7 tips for surviving a holiday with kids

We can sit here and poke fun at the “two types of travel” adults often talk about: travel before you have kids, and travel after you have kids. But we know you’re a busy parent that simply needs the best tips on surviving holidays with kids now, minus the jokes! Try these suggestions next time you’re planning to travel with children.

1. Embrace a different style of holiday

Forget the detailed style of travel you’re used to. Now that you’re holidaying with kids, plan a slower getaway with no strict itinerary, and one dotted with plenty of kid-friendly activities. We’re not suggesting an extravagant Disneyland adventure be on the cards; simply keep the itinerary loose with no major commitments. Make sure there’s easy access to kid hot-spots like parks and swimming pools where you can have the afternoons off from sightseeing.

2. Find the right accommodation

Scrap the idea of suffocating hotel rooms that aren’t functional for your family, instead; stay in real homes and apartments. Airbnb, Home Exchange, and Stayz are online portals helping travellers find the right space for their budget and needs.

Keeping it “real” when it comes to accommodation means you’ll often have more room, and an opportunity to keep a semblance of a routine for family members that need it. You’ll also often have access to a proper kitchen, which means you can save money by cooking meals at home, as well as have a backyard and individual spaces for every family member to find some downtime in.

In Sydney, the average hotel rate is around 28 per cent higher than an Airbnb rental.

3. Pack toys like a pro

Everyone has their limit when it comes to playing Eye Spy – kids and parents alike! So, be prepared for long flights and car rides with kids by stockpiling toys and activities that will keep them entertained. Keep your spending in check by buying small and inexpensive items in the lead up to your holiday you can slowly dispense to kids when in transit. For smaller children not used to being away from home, it may help to include a familiar toy from home too.

4. Get smart with your holiday budget

Consider spending the bulk of your time at places of interest, not tourist sites. This will help keep your budget in check as you’ll avoid pricey tourist traps. Always check the local tourism website to see what free activities are available in the local area you’re staying in. You may find free museum entries or gallery visits on certain days, or details on outdoor trails and adventures that offer beautiful sights and plenty of fun.

For example, get the kids on bikes and cruise The Gold Coast Oceanway’s network of pathways along the coast. It’s a fun and fuss-free way to get the kids out while also taking advantage of the beautiful coast with ocean dips along the way.

5. Do a little research to keep big kids engaged

Trying to finalise an itinerary? Consider holidaying in destinations your kids are familiar with to keep them engaged along the way. Have your children been studying ancient Rome in school? Maybe one child is learning to speak French? This may help spark their curiosity and excitement for the holiday ahead.

Do a quick search to see if there are intriguing stories or mysteries about the destinations your visiting. This will help you play tour guide when you’re out and about with older children. Did they know Prague is one of the most supernatural cities in the world, or can they spy Banksy art on the streets of London?

6. Find solo time

Consider choosing family-friendly island resorts and cruises for your next getaway. These options often have loads of free activities for kids all in the one spot. For example, kids’ clubs in Fiji are known for their nannies and caring staff that supervise and entertain young guests with adventures such as treasure hunts, fish feeding, and crab hunting. This leaves mum and dad a chance to enjoy a little downtime away from the kids too.

7. Keep calm

This tip is easier said than done, but when your child commits to a badly timed tantrum in the middle of a busy airport, it’s there to help! Take a deep breath and try to keep calm. Attitude plays a big role when you’re travelling, so no matter what goes awry with your kids in tow, go with the flow and continue to work towards making great memories with each other.