you for sharing. We are incorporating this into our upcoming road trip around Oz. I also want them to volunteer in conservation programs as well.

  25. Hi, my post has disappeared that I sent earlier, can you check whether it arrived? I’m new to posting and want to make sure I did it properly. Thanks

  26. I envy you, guys. Your pictures while traveling with your two kids do not reflect how challenging it actually is to have kids during trips. I can totally relate to this article 😉

  27. Tamara @ Family Vacation Planning

    Great tips. I definitely recommend getting the kids involved in planning. I also really appreciate the convenience of apartment rentals vs hotels for more than a few days in any one location. We appreciate the space to stretch out, the ability to cook breakfast, keep cold drinks and snacks, and sometimes prepare lunch or dinner. It also makes it possible to do laundry and take advantage of reheating restaurant leftovers instead of letting the extra food go to waste.

  28. These are some really useful insights. Travelling with kids has been really a challenge for me and my husband ever since we got our son.

    Thanks for sharing!

  29. The kids are in the post are really cute. I agree with most of the tips which are needed when you travel with kids. I loved the point where you have mentioned about expect the unexpected.

    Keep it up!

  30. You have several great articles on your blog and several great points in this article. A few of which I can say I have perfected, but some that I am terrible at (like taking pictures). I will definitely come back to this list before I travel again and make sure I can check everything off. Thanks!

  31. Very helpful tips, your blog is great! We are a family of 4 ( 1 1/2 yr old & 3 yr old) from Canada that go on a month + long trip yearly and this year is Thailand!!!

    I have never been to Thailand (we did Costa Rica last yr with them though) so I am a little nervous but after reading everything on your blog I am feeling a bit better. We leave mid Jan till the end of Feb and are going to 3 different destinations. The plane ride is scary but im sure everything will work out.

    Look forward to reading more info on your site!!

    Cheers!

    1. Oh you will have such a great time. Thailand is great with kids, they will love it for sure. There’s something for everyone and a lot of relaxation.

      1. Thanks for your reply! We are going to phuket got 4 days then ko lanta for 3 weeks then finishing off the trip on koh samui for the last 2 weeks. Any suggestions on what to do with the kids on ko lanta and samui besides the obvious chillin on the beach? Thanks!!

        1. I haven’t done either of those islands with kids so don’t have any suggestions unfortunately. There’s the Big Buddha on Samui and some interesting rock formations. I think there are also jungle explorations on both islands, and if you are game, touring the island on motorbikes, or you can even hire jeeps which are fun

  32. Hi Craig,

    Great post. Very helpful tips for me. I am planning to travel with my kids (2 years) in Thailand for 3 months in next year. I also want to rent an apartment in Phuket. I will definitely follow the tips to have a great trip with my family.
    I love “Hiking can be SLOWER” photo. What a great photo hiking with kids!

  33. Whenever taking ground transportation in America you should check in advance what are the state regulations in regards with traveling with babies with or without a baby car seat. We are in the airport transportation business and many times our customers have to bring their own baby car seats when traveling because the transportation company doesn’t provide them. Just keep it in mind.

  34. A couple of months we did a 3 week stint on the East Coast of America. It took us something like 28 hours (including lay over time) from the time we left our house in Sydney to the moment we landed in Atlanta, Georgia. I bought my three year old a special travel bag and then let him help pack it with some special new activities I had bought for him. I bought things like lacing cards and a special activity drawing pack with airplane stickers from KiKi K, made especially for children travelling. Receiving the new items and packing his own bag made him feel quite special, included and excited about the whole process. There was also a video called Shea by Air, which I bought off Amazon.com. It basically teaches small children how to fly and walk them through the whole process.

    Just in case any one is interested in planning their next holiday, you’ll find information about the next Australian travel expo here…
    http://www.getouthavefun.com/2014/01/30/where-do-you-wanna-go/

  35. Good tips. We are Australian, but our two young kids have spent their entire lives in either Central Africa, or South America where we are now living. They have been to so many wonderful places and on lots and lots of long car and plane trips! I would add to take disposable toys (a ‘deposit box’ out of an old butter container with a hole cut in the top and milk bottle lids, homemade playdough, a whole bunch of temporary tattoos and a dry sponge keeps my boys quite for ages on the plane). You can throw these things away if you are short on space on the way back. My eldest son loves to collect some kind of woven rope/shoelace type thing from any market we go to. He keeps them in a little treasure bag and when ewe go to restaurants he spends ages decorating the chairs, tying them all together, roping up his brother etc. Inexpensive and something special he has from each place.

    Don’t underestimate the power of children to allow you to jump the immigration queue at the airport and don’t feel bad about doing this. Just go straight to the special assistance line. The people who have to wait five minutes longer and are on your flight, will thank you later when it hasn’t fallen apart before you even get on!

  36. Yes, I absolutely agree that traveling with kids is not a hassle at all if you plan your trip properly. I personally find my little nephew to be a great co traveler. It has clearly been possible for my sister-in-law. I must say that she has made a pro traveler out of him. He is somehow remarkably aware of the fact that he would miss out on some crucial fun while traveling if he wastes time nagging and acting all cranky. His father has the best stories reserved from him during these times and as such most of their tipping experiences remain hassle-free for them !

  37. in such a wild and different place with children, it is as easy to travel anywhere as it is to go to India with children. There are many resources available to advise about this sort of thing, like India Trips and Lonely

  38. Lots of helpful advice. It helps a lot for those who need more guide and courage to face the voice inside..
    Here are my top 5 tips for plane trips:
    1. Even tho you book your bubs plane ticket it doesn’t automatically book them a bassinet. Remember to book them a bassinet and re confirm this when checking in.
    2. Airlines give you two options to drop off your stroller. Firstly, when checking in and then when boarding. Obviously so much easier to drop off when boarding.
    3. Aeroplane headphones aren’t very kid friendly. Always good to pack your own along with converter so it can be plugged into their plug.
    4. Travelling with bubs, it’s always a must to have a dummy clip. Nothing worse than a dummy dropping every 5 minutes and having to clean it – not fun!
    5. A lot of airlines don’t supply blankets, so remember to pack your kids sleeping bags/blankets in your hand luggage.

  39. On Holiday when the kids wander off!!
    I have read reviews of the iDME wristbands that help find lost kids and thought it may be helpful to mention an upgrade I found for my son; a new insert from cerql.co.uk which has a QR code. I now include loads more information plus a photo of me and his dad I can also update medical/ contact details & photo without replacing the card. Great value £1.99 for 2. Hope this is of interest to parents, regards Luana
    http://www.cerql.co.uk

  40. GREAT tips! My favorite on the list is traveling just off season. You are right about saving money, but there are also less people and less crowds. Perfect!

    The downside to traveling just off season is that the kids need to be taken out of school. We plan to miss one week of school wrapped with a regular school break like the spring break we take in the spring in the US. This way the kids miss just one week of school. As a former teacher, after meeting with the teachers before hand, can keep up with the necessary skills while we are gone. This does NOT always mean the exact ‘work’ they would be doing at school. Visit my website for details on how to have this conversation with the teacher so the child gets the skills but not necessarily the busy work.

    LOVE this post. Thanks for sharing,
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist
    http://www.theeducationaltourist.com

  41. If you have older kids, they can help with the details of planning, like reserving tickets, finding out the hours of your destination, and helping you plan what you want to do on what day. Involving your kids in the planning, or at the very least explaining details of the trip before you leave, gives them an idea of what will happen as well as outlines your expectations.
    http://www.puertoplata-excursions.com

  42. A simple but true guideline for the parents. I am very pleased that you share such kind of experience and opinion. What’s about giving the baby a separate bag with some important stuff like mobile phone, water bottle and others?

  43. Thank you very much for the tips. Our daughter is just 2 years old and so we were bit worried. Glad, got tips from expert 🙂 In BTW, Savannah and Kalyra are too cute! Liked their pose in hotel 🙂

  44. VERY useful tips! I like this one very much: Pack Smart – Pack the bare minimum because you can always buy it there. I always tend to pack more than what is needed so that’s a good reminder. I like your post. Travelling with kids can be a bit hectic sometimes, but as long as we use strategies like the ones you mentioned, things don’t have to be hard after all.

  45. Hi Craig,
    Its great to take tiny tots for travel. I am envious of you as you look so happy, and so your kids.
    Well, seriously you made such a daunting responsibility look so easy and simple, kudos to you.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Would surely take my kids in January when I would head to Bali.
    Thanks again

  46. Thanks for the tips Craig! Traveling with your kids can really be exhausting but we must always focus on the positive side of the experience. I always make sure on making the trip fun for my kids while educating them about the new environment we are traveling to. Also prior to the trip I create a nice itinerary based on where my family wants to go so that we can budget and plan ahead.

  47. Such a great tips! I especially like 23 and 24!And planning a budget should be a priority, because as most of trip if not planned well gets out of budget. Also patience is a number 1!

  48. Thank you for all the tips! Which one would you say was most important in your travel experience? Are there any specific activities you would recommend doing in a road trip that could keep the kids entertained? Why is building apart time important? What do you do when you need that time? Wouldn’t a cruise be a little restrictive for the children? Have you taken cruises with them before. I really like the point you made about budgeting, one of the most important things for me is to stay in budget and not over- spend, many times, these trips cost a lot more than planned.

  49. Stephanie Lee

    Thanks for the tips! I will be travelling with my sister and her two little boys this August so this really helps!

  50. Kelly Davis-Orr

    Download some kid-friendly podcasts. “Highlights Hangouts” is a brand new one and it is fantastic!

  51. Traveling with kids is the happiest time ever. We can travel together, discover the world together, share valuable family moments together…. It’s kids smiles that makes our world smaller and more happy. Great shares! Thanks a lot and have a good trip with your kids!

  52. Hi,

    We are a family of 4. My finace (30) and I (33) and two daughters (4 and 6).
    We have a dream of taking af year of and travel all over the world, but i do not know where and how to begin.

    Best Regards
    Magnus Ritter

    1. What I do is to find a flight on Skyscanner, Momondo or kayak and them check prices directly on the airline’s website. it is also sometimes better to book flights directly because you get the support directly from airline, not an agent..

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