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10 Top Tips for Travelling with Kids
2nd September 2019
Your long awaited family holiday has finally arrived. With the whole brood looking forward to a fun and relaxing time away, a little bit of planning goes a long way to ensuring the holiday runs smoothly for everyone – including parents! Whether you are heading off for a city break in Sydney or a beach holiday in Samoa, our 10 top tips will help to make your vacation everything you dreamed of.
1# Involve the whole family
Right from the moment you first book the holiday, it’s important to communicate with your children. During the build-up, spend time researching and showing them what can be expected in terms of activities, climate and staying in the hotel. This is also the time to share your expectations about airport and hotel behaviour and what to do if they get lost. This will build their confidence and allow them to give input in what they would like to do during the trip.
2# Pack smart
By involving the children in the planning stage, they should be able to help with their own packing. Again, talk about what is appropriate to bring, and remember to include some activities for down time. When it comes to putting things in suitcases, children love the idea of looking after their own things. However, try to spread each person’s clothes throughout your various pieces of check in luggage, so that if something happens, each family member still has a few outfits. If you have an umbrella buggy, take it with you. They are a great way to transport your hand luggage and duty-free right up to the plane and a great place for kids to nap.
3# Stock up on apps
If you have a tablet, prepare to share! There are hundreds on great apps on the market that don’t require an internet connection. They will keep the kids occupied for much longer than a movie and some are even educational. Some of our favourites are Usbourne Books dress up characters, with options for both boys and girls aged 3 to 8 and Peppa Pig’s Holiday, both of which are available for Apple and Android devices.
4# Park, Stay and Go
Parking at Auckland Airport can be pricey, so it’s worth considering staying at a hotel close to the airport and making use of the 21 days free parking that is included in your room rate. Depending on how long you need to park for, you can even save money. Plus, after a good night’s sleep, the trip to the airport will be short, relaxed and not rushed. Check out Holiday Inn Auckland Airport’s Park, Stay & Go package.
5# Be prepared for emergencies
There is nothing worse than scrambling around for Pamol in the middle of the night in a strange place and realising you don’t have any. Minor emergencies have a habit of happening when the pharmacy is closed, so pack a small first aid kit containing the essentials such as Pamol, band-aids, Pedialyte sachets, bite cream, painkillers and remedy for an upset stomach. Pack all prescription medicines in your hand luggage as these can be costly and inconvenient to replace if your check in baggage gets lost.
6# Adopt a positive attitude
The idea of getting your family through Auckland Airport and trying to catch a flight on time doesn’t need to give you sleepless nights. Children will mirror your attitude, so if you appear relaxed and happy, they are more likely to keep calm as well. Remember if things go wrong, keep a smile on your face- you’re on holiday after all! You will find that there are always people willing to help if you look around.
7# Activity time
The key to a relaxing holiday is planning your activities ahead of time. It can be tempting to cram as much into your time away as possible, but especially with young children this won’t work. Plan one big activity or trip each day, with plenty of down time to relax by the pool, beach or wherever you may be. This means you won’t be in a rush to see everything, and that downtime has been planned for.
8# Snack Attack
Are you familiar with the term ‘hangry’? Being so hungry you get angry and cranky? This one will hit the whole family hard if snacks haven’t been pre-planned. From the moment you leave your house have something available in the car, something handy on the plane and snacks for when you’re out and about. It’s a long time between mealtimes for small tummies! Also plan your restaurant meals, if you’re having a late evening plan a low key lunch and afternoon downtime. Make sure you pack re-usable water bottles too so that you don’t end up being overcharged for mineral water.
9# Parents can have fun too
A family holiday doesn’t mean you need to spend the entire holiday together. Speak to your hotel about organising a babysitter and have a much-needed adult’s night out! The kids will be in good hands, and you can enjoy an evening of delicious food and perhaps some cocktails.
10# Skip the souvenirs
Depending on your budget, the holiday can add up quickly. Resist the urge to buy a ton of souvenirs that will only clutter up your suitcase. A fun idea for making memories is to give each of your kids a disposable camera for the duration of the trip. That way they can take snaps of what interests them, and be able to bring some amazing memories home with them.