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12 Tips For Travelling with Kids

12 Tips For Travelling With Kids

When kids come along, it’s an adjustment in many, often unanticipated, ways. If you’re like us, a couple who loves to travel, there’s no reason why you can’t keep journeying around the world with your new sidekick in tow. A bit of planning (ok, a lot of planning), and these helpful tips will help make your next family holiday run smoothly.

Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Make lots of lists
Preparation is always the key! A few weeks before a big trip write down a list of everything that you need to buy, pack and prepare for your trip and categorise it according to the timeliness. It should include things like “empty the fridge”, “take out the garbage”, “buy batteries”, “charge cameras”, “put on mail hold” as well as a packing list. Check everything off and leave the house stress-free knowing you haven’t forgotten anything.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Check visa requirements
Do you need a visa to travel? Contact the consulate of the country you’re planning to visit well in advance. You might need to apply for an ESTA if you’re visiting the United States or an eTA if you’re heading to Canada. Don’t leave it to the last minute to apply. Visas can take months to organise.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Know your baggage limits
Check your baggage limits for each flight before packing, including the number of bags allowed and weight per bag. We have a portable luggage hand scale (like this one) that we keep in our suitcase to make sure we don’t get hit with excess baggage fees at the airport and always pack a foldable bag inside our luggage to bring home loot we accumulate.

Barcelona: Montserrat Day Trip via christineknight.me

Buy advance tickets to attractions online
Not only are many attractions cheaper if you buy them in advance, it also means you don’t risk spending hours queuing or miss out on seeing something entirely. Many tourist attractions are also cheaper see when you buy a combination city attraction pass that includes many of the top sights in a city. Even if you can’t buy your tickets online, at the very least double check the attraction is open on the day and time you’re planning to visit. For example, many museums are closed on certain week days, like Mondays or Tuesdays.

Barcelona, Spain Get travel vaccinations
Are your vaccinations up to date? Do you need additional vaccinations depending on the countries you’re visiting? Schedule an appointment with your doctor at least two months before your flight dates to get info on any destination-specific vaccines you and the kids might need. Find out more about vaccinations on the Australian Government website smartraveller.gov.au.

Buckingham Palace #London via christineknight.me Buy travel insurance
Absolutely never travel without insurance! Worst case scenarios can absolutely happen and you need to be protected in case of serious illness, accidents and bag loss or theft, plus if your trip is cancelled or postponed. Some policies cover dependent children and grandchildren without charging any extra, so check if your policy offers this benefit and, if so, what the conditions (if any) might be. Lastly, read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) carefully to make yourself aware of what is and isn’t covered. Get more info on travel insurance.

Hamelin bay Stingrays, Western Australia Use the hotel concierge
Your hotel concierge will be a top source of information on your destination, so don’t be afraid to ask for their tips on where to eat and visit with kids.

Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Watch out for different safety standards
Stay vigilant when it comes to the different safety standards when travelling around the world, including child safety standards for pools, balconies, car seats and play equipment, which could be much laxer than they are in Australia.

Augusta, Margaret River, Western Australia

Read up in advance
Find family travel blogs on your destinations! I usually find that blogs, combined with the destination’s tourism sites, are the best way to find out what attractions are the best suited for kids, as well as finding out about hidden gems that are off the tourist path, like really great parks or playgrounds, kid-friendly eateries and events for families. A few of my fave family travel blogs for international destinations include Travel Babbo, y Travel Blog and Boy Eats World.

Travel Guide: Singapore With Kids via christineknight.me

Pack the essentials
We never leave home without: wipes (both baby and anti bacterial), sunscreen, mosquito repellant, children’s pain killers, empty refillable water bottles, a backpack (we use this one that folds into a small pouch), plastic bags like nappy sacs or doggy bags for emergencies, ziplock bags for half eaten food or snacks, kid headphones and universal power adaptors.

I also pack emergency medication for the whole family, including kiddie and adult Nurofen and Panadol (which are hard to find overseas), broad spectrum antibiotics, rehydration sachets, plus a medical kit for scrapes and cuts with disinfectant and wound dressings. We actually used these on our trip to Dubbo, in the photo below, when Cheese slipped on a log and took a giant chunk out of her leg.

Staying at the Zoofari Lodge, Taronga Western Plains Dubbo Zoo, Australia

Find out what your hotel includes
Some hotels charge extra for rollaway beds or crib hire. Rollaway beds in particular can also be rented on an “as available” basis rather than a guarantee and can attract a surcharge. Check with the hotel in advance and ensure there are enough beds for your whole family.

What To Pack When Flying With Kids

Prepare for flights
Read up on what you can take on board or check in as part of your free baggage allowance. The usual rule is that strollers, portacots and car seats can all be checked in for free, and car seats are usually allowed on board as additional carry on luggage. Check with your airline in advance, however, to confirm this is the case. You will also need to request a baby or child special meal in advance of your flight date, or have your travel agent do so at the time of booking. Travelling with a toddler? You might also want to try one of the new travel inflatable cushions to help your child lie down flat during overnight flights.

Ready to fly? Tell me where you’re heading to next!

This blog post was produced in partnership with Westpac. All tips and opinions are my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

When Travel Goes Bad … And How To Bounce Back

When Travel Goes Bad ... And How To Bounce Back via christineknight.me

I try to be positive when I blog, so I never write about the many things that go wrong on our travels. I like to look back with joy on our adventures rather than remember the bad bits – which is why I love photography so much! I do get asked a lot, however, if our trips are as amazing as they look on social media, and the answer is no. While yes we are so lucky to be visiting some amazing destinations around the world, the truth behind the beautiful images is often a different story – one I don’t want to remember!

I am the biggest advocate of travelling with children – obviously I must be, as I’ve taken Cheese on over 30 flights in her four short years. I think it’s time to get honest, however, about the many things that do go wrong for us, and how we deal with them to stop our holiday from being ruined (where possible!). It’s time to get real!

When the kid isn’t a good traveler
When people hear about how much travel we’ve done with Cheese, they automatically assume she’s an excellent traveler. Honestly, she’s not. While she handles flights and jet lag like a seasoned pro, she does not deal well with the excitement of travel, or being away from her routine. We have tantrums galore when she can’t deal with the excitement of all the new places we’re seeing.

How we bounce back: we keep our routine as much as possible, with minimal late nights and rest periods in the middle of the day or afternoon. We also remove her from situations where she is unable to calm down, even if it’s just to our room for a short while at a hotel, or at a park or attraction, to a quiet place out of the way to simmer down again.

When someone gets sick
Two words: travel insurance! Always, always, always get it, because that one time you don’t, will be the time you end up in the ER with a bill that bankrupts you. Seriously, we have ended up in the ER in the US twice while traveling (once while at Disneyland!) and it’s seriously scary contemplating how you will be able to afford medical care when you’re so far from home. We were lucky that our travel insurance covered everything.

How to bounce back: We pack a giant medical bag with us, just in case. We pack things like pain relief, treatment for gastro, rehydration sachets, all-purpose antibiotics, sea sickness medication, antiseptic, bandaids, Mylanta, allergy relief for mosquito bites, etc. I am happiest when I can bring the whole bag home unused – but we’ve always had to dive in several times each trip. And travel insurance! Get it!

When Travel Goes Bad ... And How To Bounce Back via christineknight.me

When flights are delayed or cancelled
On our last trip we had particularly bad luck with flights – three in a row either had significant delays of over three hours, or were cancelled. One day in particular we sat at their airport for eight hours waiting for our flight to leave, and two were either cancelled or delayed so late that they became short red eye flights – which are just torture when you have small kids in tow. The problems we had with flights were the absolute worst part of our trip.

How to bounce back: being prepared is the only way to cope. Check in with the flight 12 hours beforehand to get its status. We always travel with little neck pillows and a blanket for my daughter – these have been invaluable for sleeping in airports waiting for delayed flights, as well as on the actual flights itself. If your flight has a significant delay the airline might be required to give you meal vouchers (we were given three $25 vouchers our last delay).

My husband and I tag team sleeping on flights, and also at airports when we have massive delays – one of us will always try to sleep at the same time as the child so if she wakes up mid-flight one of us will be well-rested enough to care for her.

When there are epic tantrums
We tend to get so many more tantrums when we travel. Bedtime is a fight, every time we say “no” to something there’s crying and wailing, and there’s a lot more sass, yelling and arguing in general. What a headache!

How to bounce back: we deal with the tantrums as best as we can, with our normal discipline (we don’t tolerate certain behaviours) and enforcing routine. Husband and I also tag team with each other so the other gets a break when they can’t deal with it any longer. We try to remember that she is usually tantruming because she’s exhausted and overwhelmed, and try to calm her down rather than punish bad behaviour when we know the cause is the over-excitement cased by travel.

When luggage goes missing or breaks
We’ve had both these happen to us. Thankfully our luggage has turned up a few days later when it’s gone missing, and when it’s broken it’s still been usable so we haven’t had to buy new luggage.

How to bounce back: Report missing or damage baggage at the airport straight away. You will need to file a report immediately. Most travel insurance companies require you to file a report with the airline and try to get them to pay for it before they will agree to kick in – and there is usually an excess to pay with luggage, so you’re better off either trying to get the airline to pay or asking the luggage company if they can fix the luggage under warranty. We had a Crumper bag break after rough bag handling, and amazingly Crumper agreed to fix it for free as it broke under regular use. Amazing! In case our luggage goes missing, I always take a spare change of clothes or two for myself and my daughter in my carry on.

When we’ve misjudged the weather
On our recent trip to the Florida Keys we didn’t realise how incredibly hot it would be. Living in a hot country we tend to assume we can deal with any kind of heat, but we were totally wrong! The intense humidity of Florida overwhelmed us and made it incredibly hard to get out and enjoy the keys fully.

How to bounce back: air conditioning! We stuck to either water activities or places that were air conditioned where possible, took lots of breaks during the day, stayed hydrated and set our expectations lower as to what we wanted to see and do.

When plans fall through
We had one epic bad day at Epcot in Walt Disney World where I’d organise us FASTPASSES a month in advance to get on the new Frozen ride. My plan was to review the ride and write about it for publications afterwards, so I was really counting on getting on this ride, and had planned the day around it. Of course luck was not in our favour and the ride kept breaking down over and over again the entire day. We were hot, angry, and spent the whole day waiting around for the ride to be fixed – which made me even angrier that we wasted the day and money this way.

How to bounce back: This was a tough day for me because it was the worst day of our trip. I was beyond furious at the wasted expense and a day when we could have done something else. In the end, I’ve had to let it go and just focus on all of the other wonderful days that we had. I’ve also learned not to pin plans on things I can’t control – like a ride!

When we’ve all got jet lag
Amazingly we had hardly any jet lag for our entire trip – until we flew back into Australia, where Cheese and I both suffered from the worst jet lag we’ve both ever had. It was just brutal – four days straight of waking up at 3 or 4 am, and feeling like a zombie all day. Combined with a head cold I picked up on the flight, it was the most agonising return I’ve ever had.

How to bounce back: rest, rest and more rest. I usually like to get back on track straight away after flying in, but this time we took it easy for the next five days, with no outings that weren’t necessary, lots of TV  and iPad time (hey what else do you do at 3am in winter?!) and going to bed early, even though my brain was telling me to push myself to stay up later. Day five was the magic morning where we both slept in till 6am and woke up feeling more alive than dead.

What are some of the biggest problems you’ve encountered when traveling?

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Tips for feeding babies on the go

Tips For Feeding Babies On The Go

This post is brought to you by Heinz

One of the biggest challenges we constantly face when travelling with Cheese has been food – what can we feed her? Now she is almost five she can eat regular food, but is still super picky, so this has been an ongoing challenge since we first started to travel with her. If you’re travelling with your little one and they are eating solids, these tips on feeding babies on the go might be a big help.

BYO utensils
Always pack a lightweight bowl, plate and kid-friendly cutlery, even if it’s just a spoon and fork. They are great for planes, hotels, restaurants – literally everywhere you go.

Be ready to clean
Pack travel baby-safe dishwashing detergent so you can feed bBaby everywhere and keep the utensils clean.

Invest in cooler bags
We have a few cooler bags of various sizes and ice packs that go with them. We have never had a problem taking the cooler bag on board flights with the ice pack in it, keeping things like yogurt or milk cool. They are also useful when you are taking day trips to keep food fresh.

Liquids are A-Okay!
Don’t be scared of airplane rules against taking liquids on board – there is a different set of rules when babies are involved. You can take breast milk or formula on board, as well as a little water bottle with cooled boiled water inside it. If your little one is over 1 and onto cow’s milk, you can take that on board in a bottle too, and also ask airline staff to refill it if you run out.

Bring pre-packaged baby food
This was the number one thing that made travel with a baby a do-able experience for us! We packed baby food we knew our daughter would eat both in our cabin luggage and also in our checked in luggage. If we were going somewhere for a few days, or where we weren’t sure if we’d be able to get the particular kind she liked, we would pack enough to last the whole trip. Having wholesome baby food like this meant our daughter was still getting nutrition when we travelled, even if we were in places where the food wasn’t something we could cater to her needs. We often used pre-packaged food as an add on to our homemade baby food and snacks, or as a complete nutritious meal.

While there are a lot of pre-packaged baby foods on the market, we only fed Cheese brands that we could trust. Of course you want only the very best for your child, including the food that they eat. We are big fans of Heinz in this family – being raised on their baked beans as kids and now feeding their high quality food to our own child.

Heinz nutritional information

Heinz sources their ingredients from Australia where possible. Their apples, pears and peaches come from Goulburn Valley, their farm fresh pumpkins are sourced locally and all meats are from trusted suppliers throughout Australia. All ingredients used in Heinz pouch, and jar infant products are delivered with care to the Heinz sSpecialist baby food facility in Echuca, which is in country Victoria.

Heinz pouch and jar products are steam cooked, locking in flavours and preventing the need for preservatives.

What are your tips for feeding babies on the go?

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Family Travel Tips: Dinner Time When Travelling With Kids

Eating Dinner With Kids While Travelling via christineknight.me

Travel with young kids can be an exciting adventure – but also a challenge when it comes to keeping small ones happy with their need for routine, early bedtime and plain food (white-bread-butter-thats-it-please!).

Day time can be a breeze eating out with kids abroad – it’s easy to find kid-friendly cafes or grab a croissant to go. But what do you do at night time, when you would usually be at home, serving plain pasta and a single strawberry at 6pm, with the kids down by 7:30pm? We have found dinner time to be one of the bigger challenges of travelling with a little kid, and I wanted to share some tips that have worked for me, as well as a good friend of mine, Leah from the Kid Bucket List, who has travelled extensively with her two kids around the world, too.

Leah’s tips:

When we became parents and started travelling I quickly learned that all the little shortcuts and insider tips we utilised during our travels as a couple didn’t transfer across to family travel.

Skipping meals and walking all day; throwing in a late night adventure and totally winging our accommodation is a thing of the past and has required a total reframing of our travel expectations.

Eating Dinner With Kids While Travelling via christineknight.me

When we travel to new time zones we try to quickly follow the typical routine from home. We plan for three meals at fairly consistent times and bedtimes, although a little flexible at each side, are usually set at around 8pm.

With double rooms often (well, always) cheaper than 1 or 2 bedroom suites, we often find ourselves sharing a bedroom. With bedtime at 8pm for the kids this does mean tv is off as soon as their heads hit the pillow. T and I make use of headphones and our individual devices. Not really the perfect set up, but I do read a lot of books on our trips!

Eating Dinner With Kids While Travelling via christineknight.me

If the kids are tired, we’re also partial to dining in our room. Not room service, but ordering at a local cafe and taking it home. We’ve enjoyed awesome pizza, sushi, tacos and even parmigiana from the little table in our room. I also stock up on lots of snack food within the day or two of arriving anywhere so they’re at hand. Full tummies make for happy kids.

Tweaking the way you travel when kids arrive and you’ll find it is the greatest adventure of your life!

Eating Dinner With Kids While Travelling via christineknight.me

My tips for eating out when travelling with kids:

Eat out all together early: If we aren’t jetlagged, we dine together at around 6pm near hour hotel and make sure we have snacks for later for if we get hungry.

Book an airbnb, apartment or suite with a separate bedroom: This is my fave way to travel as it means we can get some basic groceries and make meals for our very fussy child at night and either make food for us, too, or get takeout once she’s asleep and shut in another room.

Eating Dinner With Kids While Travelling via christineknight.me

Get a room with a fridge: This is critical for us! See the next point.

Stash plenty of snacks in the room: I always visit a supermarket when we are staying somewhere longer than a few nights and stock up on basics my fusspot daughter will eat, like yoghurt pouches, bread, cheese, butter, cereal and milk. The long-life milk cartons are a particular life-saver. If we have any late-night food emergencies then we know she will always have something she can eat. I’ve even been known to take Vegemite from home in those small sachets that you get from hotels because they make anywhere in the world taste like home.

Eating Dinner With Kids While Travelling via christineknight.me

Bring disposable Tupperware: I like to grab food during the day that my daughter will eat, like bread rolls, a croissant, bagel etc, and store it in either a disposable Tupperware container or ziplock bags so when it comes to bedtime, I have something on hand that she is guaranteed to eat that is still relatively fresh.

Eating Dinner With Kids While Travelling via christineknight.me

Do you have any more tips for making dinner time easier when travelling?

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Ready For Adventure! Lonely Planet Kids Book Review

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and Lonely Planet Kids (all opinions are my own)

France via christineknight.me

The Lonely Planet guides and phrase books have been the corner stone of my traveling life. From my earliest solo travel, the LP books have been the resource I’ve turned to for finding places to stay, things to do and phrases to speak to the locals to find my way around. I have fond memories as a teenager of pawing through my Lonely Planet Europe guidebook to the Paris on a budget section, and begging my dad to call the owners of the French hotel described as “rustic but charming” to secure me a room. I was too scared to make the call myself with my lack of French! The hotel was just as described in the guidebook (maybe more on the rustic, but with definitely charming hosts) – the Lonely Planet books have never let me down.

Lonely Planet Kids Books Review via christineknight.me

Lonely Planet have been creating guidebooks for over 40 years now, and their new foray into kids travel books is only a natural progression for them.

I was very excited to receive in the mail a pack from the new Lonely Planet Kids range: Lonely Planet Kids Amazing World Atlas (RRP $29.99), Lonely Planet Kids Adventures in Famous Places (Sticker and Activity Book) ($12.99), and Lonely Planet Travel With Children (RRP $29.99) (this book isn’t a part of the Lonely Planet Kids range, but it’s a great resource for parents).

Lonely Planet Kids Books Review via christineknight.me

Lonely Planet Kids Adventures in Famous Places is part of a range of Adventures In … activity books Lonely Planet are producing (other titles in the series include Adventures in Busy Places and Adventures in Cold Places). The activity book has 250 reusable stickers, each designated to specific pages in the book. Each page focuses on a destination like Addo Elephant Park in South Africa.

Lonely Planet Kids Books Review via christineknight.me

Kids are directed to find the correct stickers to add to the page, and can then also learn more about the particular area. We learned, for example, that African elephants weigh four times more than a car and move silently thanks to their padded feet.

Lonely Planet Kids Books Review via christineknight.me

Cheese, at almost four, is the perfect age for me to assist her with this activity book. She loves stickers and is a giant sponge right now wanting to soak up as much information about the world as she can. As she can’t read yet, she is highly enjoying having me read the fun travel trivia as we work our way through the book.

I’d particularly recommend this book as a travel activity. It could easily entertain kids for an hour or so on a flight. The activity book is recommended for children aged 3 – 5, but I think even slightly older children would enjoy being able to independently complete the activities and read the facts for themselves.

Lonely Planet Kids Books Review via christineknight.me

Lonely Planet Kids Amazing World Atlas is a fantastic resource for older children to learn about their world. It includes maps, beautiful photos, trivia and historical info. While this book is currently a bit old for Cheese, we are reading it together.

Lonely Planet Kids Books Review via christineknight.me

She particularly enjoys reading about places remembers (“The Sydney Opera House! I’ve been there!”) I can see that the book is going to kickstart many conversations for us and get Cheese excited about our future travel together. An added bonus: you can download the supporting app on your iPad.

Lonely Planet Kids Books Review via christineknight.me

Lonely Planet Travel With Children has the tag like “Family-friendly travel without the fuss”, which is exactly our travel mantra. The book is divided into useful sections such as “getting ready to go” (which has helpful tips on things like vaccinations and what to pack), and “during the journey” (with suggestions on different modes of transport and scheduling your trip in accordance to kids needs), but the bulk of the book is dedicated to destinations.

Lonely Planet Kids Books Review via christineknight.me

Each location has a double page spread full of really useful info for visiting with children. This book is a bit dangerous as it’s making my travel bucket list grow substantially!

Please check out the Lonely Planet Kids website lonelyplanetkids.com and new social media pages facebook.com/lpkidstravel and twitter.com/lpkids for more info on the Lonely Planet Kids books and app.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

14 Tips For Travelling With Kids

14 Tips For Travelling With Kids via christineknight.me #familytravel

We just arrived home after our epic around the world adventure with the preschooler. While all of our victories and mistakes are still clear in my foggy jet lagged head, I wanted to write down what I’ve learned about making international travel with a little kid a success. Here’s what I’ve learned after six weeks, four countries, five cities and eight flights with my three-year-old.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

1. Take a stroller
Unless your kid is a strong walker, bring a lightweight umbrella stroller. We thought our 3-year-old was done with a stroller, but we didn’t take into account that we would be walking an average of 10km a day, and that our child would be battling jet lag as well as over stimulation in a new environment. She was exhausted. I cursed myself for giving away our trusty Uppababy G-LUXE that we’d use for previous trips, and got their lightest model, the Uppababy G-LITE, to make our trip easier.

14 Tips For Travelling With Kids #familytravel via christineknight.me

2. Pack well for flights
Be prepared to battle hunger, thirst and boredom on long flights. Take an empty water bottle and fill it when you get through security and pack dry snacks and liquids up to 100ml like yoghurt sticks. Security will allow small ice packs to keep dairy cool. Take lots of pairs of underwear, wipes and a spare set of clothes, plus some small new toys and activities that your child will love. Hand out the toys one at a time when a meltdown is imminent. Charge up the iPad with new shows and games. A flight is not the time to limit screen time.

3. Break up flights
We slowly made our way around the world in short flights to make it easier for our daughter to handle the travel. At the end of a five-hour flight she would be itching to get off and no iPad on Earth could placate her.

14 Tips For Travelling With Kids #familytravel via christineknight.me

4. Fly during the day
This is a big time waster if you only have a short time period to be away, but we found it really helpful in getting over the jet lag faster. We planned our flights to arrive at our destination and then go straight to bed. As a result, our daughter would wake up a few hours earlier than normal, but more like 4 or 5am rather than 1 or 2am.

5. Pack well for the kids
Things you should pack lots of: underpants, lightweight tees, shorts/skirts/dresses. Light is key so you can wash clothes and have them dry overnight hanging up in the hotel bathroom. I always pack travel detergent so I can wash clothes in the sink, and stain remover because I use it on my daughter’s clothes pretty much every single day. Clothing-wise, I prefer items that cover more skin over her chest and shoulders rather than strappy singlets or dresses to give her more protection from the sun. I never travel without sunscreen, either. I take a few small ones for my handbag as well as a larger one to leave in the hotel. Shoe-wise, even in summer I pack a pair of closed toe shoes for my daughter (which she wears on planes), as well as shoes that can be worn in water, such as Saltwater sandals. Always pack a small medical kit in case of scrapes, blisters, cuts and so on. We include child pain relief, mosquito repellant and stop-itch creams in case of bites.

6. Leave stuff at home
Anything fancy you don’t want stained or ruined on the trip, for both you and the child. Heavy clothing that takes days to dry. New shoes that haven’t been worn in. Delicate clothing. Expensive handbags or jewellery.

14 Tips For Travelling With Kids #familytravel via christineknight.me

7. Choose your locations wisely
We chose to visit cities that had lots to do within walking distance of our accommodation, or a short train ride away. After all of that flying the last thing you’d want to do is arrive somewhere and then have even more travel to do to see the sights.

8. Weigh up pros and cons of apartments vs hotels
We stayed in both apartments and hotels on our trip, and there are pros and cons to each. Hotels were great in areas where we wanted to be close to everything, such as Barcelona and London, where the apartments were a bit far to then commute each day around the city from with an already tired child. We all ate dinner together each night and pretty much went to bed at the same time too – it was a bonding experience. In New York we stayed in an apartment for two weeks that was central and found it the best of both worlds in terms of location and amenities. My preferred option would be a centrally-located apartment so we can do our washing and make basic food.

14 Tips For Travelling With Kids #familytravel via christineknight.me

9. Get hotel inclusions
Try to get breakfast included so you can fill up and grab some fruit and pastry for later, and make sure wi-fi isn’t an added charge. We stayed at Grosvenor House in London and had an amazing breakfast included (pictured above) but not wi-fi, which was a big, unexpected charge.

10. Plan less
Your itinerary with a little kid should list one single thing to do each day. Plan to spend more time doing that one thing, and getting to and from there, and don’t try to squeeze in single thing you want to see. You’ll be so tired you don’t enjoy it. The journey is part of the fun for kids, so allow time for taking a look at parks, buildings and trains on route to your actual destination.

11. Allocate down time
What worked for us was going out in the mornings to see and do something, and then returning to the hotel or apartment after lunch for a rest before heading out for an early dinner. We all needed the siesta!

14 Tips For Travelling With Kids #familytravel via christineknight.me
12. Find fun for everyone
We planned activities that gave everyone a chance to enjoy themselves. We visited cathedrals, playgrounds and also had a fancy high tea. With all of our needs being met, all three of us enjoyed the trip. My husband and I were happier to spend time doing “kid” things like the said playgrounds when we knew that we were also going to be able to visit amazing places like Sagrada Familia, too. Taking our daughter to places we wanted to see for ourselves also taught her to put up with doing things that made other people happy even if she personally didn’t care for it. This was a moderately successful lesson that we are still working on. We were actually pleasantly surprised with how she enjoyed a lot of “adult” sights, such as the Familia. I have a beautiful memory of my daughter dancing in a rainbow shining through the stained glass windows inside the cathedral that will stay with me forever.

13. Stay longer in less locations
We thought we had planned well with a week or two in each location along our trip, but it was still a lot of travel – too much. Next time, we will stay even longer in one place, like a month, and go at an even slower pace as our 6-week trip left us all exhausted.

14 Tips For Travelling With Kids #familytravel via christineknight.me

14. Break routines
At home I have a strict schedule for our daughter, especially with dinner and bedtime. No late nights, very healthy food, designated meal times. On our trip, however, we put the enjoyment of our trip before our daughter’s schedule to make life a bit easier. We ate out every night. Our daughter was in bed late and slept in. She ate way too much pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches. Bending the rules was fun for us all. Has anything changed now we’re home? Nope. We are back, without fuss, to our schedule, family rules and diet. Holiday success.

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14 Tips For Travelling With Kids #familytravel via christineknight.me

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Pros And Cons Of Travel With Little Kids

Pros and cons of #travel with #kids via christineknight.me

As we’ve done a lot of travel with Cheese since she was only 3 months old, this is something I get asked a lot. We travelled for necessity – from New York back to Australia and Hawaii to see family, and to Canada to get our visas renewed. If we hadn’t needed to travel so much we would have probably been too scared to do so, as Cheese was a really tough baby, toddler, and, let’s face it, a tough preschooler. Being forced to travel was actually great because it made us get out and experience the world and create wonderful memories instead of staying home and just keeping to local, easy experiences. I wanted to share a few pros and cons of travelling with little kids.

PROS:

You still get to travel
My husband and I love travelling passionately. It’s an integral part of who we are. We were determined that when we had a kid that our travel would resume as soon as possible. We didn’t expect parenthood to be as hard as it was, but we are getting on with the difficulties while still seeing the world. We don’t want to wait until Cheese grows up to see everything we want to see – we want to experience as much as we can while we are also still young and fit enough to enjoy it. As I write this, we are in Barcelona, about to head out for tapas lunch. Travelling with a little kid is obviously a lot different than pre-kid (goodbye lazy mornings and romantic nights fueled by sangria!) but it is still incredibly enjoyable. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t do it. Adapt to the changes and travel is still wonderful, with kids of any age.

Your kid grows up a world citizen
Cheese is an American and Australian citizen. As well as significant travel in these two countries, she’s also been to Canada, Mexico, Spain and soon London. And she’s only 3. She already adapts to different cultures easily and speaks handfuls of Italian and Spanish. She understands what different languages mean and is able to confidently interact with people no matter what they look like or what language they speak. She is already a world citizen.

The memories are priceless
The years we spent in New York are among the best in my life. Each trip we have taken has been challenging, but has created memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Cheese at 1.5 yrs stroking a dolphin in Hawaii. At 2.5 yrs dashing down a beach in Mexico. At 3.5 yrs dancing in a rainbow inside the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Young kids are cheap
The younger your kid is, the cheaper it is to travel with them. Babies are free for everything, and kids up to a certain age get free transport/entry/hotel pull out beds. This trip to Barcelona, we’ve only had to pay for Cheese’s flight and food.

CONS:

It’s exhausting
I won’t lie, it’s really hard work travelling with a little kid. Jetlag is a killer – the first few mornings in Barcelona we were all up at 4am. Having a little kid means there is no such thing as a relaxing time either, it’s constantly go go go to keep them entertained.

You see and do less
Travel with a little kid means changing your expectations of what you’re going to see and do in any location. Less galleries and historical walking tours and more playgrounds and kid-friendly outings like castles.

All in all, it’s worth it to us to travel while Cheese is still young. We have such itchy feet that we can’t seem to live any other way.

What about you? Do you travel a lot with young kids?

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

What To Pack When Flying With Kids

What To Pack When Flying With Kids

I’ve racked up a lot of flights with Cheese – we’ve done over 10 long haul flights with her (over 10 hours each), and a bunch of shorter ones too, so we have flying with a little one pretty much down pat. As she gets a bit older, I adjust what we pack for each flight to compensate for her growth and changes in interests, but the core items remain the same.

What To Pack When Flying With Kids

Snacks
I never take my preschooler ANYWHERE without snacks, and air travel is no exception. On long-haul flights, it really pays to have these Thermos containers to keep food and drink at the right temperature. My faves are the Thermos FUNtainer Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Food Jar for food like fruit and cheese (keeps food cold for up to 7 hours) and the Foogo and FUNtainer Stainless Steel Vacuum Drink Bottles with silicone straws – both of which keep contents cool for up to 12 hours (I use ours for milk and water). These containers are all leak-proof so I don’t have to worry about the contents spilling all through our bags. If you run out of milk, the airline staff will usually refill it for you. I also love these Tupperware snack cups and fill them with things like rice crackers.

What To Pack When Flying With Kids
Entertainment
I always pack a few new things that Cheese hasn’t seen before, plus a couple of favourites that I can count on to occupy her time. This trip, I’m relying heavily on magnets to keep Cheese busy, particularly these T.S. Sure Daisy Girls Mermaids, Alphabet and Numbers and Princess and Fairies Magnetic Tins from Bobble Art. What’s great about them is they have their own containers to keep everything together, and hey, they’re magnetic, so it’s harder to loose pieces. A little blank notebook, pens and stickers (these are from Pipsticks), some mess-free colouring books and a blind Palace Pets toy bag (top right of the picture) complete our pack of fun new things. My strategy is to take out one thing at a time when she starts getting particularly fussy, and to try and drag them out for as long as possible so the entertainment value lasts longer.

What To Pack When Flying With Kids

These are two of Cheese’s must-haves for basically leaving the house. The iPad (loaded up with brand new games for our trip) and a dolly for her to engage in imaginative play. The cute doll in the picture is a Tiger Tribe “Ava” Rag Doll. Cheese loves having a soft doll to take with her to be her little buddy and loves to play with her particularly on flights and in hotels. Along with the iPad we are taking these kid-friendly headphones by Nabi.

aden + anais Dream Blanket - travel essentials via christineknight.me
Comforts

I always pack my daughter’s favourite blanket, which is a Dream Blanket by aden + anais that she has had since birth. It keeps her warm on flights, isn’t covered in other people’s germs like the ones provided by airlines, and also gives her the familiarity of an item she loves from home when we are travelling.

What To Pack When Flying With Kids

Practical
We love the Trunki for travelling with Cheese – having her pull her own case and then sit on it while we pull her along is vastly easier than having to carry her now she is basically out of the stroller.

Now Cheese is almost four, I’m also packing on this trip a Trunki BoostApack, which is a backpack that turns into a car booster seat. Cheese JUST makes the height and weight requirements, which I’m thrilled about, as we no longer will have to book cars with car seats on our travels when we have this booster seat.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.