Woo hoo! We’re in Melbourne with our girls on a fun family holiday. We’re so happy to discover that not only is Melbourne amazing for dining out, shopping and sightseeing, it’s also fantastic for kids.
We haven’t travelled with the girls much recently, preferring to holiday a little closer to home at Rottnest earlier this year, but when Ava was little we travelled a lot. We took her to the Greek islands to be christened when she was just three months old, back again when she was eighteen months and in between to Melbourne, Singapore and Bali.
The first time we travelled with Ava, we took everything but the kitchen sink. Each time we’ve travelled since we’ve learnt how to pack more efficiently and this trip, we’ve just about got it right.
I thought I’d share some of what we’ve learnt along the way, and I’d love YOU to share your top tips for travelling with kids too!
For the Plane Ride
I’ve found it’s best not to take too much, you need to be able to pop everything in a bag, zip up and go. At the same time, if you have multiple sectors you need to have enough to keep your children occupied while you are waiting for flights.
If you have an iPad, that’s a must pack – it has the potential to keep your child / children happy for hours!
For Chloe, I popped half a dozen of her favourite little toys and books into a pouch and she has enjoyed pulling everything out and then I pop it back in for her to do it all over again. She’s at that lovely age where she really loves singing songs and playing games like ‘Open – Shut Them’, so it’s quite easy to keep her entertained.
For this trip for Ava, I packed a Smiggle notepad, stickers, Alphabet match cards, Dome crayons, Little Miss and Mr Men books (which are a great size for travelling and have doubled as a bed time story) and a Toy Story 3 Mystery bag that I picked up at Big W.
Ava loves Toy Story at the moment!
I always pack snacks, even though food is provided in flight and is readily available at the airport, sometimes it’s ridiculously overpriced or very unhealthy. If your children have had a cold or are prone to ear infections, it’s really important to have their ears checked before flying. The pain on ascent and descent if they have any ear soreness can be excruciating and can even cause a burst ear drum.
To help little ones with their ears, it’s best to breastfeed or bottle feed on take off and landing as the sucking action helps to equalise their ears and for older kids, a lolly or drink of water will do the trick.
Other must pack items include:
- Nappies (and lots of them!)
- Wipes (just keep them away from your passports if travelling overseas)
- Zip lock bags for any wet clothing / cream with missing lids etc
- Bottles and formula
- Hand sanitiser
- Nurofen or Panadol
- A change of clothes
Pram / Baby carrier
When we travelled with Ava when she was three months old, we took our Baby Bjorn and it was very handy during our transit time as it meant she was safe and secure and could sleep, while I had my hands free for luggage and passport control.
I also highly recommend taking your own travel stroller or pram. We’ve used a Steelcraft Holiday on previous trips; it has a canopy, basket and it reclines, and only costs around $80 – so it doesn’t matter too much if it’s damaged (as opposed to if your Bugaboo gets damaged – eek!).
On this trip, we’ve brought our fantastic Britax BOB stroller and I’m so glad we did. It’s super light, can be popped in and out of the boot of a taxi, plus the canopy folds right down which has been perfect for protecting Chloe from the rain and wind and keeping her all warm and snuggly. Our shopping fits in the basket underneath and we’ve been able to pop our jackets across the hood while we’re in the shops or at a restaurant! Too easy!
Ava has even managed to fit in there on an afternoon stroll with Poppa while Chloe had her nap back at the hotel, and was very comfortable. This pram really ticks all the boxes for ease of use and versatility!
I have been using packing cases for a few years now, they are genius for keeping each family members clothes in one compact and easy to access spot, and all you have to do is slip each case into a drawer when you arrive at your destination!
Similarly I repack everything into these cases and wash them one at a time when we get home, it makes the task seem a little less overwhelming somehow.
These ones were a very thoughtful gift from Ikea from a lovely Melbourne friend, but they’re not available in all states. You can find packing cases and cells at Kathmandu and other travel stores.I also love Trunki cases for kids. They are both fun and functional and double as a ride on for the airport too! They also have a handy carry strap so mummy or daddy can carry them easily through the airport.
For the Hotel
This trip, I packed a little container of Chloe’s favourite toys, including a soft ball and a small activity cube. She really loves pulling things out of containers, boxes and bags at the moment, so that’s kept her entertained and happy along with singing her favourite songs.
Ava has alphabet cards which have provided all of us with lots of fun, plus a glitter ball which flashes when it moves which both the girls love. We also packed her Buzz Lightyear and other Toy Story figurines which have also kept her busy.
I also packed as many nappies as possible, and formula for Chloe. It’s not as important when you’re travelling within Australia, but at the same time who wants to be traipsing the streets looking for a supermarket or chemist when there’s so much more fun to be had on holiday!
A mini First Aid kit with bandaids, betadine, antiseptic cream for any little cuts or scrapes, plus Nurofen for both my girls is also a must. I find Nurofen so quick and easy to administer with the syringe, which is so handy if it’s the middle of the night and you just want your little one to feel better.
Of course, your destination will determine what you’ll need to take with you, I find travelling within Australia very easy as you can get whatever you need at most chemists and supermarkets.
Travelling overseas, especially to warm and tropical destinations you need to take much more with you – including mosquito repellant bands, a mosquito net for the pram, sunscreen, swim nappies, rashies etc
Happy travels lovelies!
A x x x x x
What are YOUR top tips for travelling with kids?
What are your favourite family holiday destinations?0