Updated on January 24, 2024 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Travelling is like a walk in the park if you know how to do it. Maybe you’ve always been an avid traveller, and you remember the times when your parents took you on family trips. However, travelling with your children is a whole different story. If you’re doing it for the first time, you’re up for a real challenge.

Generally speaking, the younger the children, the trickier they travel. After all, you’ll have to deal with all the tantrums and crying, bring a ton of baby gear, hope to travel with understanding passengers, and then stay with empathetic hotel guests – we bet that’s not exactly what your dream holiday looks like. Nevertheless, you don’t have to give up travelling as soon as you start a family. You can travel with your children, survive, and have the time of your life while you’re at it. Read on to find out 8 amazing tips for travelling with kids.

1. Take It Slow

Whether it’s your first trip with children or not, you need to have plenty of time, since everything will probably take longer than you expect. You’ll have to wake them up, get them dressed, pack them into a car, get to the airport or a train station, go through security, buy some snacks or drinks, and board your plane or train.

It sounds like a lot, and it’s only the first phase of your trip – after that, you’ll have to endure the journey and keep your kids entertained before you even reach your destination.

Then you’ll have to help them adapt to the new environment, get settled, and prepare them for a couple of days of fun activities. After that, you have to make a return trip.

The point is, travelling with young kids is tricky, but not impossible. People have travelled, travel, and will travel with children – and so can you!

family on the pier

2. Book Wisely

If you decide to travel with kids, you’ll have to pay attention to details you would otherwise overlook. For starters, you should look into hotels and airlines that offer child discounts or other child-friendly amenities. You should also keep your kids happy by providing them with a plethora of fun activities. Maybe there’s a kids club at your hotel, the area is safe, there are many local parks nearby, and your accommodation has positive reviews left by other families. Also, consider looking for discount codes for theme parks – school-age children will surely find them incredibly exciting.

You should also pay attention to your travel details. If you decide to take a plane, book in advance and look for hidden costs – most airlines will allow you to check a stroller and a car seat with no additional fees, but there might be some size restrictions.

Pro tip: if you’re going by plane, plan your flights around your kid’s sleep schedule. Evening flights tend to be expensive, but they also help children fall asleep faster. You can also consider booking early flights since they’re less crowded and align with their nap time.

kids with baloons

3. Brand and Track Them

Airports tend to be overcrowded, and so do various tourist locations around the globe. It’s also quite common for young children to get lost and separated from their parents – that’s a feeling nobody wants to experience. As such, it’s better to be safe than sorry and prepare for the unthinkable.

Give yourself peace of mind and provide your child with some form of identification. If you’re worried about them getting lost, you can write your name and phone number on their arm. Additionally, you can buy a GPS tracking device and attach it to your kid’s wrist, bag, or trouser loop. You can monitor its location with an app, and while it sounds a bit extreme, it’s a solution that will provide you with peace of mind about your child’s safety.

4. Pack What You Need

Depending on your kid’s age, you’ll have to bring different items. However, the list you’ll find below can serve as a sample guide on what to bring for a plane ride with a child:

  • Hand sanitiser
  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers
  • Pull-ups
  • Basic art supplies (crayons, paper etc)
  • Reading books
  • Comfort items
  • Smartphones and tablets with chargers
  • Kid-sized headphones
  • Plastic bags for trash
  • Water or baby milk
  • Baby food
  • Low-sugar snacks
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit

Pro tip: Comfort items can help your young child survive the time they spend in transit by providing them with a sense of familiarity and security. It can be anything from plush toys to pacifiers if they still use them. Keep in mind, though, that kids tend to lose their grip on things. If a toy or a pacifier lands on the floor, you must prevent your kid from putting it close to their mouth. As such, you should have at least two pacifiers and be ready to clean them, as well as bring backup toys.

Child playing with toys

5. Talk to Your Kids

Whether you have small or older children, you need to explain what’s going on during your trip, especially if they have never been on a plane or train before. Use kid-friendly language and explain in simple terms what’s going on around them, when something is going to happen, and why things are the way they are. Don’t leave them in the dark, especially when they’re old enough to understand the complexities of travelling with other people – and they reach that point sooner than you think!

Luckily, most young kids are not scared of flying, and they think it’s cool. Talking with you will help ease their minds and prepare them for what’s to come. Of course, you can’t predict their behaviour, but they should have an idea of what’s allowed and not allowed on board. Other people travelling with you will surely appreciate that.

6. Bring Distractions

Even adults tend to have a short attention span, and they are usually aware of various social cues and rules. However, children don’t have that knowledge, and they tend to shift focus very quickly. Even older kids tend to get bored easily. As such, to survive the journey and then the whole stay, you should remember to bring distractions.

You should opt for technology-free solutions, such as toys, books, educational games, and your creativity to engage them in a conversation. However, parents also need time to rest, and a smartphone or a tablet with an entertaining game or a movie can occupy your kids’ minds like no other device. Just remember to keep your child’s screen time in check, and don’t let a tablet or a smartphone be the only distraction.

7. Dress Them Well

Here’s a tricky task – you need to dress your kids as appropriately as possible, as fast as possible, and as efficiently as possible. After all, they’ll have to go through airport check-in and security procedures just like any other person, as well as endure various travel conditions, including temperature changes, long periods of travel without a break, and so on.

The best strategy is to dress them in layers. Opt for clothing with no buttons or zippers, and choose slip-on shoes over laces. You should also think about packing a spare set of clothing in your carry-on bag, just in case they spill something.

8. Keep Calm and Enjoy

It’s easier said than done, but when everything fails, you need to remain calm. Children will process things at their own pace, and they will come around, eventually. You need to keep calm for them and your fellow passengers or guests – long and deep breaths can do the trick.

Ultimately, remember that you’re going on a family vacation. Enjoy it! Things may get out of hand if you travel with multiple kids and young toddlers who are difficult to control. However, each crisis can be handled and taken care of, and nothing can stop you from having a great time. For your kids, the entire trip will feel like the biggest adventure of their lives, and you can share your love for travelling with them.

Pro tips:

Cultural considerations

When travelling with children, it’s important to be mindful of cultural differences. Research the customs and traditions of your destination country beforehand and be prepared to adapt your behaviour accordingly. For example, in some cultures, it may be considered rude to let your child run around freely in public places.

Be sensitive to local dress codes. In some countries, it may be considered offensive to wear revealing clothing, especially for children.

Be aware of food and hygiene differences. What may be considered a perfectly normal snack in your home country could be unfamiliar or even unsafe for children in another country. Make sure to pack plenty of familiar snacks and drinks for your children, and be prepared to do some research on local food options that are safe for them to eat

Age-related advice

The tips in the article can be adapted to different age groups. For example, young children will need more supervision and entertainment than older children. Toddlers may be more prone to tantrums, while older children may be more interested in exploring their surroundings.

Be prepared to adjust your activities based on your children’s ages and interests. For example, you may want to visit a theme park if you have young children, while older children may prefer to visit museums or historical sites.

Pack age-appropriate toys and activities. For young children, pack plenty of toys that they can play with on the plane or in the car. For older children, pack books, games, or electronic devices to keep them entertained.


  • Get travel insurance: This will help to protect you in case of any unexpected events, such as a medical emergency or a flight cancellation.
  • Be flexible: Things don’t always go according to plan when you’re travelling with children. Be prepared to go with the flow and adjust your plans as needed.
  • Most importantly, relax and have fun! Travelling with children can be a rewarding experience, even if it’s sometimes challenging. Focus on creating memories that your family will cherish for years to come.

The Bottom Line

Life shouldn’t stop for you when you have kids. If travelling is your passion, don’t give it up! Understandably, some things will be more difficult, and some will be downright impossible. Still, travelling with children, big and small, is doable.

It will require a great deal of effort on your part, and more often than not, things will get hectic. As such, you’ll need loads of patience and time to get everything done. Nevertheless, you can still have a great family travel experience, with big and small children alike. If you do your research well and remain focused on the task at hand – keeping your kids and fellow passengers happy – you should be able to reach your destination (and get back home safely) without too much trouble.

Then, you’ll have a great time at your chosen location as a family. You’ll learn how to overcome various difficulties, and the best thing is that things will get easier with time. Hopefully, your kids will love travelling as much as you do!


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