Every parent knows how challenging it can be to travel with kids – especially if long-haul flights are involved.

Janeece Keller CEO of Bound Round – a travel content platform by kids, for kids – says: “My job frequently gives me the opportunity to travel overseas with tweens, so I know first-hand how valuable family travel tips and recommendations are.”

Secrets from those in the know – such as experienced mums and dads – can provide really great insights for fun and enriching travel with children.

With this in mind, Bound Round has crowd-sourced top tips from mothers across Australia on how to plan the most stress-free and kid-friendly vacations.

Check out some of these hard-earned pearls of wisdom to help you with your own holiday planning:

1) DIY travel journal

Inspire a future travel writer with a blank notebook. Melissa Jeffcott, a mother of three from Melbourne, recommends: “Get your kids a travel journal where they can write a few words and record their memories by sticking in stuff like entry tickets and postcards.”

If you’d prefer to avoid potential glue stick disasters while travelling, your kids might fare better with a digital version. The Bound Round travel app includes an e-journal feature which lets kids upload photos, and they can then email their travel journal to their teacher, friends or family.

2) Keep them busy

Long plane trips can mean bored, tired or overstimulated kids.

As a mother who has gone on 11 international holidays with children, Leann Middlemass suggests: “When travelling on a plane, always bring pencils, small board games or puzzles.”

3) Prepare for medical emergencies

Children are more likely to be great travel companions if they’re feeling hale and hearty.

Mary Dawes, a Sydney mother of four (with one on the way), advises: “Always pack medications that may not be available at your travel destination, particularly children’s Panadol or Nurofen. If it’s tried and tested at home, it’s always better to take it from home, rather than risk trying something different while away.”

4) ‘Bribe’ them

Sometimes a simple reward works wonders. Melbourne mum Melissa Jeffcott admits: “I keep a large supply of Dollars/Pounds/Euros handy for bribing them – with ice cream!”

5) Be organised

Travelling with children can be exciting and enriching – especially if you’re organised.

Susanne Thiebe, mother of three boys, notes: “I’ve travelled overseas on my own with a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a 4 month old – I survived and actually enjoyed it! I think the secret is in being organised – know what to expect and prepare for the worst so nothing surprises you.”

Keeping the whole family involved in organising the holiday is another way to build excitement ahead of a trip and helps ensure you’ve got everything covered.

Pick up a copy of Lonely Planet’s ‘Not For Parents’ book to educate your kids about your destination, or get them to create their own travel itinerary with Bound Round and explore the different kid-friendly activities available at your destination.

Do you have any other travel tips to add to these? Please share with us in the comments below.

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  • My kids were always so excited to travel and they were always very well behaved because they just loved being on a plane and going somewhere exciting. I taught them to be very respectful of the people around them. They knew that they were not to push on the seat in front and that they were to talk and not shout. For me that makes it easier as I know we are not upsetting others.


  • Number two is so important – keeping them entertained.


  • Great tips. I found having kids wheelie suitcases helped lots at the airport and waiting in lines as they were able to sit on them


  • Take a compact First Aid Kit with you with anything you could be unlucky enough to need : bandaids of various sizes and types, antiseptics, sunscreen, insect repellant, medication for tummy upsets. It can be hard to get hold of such items when travelling. Some things have different names even with in Aust. so there is a reasonable chance the same could apply overseas. Always make sure you carry additional medication to what you anticipating you normally take. Also carry your prescriptions. If going to Aba Dhabi or Dubai (I can’t remember which one it country it is) and are taking blood pressure tablets you won’t be allowed to take them in, yet you can get your prescription for them filled. I know somebody who had this problem. handbag, hand sanitizer which you can use on your hands after handling doors etc. in places, e.g after waling out of final public conveniences – not everybody has clean hands when the enter / depart via the door into the toilet area. One tip mark the container in some way so you can’t be accused of stealing it. It is a good idea to do it with drink bottles etc. You can scribble through the bar codes. Anything I take from home I scribble it out with permanent marker, sometimes other places on the label on the container or mark the container itself. You cannot take sharp items – nail scissors, metal nail files or anything sharp. Some shoes have metal in them so you will probably be asked to take them off and be re-scanned. They no longer accept letters or certificates saying you have metal screws etc inserted during surgery. Terrorists have been known to some nasty things put in legs etc. I know a guy who was told to show his scar. The scar hadn’t completely healed so he needed to be able to sit down to do it. He said he would if he could use a private room. He told them he wan’t going to “drop” his trousers in public. Hope these tips help.


  • It does sound like organisation is the key. Thanks for the advice


  • We recently returned from 3.5 month European holiday with our 3.5 yo. We found the key was to be organised but most importantly explain to our daughter what was happening, where were going, doing and always keep her involved. We also brought lots of things to keep her entertained but also brought along a few of her favourite toys & books so she had some continuity. She was an amazing little traveller.

    • oh yeah keep them in the loop and be super prepared


  • or better still, leave them with a family member, and have a break!!


  • traveling and kids so hard we need tips


  • I sure am glad i never had to organise my 3 for an overseas trip.


  • Thanks for this as I’m travelling with two kids overseas in November for the first time!


  • Some great tips here. We’re looking at going overseas next year (to Europe) with a 4 year old and 9 year old. Will be interesting….


  • I am loving the fact that my 2 year old will now have her own seat. What a blessing it was when we were travelling before she was two and no one sat in the middle.


  • not easy to travel woth kids


  • What is the best way to travel on a long haul trip with a baby born 3/7/2015 and trip is 30/12/2015 with return late February 2016.


  • Thankfully my son will be older on our next overseas trip. However, you do still need to be organised. Previously we’ve had snacks (a must!), iPod with music, iPad with a movie or games on it. Comfy neck pillow and light blanket to encourage sleep!!


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