These 8 tips will change the way you travel with kids.

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Thanks to our brand partner, Instant Consult

With the Christmas holidays almost here, you're probably – like me – deep in a chaotic mixture of excitement and fear. 

I'll be a doing a bit of local travel again over the break with my 13-year-old daughter, and any parent knows all too well that kids can make or break even the most longed-for holiday. 

While we want our children to have an amazing family summer holiday away from the routine of school and responsibility, it’s also most definitely about us, right? Us parents we deserve a fun break too – so here are my best tips that'll change the way you travel with your kids. 

The goal? Upping the excitement and reducing the anxiety, because as with everything with kids, smart prep is key.

Find the best holiday activities by tapping into the locals


Before you board the plane or haul your life into the car, check out what’s happening at your destination prior by sussing out the local council website and community groups (like the YMCA) before you go. They often host awesome holiday activities like surfing lessons, sports sessions and art classes that you can sign your kids up for. 

Local Facebook groups are a huge help too – mums know everything and are the holders of all the best information, to be able to recommend activities, family-friendly restaurants and most importantly, babysitters.

If you need telehealth on holiday, this app's for you

An important one when you're away from home, especially if the kids or adults in your family get sick or (touch wood) break something.

Unless you’re experiencing a unicorn holiday, chances are you might need to pop into see a doctor while you’re away – and everything crossed it's not via the emergency department. I will never forget the Callala Bay skate park arm break of 2021 that threw a spanner in our NSW South Coast trip, or the gastro outbreak of 2019 (if you’re staying in an Airbnb always bring extra TP!). 

If yourself or the kids fall sick while you’re on holidays, Instant Consult is one to have up your sleeve. It gives you immediate access to fully qualified and Australian-registered doctors over a video call, no matter what state you're holidaying to. You download the app (it's free) and then hit ‘Request a consult’. You can chat with a doctor and have them assess your concerns, write a referral or help to advise you with next steps. 


All Instant Consult consultations are covered by Medicare and bulk-billed for patients under 12 months. A handy recommendation to have whenever you need a doctor's advice while you're on the road, and can grab it conveniently from wherever you are – like the caravan park, hotel room or if you're out and about.

Keeping kids occupied in the backseat

Car and plane trips can be fun with a little imagination and reworking some old favourites. Get everyone to contribute their favourite songs to a family playlist and break out your best daggy car dancing moves together. You can all listen at the same time while flying too, and create your own silent disco on the plane. 

Write down your old and new favourite car games like Eye Spy, Spotto and the numberplate game, put them into a bag and take turns drawing them out. Everyone gets a turn to pick, and it’s a good way to break up backseat arguments or sneaky device time. 

Make sure to also bring your kids’ favourite games from home like art supplies, LEGO and playdough for that important down time. You can then set them up with some afternoon tea under a tree on the lawn or in the hotel room while you chill beside them.


Making sure lost kids are found

One of my favourite safety tips that'll change the way you travel with little ones is to create a family noise that is easily recognised and distinguishable to use when you’re out and about together in a crowd. 

That way if you lose sight of the kids you can hoot, yodel or... groan your way back to each other. Always identify landmarks as meeting places in case kids get lost, and make sure they have a hotel card in their pocket or a phone number written on their hand or arm. If they’re old enough to have devices, have your number programmed in at the top of the contacts list.  

Tire them out (and take glowsticks and torches)

Lots of activities and pool time in the mornings make for tired kiddos who need an afternoon nap or early bed time – ideal for us parents who want to spend time together without 28563 requests. If your littles are ragers and you’re staying in a caravan park or camping, pack torches and glow sticks for evenings of spotlight and hide and seek.

Book into Kids Club

More and more Aussie caravan parks, hotels and resorts are offering Kids Clubs (even if only in the school holidays) and it’s an absolute game-changer for making friends, and filling in their time with organised activities they'll actually have fun doing. You can book your kids into activities like outdoor play, Christmas craft, games and art – but make sure to check with our accommodation and book places well before you arrive as Kids Club is, of course, super popular. 

Give in to device time

Holidays are not the time to implement a no-device rule, in fact they’re the perfect time to break out the bribery and promise device time for good behaviour – or for when you need a break. Although you’ll probably find that with all the fun they’re having, your kids might not even want them (winning).


Be careful with what you share

While it may be tempting to share while you’re away, try to not widely broadcast your trip in real-time. Saving the social media posts until the holiday is over is the wiser option to protect yourself and your kids, particularly if you're staying in the same spot for several days or weeks. Make sure your social media settings are on private so only friends can see your updates (if you do enjoy posting them), and consider before adding a location tag before posting on Instagram or Facebook. 

Family time over summer are honestly what memories are made off. And if this doesn't poke your heart: You have about 18 summers with your kids to make them truly count. Your family is going to have an incredible time, whatever you do, so don’t feel pressured to create the kind of over-the-top experiences you may see on social media. Focus on your family, put your phone down (unless that telehealth is required of course!), be in the moment and enjoy this precious time. 

Download the free Instant Consult app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Always seek health advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Feature Image: Instagram/@mumpacktravel

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