Travelling with children is always full-on, so it helps to be organised. Over the years I’ve accumulated a few family travel tips and tricks that have helped us make sure that we’re always on time, and that we always have the 14 family travel essentials we need to start our holidays off on the right foot.
We received a compliment during our last flight on how well behaved Ella and Louis were and I think a big part of that is down to how acclimatised they have become with flying from a young age, but also some of the habits we have made part of our family travel routines.
So I’m sharing 8 of our favourite family travel tips that really make the difference whether you’re planning for your first family holiday or your fifth!
Pre Plan Outfits
Don’t be tempted to pack your families entire wardrobe and figure out what to wear when you get on holiday.
Instead pre-plan outfits for each day, factoring different outfits for the day time, evenings, days out to the beach or pool and travelling.
Write them down or photograph them so that you can see exactly how they will look and what will go with what.
This will stop you from over packing and mean that you know exactly what you’ve packed reducing the chances of you leaving anything behind.
It also means that you won’t have to spend any time thinking about who needs to wear what when you are on holiday, and that itself is worth its weight in gold.
Marie Kondo Your Suitcase
Instead of layering your clothes on top of each other, roll them up Marie Kondo style. It’s a fantastic way of making space in your suitcase and works for practically every item.
Download & Update Your Apps
Update your weather app to include the destination you’re travelling to so that you can check the weather before you go and plan for it.
Download any language translators and currency calculators that might be helpful for getting by in another country or place.
If you already have places in mind that you want to visit find out if they have apps or download Trip Advisor which is always really handy for finding and exploring new places.
Write a Pre-Flight Check List
Write a mini pre-flight checklist for all the things that you won’t be able to pack until the last minute such as toothbrushes and phone chargers. This reduces the chances of you leaving something behind and means that you don’t have to spend precious time just before you leave thinking about what you need to pack or worrying that you’ve left something behind.
Check-in Before You Go
Take advantage of the opportunity to check-in for your flight online the night before. You can change seats (if you haven’t pre-paid to do this), confirm how many bags you’ll be checking in and get all your boarding passes downloaded onto your phone or print them out before you go.
Top tip; download all boarding passes to one or two phones to speed up things if you have little ones.
Give Your House a Quick Spring Clean
There’s nothing like walking back into a nice clean and tidy home after a long flight back from your holiday.
Give your house a quick blitz before you go. Clear out the fridge, getting rid of anything that will expire whilst you’re away and empty all your bins.
Clean and tidy the floors and make rooms presentable. Wash up, run and unload the dishwasher and get the laundry bin as close to zero as possible (this will be the first thing to take a hit on your return).
For an extra touch change your bed sheets so that you have fresh sheets to sleep in when you get home.
Top tips; get your bins ready for your rubbish collection day or ask your neighbours to help you with this whilst you’re away.
Pack Children Their Own Hand Luggage
Pack activities, mementoes from home, snacks and favourite toys in carry on bags for children so that they have things to keep them entertained, happy and sated during a flight.
Let them help and get in on the excitement of packing their own bag, and if it’s possible get them a bag that they can ride on to make it easier and quicker for little legs to travel through the airport.
Travel for the Time of Day
It goes without saying that you should always travel comfortably. But you should also travel for the time of day and the weather in both your home location and destination.
There is nothing worse than being too hot or too cold on the plane or during transit and children really feel it. Take travel cushions, pillows and/or blankets for little ones if you are able to.
We have handy little travel blankets that were given to our children on an Emirates flight, but we’ve also lugged around blankets and travel pillows which have always been worth the extra effort.
Hopefully, you’ve picked up a tip or two from this post. If you’ve got tips that make your family holidays smoother I’d love to hear them!