Longhaul Family Travel Tips
Updated: May 4
G'day mates! As someone who grew up traveling internationally and now has an Australian husband, I'm no stranger to taking long-haul flights with little ones. It's no secret that traveling with kids can be challenging, throw in a different time zone, a new language, and a whole new culture, and it can feel downright overwhelming. But fear not, fellow adventurers, because, in this blog post, I'm going to share some of my top tips for making international travel with kids as smooth and stress-free as possible. So grab a cuppa and get ready to take some notes, because this is the ultimate guide to jet-setting with the whole fam.
Let's dive into the world of airport travel with kids. From the seemingly endless luggage to the need for multiple hands to juggle all the carry-ons, travel documents, stroller check at the gate, and car seats, it can all seem overwhelming. And let's not forget the long lines and security checks that can test even the most patient of parents.
Oh friends, let me tell you about my latest travel game changer: the travel cart. No more juggling multiple bags and kids while trying to navigate the airport. I bring my trusty 4-wheel rolling cart that folds down and fits in my suitcase. It's like having an extra set of hands! This baby can hold up to 3 large suitcases plus any other odds and ends I need to transport. It's a total game-changer and has saved my sanity more than once. So if you're planning on doing any family travel, do yourself a favor and invest in a travel cart. Your back and your peace of mind will thank you.
Oh, the stress of travel documents. The fear of misplacing your passport or important travel papers can be enough to make anyone break out in a cold sweat. That's why having one designated person in charge of all travel documents is a game-changer. It not only reduces the risk of losing or misplacing important papers but also makes the process of navigating through airport security and customs a lot smoother.
Choose someone in the family who is organized and reliable to keep all documents in a safe and easily accessible place, such as a travel wallet or folder. Make sure to double-check that all necessary documents are accounted for before leaving for the airport. It may seem like a small detail, but trust me, it can make a big difference in reducing stress levels and ensuring a smooth travel experience for the whole family.
Losing travel docs is stressful but nothing is more frightening for a parent than a lost child in a crowded airport. We all know that dreaded scene from Home Alone, and we certainly don't want to live it. That's why it's important to be prepared and have a plan in place. One great tip is to take a picture of your child before you leave for the airport, making sure you capture their outfit for the day. In case of an emergency, you can quickly show the photo to authorities, helping them to easily identify your child.
It's also important to teach your children who to ask for help in case they get separated from you. Encourage them to find a uniformed airport worker or even a mom traveling with her own children. Moms are experts at finding lost things and helping lost kids find their way back to their parents.
As a mom, the power of diversion is your best friend when traveling with kids. And thinking ahead can keep the inevitable meltdowns at bay. That's why I always pack "fun bags" - about 10 of them filled with all sorts of random toys, mini play dough, stickers, and little snacks. These bags have been life savers, stopping meltdowns in their tracks at checkouts, during long lines, and all those moments when you need your little one to be occupied. It's amazing how a few small distractions can make all the difference in keeping everyone happy and sane during travel.
let's talk about something that every parent dreads: motion sickness on a flight. It can turn what should be an exciting adventure into a vomit-filled nightmare. But fear not! With a little planning and some smart packing, we can tackle this problem head-on. First things first, I always make sure to pack a few extra plastic bags and some handy wipes. And don't be shy, ask the flight crew for more bags if you need them. I also recommend bringing a change of clothes just in case, and packing some clothes that you won't mind tossing if need be. Trust me, it's not worth the hassle of trying to clean vomited-on clothes in the middle of a flight. So let's be prepared and enjoy our travels with our little ones, even if that means dealing with motion sickness along the way.
That's all for now, my fellow travel-loving friends! I hope these tips have been helpful in making your next international adventure with kids a little less daunting. Remember, with a little planning, some smart packing, and a positive attitude, you can tackle anything that comes your way. So get out there and explore the world with your little ones. After all, the memories you make will be priceless and last a lifetime.