Tips for Travelling with Kids Overseas

Tips for Travelling with Kids Overseas

Planning a holiday is exciting and once everything is booked the excitement is heightened as you begin to count down the days.  A thought then creeps into your mind…how are you going to keep your kids entertained when travelling?  You’re on a plane for hours, you have a stopover, you have a long hotel transfer… Oh no, you think, we have so many hours of travelling how are we going to keep the kids quiet and occupied?

We totally understand how you’re feeling.  Excited for the upcoming holiday yet slightly stressed about keeping the kids entertained when on the move. Here are five tips to help you plan your overseas holiday with kids:

1. Get your kids interested and excited about where you’re going. Show them photos and interesting facts about the country/s you are visiting. Ask them what activities they would like to do, what food you can try and what the weather will be like. If your kids are old enough they can research this, if they’re too young do some research yourself and talk to your kids about what they will experience. There are some great books that can help educate your kids about different countries. Our favourite is ‘The Travel Book’ by Lonely Planet for Kids. This book covers every country in the world! Each page offers interesting facts on how people live, their food and culture, national festivals plus a few quirky insights on the country.

    2. Vaccinations. Check if there are any vaccinations that you should get prior to your holiday. Adults can often get booster shots before travelling and it is always good to check with your doctor if the kids need any shots. Check out smarttravellor.gov.au for further information http://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/all-travellers/health/Pages/health-checks-and-vaccinations.aspx

     

    3. Organise what you will pack as hand luggage

      • Comfy clothes and shoes are ideal. Pack an extra outfit for your kids. We all know how often accidents may happen or food spillages. There is nothing worse than travelling with dirty clothes that look messy and possibly smell. If you have a child who still wears nappy pants at night remember to pack some. Even if they’re toilet trained during the day it’s always good to have one if they fall asleep and you don’t have to worry about any accidents during sleep time. Don’t forget yourself, why not pack something for you to change into too. You will then all be more refreshed when you arrive.
      • Pack some tissues and wet-wipes as these are great for the whole family to use. The anti-bacterial wipes are especially good as you can pick up lots of germs from other travellers, toilets, around the airport etc. A small hand sanitiser is also great to in keep in your bag especially once you reach your destination.
      • Pack healthy snacks. Find healthy snacks that your kids love that aren’t too high in salt (as you may become more dehydrated on the flight). Sandwiches cut in quarters are always a hit for both the kids and adults. Lollies of course are a nice treat and good to handout when kids have been good. If your kids are old enough take some chewy lollies to help with ‘popping’ the ears when landing.
      • Create an activity pack for your kids. Yes devices are great babysitters but why not have some ‘device-free’ time for the kids. Find high quality, learning activity books that last and have some educational value. You can source cheap activity books however our experience with our daughter showed us that these don’t really last the distance and are not as fun as other reputable brands. The brands Usborne, Lonely Planet for Kids, Galt, Melissa & Doug, to name a few, have some great sticker and activity books. Going from shop to shop looking for quality activity books can be quite time consuming so check out our interactive products at ZuperKit (zuperkit.com.au). We offer boy or girl ready-made packs or you can build your own by selecting activity books and crafts you know your kid/s will love.
      • Tell your kids they can bring one favourite toy on holiday with them. This may be the one toy they can’t leave home without or maybe they would like to bring a new toy that hasn’t travelled before (make sure it’s not too big as you may be the one who ends up carrying it L). Pack a new surprise toy and give this to them either on the plane or after you arrive. Wrap this to make it exciting. This can come in handy if your kids start to get bored and restless.
      • Think about a comfy pillow for your kids and for you. The airline pillow may not be comfortable and it can be frustrating and upsetting for both child and parent if there is trouble sleeping. There are some great new travel pillows available for both adults and kids. Think about getting a Kooshy Kids Kooshion to help kids sleep on long haul flights (https://kooshykids.com.au ).
      • Pack your child’s favourite headphones that they like to use with a device and that can also be used to watch the airline TV. Make sure you purchase a headphone jack to use with the planes audio system. These are not expensive and will cost around $8-$10. Airline headsets are not the most comfortable so this will be money well spent and can be used each time you travel. Don’t forget your headphones too!
      • Remember to pack a pen! You need this to complete custom forms on the plane, plus it will come in handy when you’re out and about. For the kids pack coloured markers (we recommend waterproof markers so they wash out of clothes and off walls, seats etc), crayons or coloured pencils. Remember to pack a pencil sharpener if you plan to take pencils.
      • Your phone number. Ensure all your luggage has a tag with your phone number. This not only helps if your luggage gets lost but the tag can help you identify your luggage quickly. If you’re going to be traveling through busy, crowded airports or transport hubs, write your mobile number on your little one's arm in texta just in case they get lost.
      4. Remember all your documentation (passports, accommodation bookings, car rental bookings, Visa’s, permits etc). Double check your bookings for accommodation, car/bus transfers to hotels before you go. This won’t take long and will give you peace of mind when travelling. If staying in a hotel double check they have somewhere for your kids to sleep. If you plan to catch a taxi think about how many people are travelling in your group as a taxi will only fit 4 passengers. If you are more than 4 people it is best to organise a van/bus as it will be cheaper than 2 taxi’s (plus you all stay together). If you have regular medication remember to take a script or a letter from your doctor. Some countries may request to see this.

       

      5. Money. If travelling overseas think about how you are going to spend the local currency. Options include credit/debit card, travellers cheques, or pre-paid travel money card. A tip is to always have some local currency in cash as you may come across places that don’t accept plastic.  Often you may need to buy small items (especially for your kids) when travelling and you know cash will be accepted everywhere.

      Here is a checklist of the above to help you prepare for your overseas holiday:

      Travelling with Kids Checklist:

      • Vaccinations
      • Organise money in local currency
      • Documentation – Passport, Visa’s, hotel bookings, car rental forms, car/bus transfer confirmation, prescriptions (or letter from doctor)
      • Carry-on Luggage:
        • Spare clothes, nappies/nappy pants
        • Tissues, anti-bacterial wipes/hand sanitiser
        • Snacks – healthy snacks and some treats
        • Favourite toy (plus a surprise toy/gift)
        • Travel pillows
        • Headphones (plus headphone jacks)
        • Travel Activity Kit (ZuperKit) with interactive activity books and creative mess-free crafts
        • Pen, coloured markers/pencils/crayons
        • DEVICES and chargers!

      If you have the above sorted you are well on your way to having a fun holiday with some well-deserved peace and quiet. It’s time to enjoy the exciting opportunities, adventures and memories your holiday will bring.

      Happy and safe travels!




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