Top Travel Tips for a Fuss-Free Family Vacation

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Mamas, have you already been bitten by the post-pandemic travel bug, or are you planning your first trip as you begin to venture cautiously beyond the borders of the country this holiday season?  

Whichever boat you’re currently in, we’ve listed some practical tips to make traveling with your kids easier, a lot more enjoyable, and as fuss-free as can be! 

Packing I Accommodation I Entertainment I Travel I Snacks I Itinerary


1. Use packing cubes 

Add structure, space and organisation to your luggage bag with packing cubes– lightweight fabric bags with zip closures, that come in all shapes and sizes. Pack cubes by activities or according yo members of the family, and don’t forget to use the Marie Kondo method of folding for easy access!

2. Roll outfits together

A great way to get the excited kids out of the hotel door early in the morning quickly is to roll outfits together when packing, underwear and socks included. This saves time hunting for parts of an outfit, and older children can easily get themselves dressed on their own.

3. Use a packing list

Packing with kids can certainly get overwhelming, and you may always feel like you’re forgetting something. Make your own packing list, or get inspiration from online templates if you’re unsure of where to start.


1. Make sure there’s food

When kids get hungry, they want to eat now. If If you’re staying in a house and planning to prepare your own meals, do check beforehand if the kitchen is stocked with cooking essentials such as oil, butter, and salt.

2. Proximity to activities

Kids have boundless energy. Consider choosing accommodation that provides entertainment on-site, or one that is located near to kid-friendly activities. Stays with kids’ clubs and play rooms can be a lifesaver!

3. Reduce hotel hopping

Ideally, many of us would like to explore as many things as possible across different areas of a country, especially if we have traveled halfway round the world. But spending too much time time packing, unpacking and lugging younger kids around can certainly add to travel stress. Take a break from the mad rushes of our daily lives and try to cut back on changing accommodations as much as possible. 

4. Check that laundry amenities are complete

If you’re planning to stay in a house and have your clothes washed, make sure you are able to get clean clothes in time. This is especially important if you are traveling to a colder country. Check whether a drying machine is available; you can’t afford to have your clothes staying damp for days on the clothes line in the cold outdoors! 


Source: Unsplash

1. Leave most toys

We’re serious. Carrying around a whole luggage full of toys is cumbersome and may end up being pointless, especially if each toy provides a grand total of 5 minutes of entertainment! Kids find a lot of things around them interesting, which can be turned into toys. Choose wisely, with a few novel toys and comfort toys. And of course, do bring along your trusted tablet. 

2. Download games ahead of time

Download your games, movies, books or anything needed ahead of your flight or trip. With many educational apps now offering free trial periods, the holiday period is a great time to test out some new ones! 

3. Don’t forget your power bank 

Battery tends to run out pretty quickly when you’re whipping out the tablet throughout the travel journey to keep the kids entertained. Plus, all the searching for places to visit and map navigations is also a surefire way to drain your battery, so do always aim to have a charged power bank on hand. 


1. Take public transport

The journey may just matter more than the destination. Kids love their trains, buses, and boats. Using public transport can often become the highlight for many vehicle-loving kids. Plus, it saves you some taxi fees and works great for the environment too! 

2. Play car ride games

Long drives won’t have to be such a drag with good car ride games that can keep the whole family having fun together. From the classic I Spy With My Little Eye to Finish The Story, here are some other great entertaining car ride ideas to turn to when your kids start with their “are we there yet”s. 

3. Breastfeed or give a bottle during takeoff and landing. 

If you’re travelling with your bubs, get them suckling during takeoff and landing to avoid any potential painful ear pressure changes. Another useful tip would be to wake up any sleeping baby or child during takeoff and landings as the pain can be worse when sleeping. 

4. Thicker nappies 

Plane toilets are small, and squeezing in for a diaper change can be tricky! Have your child wear night diapers or even put on double the nappy (yes, one on top of another) for the plane ride. This may be able to hold them through a short haul ride, or at the very least reduce nappy changes, if you’re traveling further. 


1. Always have zip lock bags

Zip lock bags are a mama’s travel companion bestie. There are a ton of useful hacks with these handy clear bags, one of which is for packing leftover food as snacks for hungry children. We know that the kids somehow always seem to be on snacking mode when travelling!

2. Bring along snack size packs or resealable snacks

Getting big bags of snacks to last through the day makes sense, but make sure that it’s resealable, or bring along food clips to avoid spillages in your bag. Cleaning out crushed biscuits and food gunk from your handbag is no fun! Alternatively, you can bring along snack-sized packs that can be finished in one go. 


1. Take it slow 

Set realistic goals and expectations. And when we say that, it’s likely to mean going very, very slow when you have little kids on board. Instead of packing your itinerary full, aim for one to two activities a day. Give plenty of buffer for meltdowns, missed tickets and toilet stops. And of course, be prepared that it’s likely that nothing will go according to plan!  

2. Schedule downtime

It’s tempting to pack every minute of your day with something fun, especially when everyone is on vacation mode. But we all know that overtired kids equal cranky kids. Schedule daily downtime into your plan, even for older kids who no longer nap. You won’t regret having refreshed kids who are in better moods and behaviour for the second part of the day! 

For more great travel tips, check out out previous article: Mothers’ Best Tips for Drama-Free Travel with KidsHappy holidays, #makchicmumsquad! 


Elaine is a mummy of two who moved from the financial world to become an early childhood educator. She loves travelling, books and her cup of tea to unwind after a long day of diapers, school runs and pretend play.