7 simple things you can do to make holidaying with kids headache-free

happy family roadtrip

Travelling with a baby or small children can be incredibly tricky – there’s the change in routine, disturbed sleep, long travel times, unpredictable behaviour and all the equipment you need to take with you. So if you’re going away with little ones this summer, here are seven simple things to pack or hire that will make your holiday a success!  

1. Don’t be too ambitious

It’s not hard to get carried away when planning a holiday. One minute you’re looking at a budget camping site an hour away from home, and before you know it, you’re seriously considering booking a six week extravaganza to Disneyland via a visit to Santa’s home in Lapland and an African safari on the way home. Children don’t like too much change and can only handle so much without losing their cool. So if you’re not experienced travellers and don’t HAVE to go to a far-off destination – such as visiting relatives – then aim a bit lower and pick a holiday spot in or near Australia that’s only a short drive or flight away. And choose one destination only!

Babies and toddlers don’t know what day of the week it is let alone where they are, and will be pleased by simple things – not expensive fancy hotels, museums and the like. Jet lag is a shocker too with little ones so if you don’t go far then their sleep routine won’t be as messed about either.

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2. Prepare for the travel time

Whether you’re going by car, train or plane, you’re going to need supplies for the kids. Of course you’ll be taking the essentials like their passports and nappies, but we’re talking about snacks and entertainment. Little kids get hungry, upset, bored, tired and down right insane when cooped up for too long, no matter what type of transport you’re using so you need to cater to their needs and distract, distract, distract. Have a small backpack just for them with their favourite books, toys, snacks and whatever else is going to stop them going bananas on the way to your destination.

Baby for hire image
Do you really want to lug this double pram through the airport? Hire it for your destination instead!

3. Hire what you can

There’s nothing worse than struggling in airports with a bunch of bulky baby equipment (plus your bags and children), or not having enough room in your suitcases or the car because of all the essential stuff you need to bring along. You don’t need to put yourself through all that hassle though, just rent it at the other end! Hire for Baby has an extensive range of baby gear from car capsules, prams and car seats to breast pumps and portacots available from 75 branches across Australia, meaning if you’re holidaying local then you can travel light! No need to pack and lug everything to your destination, just pick it up there! Hire for Baby is also a great option for grandparents who may have the grandkids visiting over the holidays and need a few baby essentials but don’t want to fork out for a whole bunch of new stuff.

4. Pack their essentials

Do you really want your toddler wailing every night because you forgot their favourite blankie? Don’t forget their comforters, sleeping bags and toys, or whatever else they need to get to sleep. If they don’t sleep on this holiday then neither will you, so take whatever you need to help make it happen. Young children are also prone to illness, bumps and bruises and the last thing you want to be doing in a strange place is trying to find an all night chemist that sells whatever you need. So pack a simple first aid kit and carry it with you, and be sure to include a thermometer so you can avoid that whispered ‘Do you think she has a fever?’ conversation that invariably happens at midnight. Packing favourite sippy cups and hats are also good ideas.

5. Buy what you can there

Unless you’re holidaying in a remote area, there’s no need to take things like a ton of disposable nappies for every day. Just pack what you need to get there, plus a few extra, and then buy the rest when you arrive. The same goes for anything else that can be easily bought like suncream, mosquito repellent, shampoo and toothpaste. Obviously, if your child has allergies and needs specific products, you’ll need to forego this ‘travel light’ advice, and instead pack every single thing you might need before you leave home!

tropical family holiday hammock

6. Opt for fun in the sun

Winter snow trips can be super exciting for little ones but generally there is a lot more involved when you go somewhere cold with young kids. More clothes and shoes to pack, more daily dressing and undressing, and more potential complaints about being cold or disturbed sleep. On the flipside, kids can practically be nude on a beach holiday! So much less to pack, and generally the only real concerns are sunburn and mozzie bites, and making sure there is a fan or air-con in their room at night if it’s really hot. Generally children love swimming too and will rarely get bored doing the same thing every day, as long as there are some inflatables or slides or other kids – or obliging adults – to play with.

7. RELAX

This is the most important tip of all and probably the hardest. Yes travelling with small children can be stressful but only if you let it! Does it matter if they had a tantrum on the plane or that they’ve eaten chips for dinner three nights in a row? And if their routine has slipped, is it the end of the world? The answer is NO! Holidays are meant to be fun and children will take your lead, so if you’re super chilled and happy then more often than not they will be too. And that’s what you really want to create an awesome family vacation that’s memorable and stress-free – you’ve deserved it after all!

What are your tips for holidaying with little ones?

(This post is sponsored by Hire for Baby)

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