15 Tips for Travelling with Parents

15 top tips for travelling with parents

When it comes to travelling with kids, there’s not a lot of advice that hasn’t already been covered at length. Thank goodness! Having flitted around the world with our children since they were compact travel size tots, we know that travelling with young kids is not unlike herding cats. And we also know that, for the first time family traveller, thoughts of juggling easily-bored kids at 30,000 feet, without a net, is enough to have you reaching for the smelling salts.

But when I sat down to present our top family travel tips for Problogger and Virgin Australia’s Voyagers competition I realised that – from child-proofing hotels and travelling with toddlers to dealing with car sickness and even toilet training in transit – I’d already shared a lot of mine!

Given that this blog is very much guided by the experiences of our entire family, I decided to pick their brains about what they think people really need to know! Mr Eats World’s contribution was a blank expression as he retrieved a lager from the fridge. Multi-tasking never was his strength. Sugarpuff added to the scintillating conversation by requesting I make her a snack. This was not going how I’d hoped…

And then another little voice piped up…

Mama, you’ve written all these things about travelling with kids…but nobody EVER actually asks us what we think!”

Raffles was right. Nobody has asked the kids what they find most challenging about travel. So I picked his fabulous little brain

As you can see in the video we made for this post, Raffles certainly does know his stuff when it comes to family travel (and is a total ham)!

But what he and Sugarpuff revealed made me realise that while Mr Eats World and I have been so busy patting ourselves on the back for managing our offspring so well on our travels, it turns out that our cunning wee shysters have pretty much been managing us the whole time. 

So, with tongues firmly in cheek, we’re shaking up family travel tips with a seven-year old’s 15 top tips for travelling with parents.

1. Cunning plans – Kids need to be involved in planning your family holiday itinerary so everyone can have a good time. Look at Google with your parents or watch a movie about where you’re going to find out the kind of things you can do. I also like to sample the food before we go so I know what to expect when we get there. Actually, it’s just another excuse to eat.

Kids should get involved in planning holidays

Kids should get involved from the planning stages…

2. Packing it – Parents are so rubbish at packing. They’re so busy worrying about t-shirts and socks and undies that they forget about the important stuff like my ninja costume and swords.

Raffles idea of good and bad packing

How to pack according to a seven-year old – Raffles & I don’t quite see eye to eye here…

3. Out of space – Parents are pretty good at making things fit though, and mine taught me how to roll and squeeze things into every available space so there is more room for the fun stuff… so sometimes I can still go full ninja on holidays.

4. Let’s roll – Please, please make your parents bring a stroller for any pre-school family members. Yes, they should be able to walk but they never ever do and you’ll end up spending half of your holiday waiting for them to stop having tantrums about being carried everywhere. I’m looking at you, sis!

5. Carrying onYour parents need to pack enough snacks and stuff to keep everyone happy on long flights. Ours always pack plenty for us, like activity books and the iPad with new apps and movies but they always forget to bring things to keep themselves busy, so they end up spending the whole flight bugging us to see if we’re ok!

6. Under pressure – Make sure your parents pack something to chew or suck on because we kids can find it hard to ease the pressure in our ears on take off and landing and it can really hurt!

7. Suck up – You’ll probably notice that some grown-ups roll their eyes when they realise they’re sitting next to you on a plane and it isn’t fair because half the time they’re the ones being rude and noisy to the Flight Attendants while we do as we’re told. To stop the dirty looks we pack lollipops with notes and hand them to the people sitting directly around us to let them know that we’ll do our best to be quiet and still! People are usually really nice to us after that!

lollypops and notes for fellow plane passengers eases tensions

Raffles & Sugarpuff find handing out lollypops with handwritten notes to fellow flyers a great way to make friends

8. Time banditsWhen you’re travelling as a family everything seems to take longer so make sure your parents leave extra time to get places. We don’t do rushing well and need time to drag our feet and chuck the odd tanty… because that’s just how we roll.

9. On queue – Airports can be tiring. I mean, first you have to get there, then check in and go through the scanner thingy and then there’s more queuing with passports and again to get on the plane! Your parents need to understand that you’re going to get bored! But the earlier you arrive, the shorter the queues will be and you should be able to make your flight without somebody going feral.

10. Tanty time – Behaving well at the airport isn’t always advised. If you are going to have a tantrum, save it for the longest queue because sometimes the people at the airport feel sorry for your parents and let you jump to the front of the line so you don’t send everyone else crazy. My little sister is an expert at making this work!

11. Hotel hack – Hotels aren’t always kid friendly so make sure your parents pack a hotel child-proofing kit which, for us, is pretty much a roll of duct tape. Because my sister is still quite little we use it to seal doors and drawers that might lead to dangerous things and we use it to cover power sockets so we don’t end up fried.

Kid proofing hotel rooms and covering exposed power sockets is always a good idea

Kid proofing hotel rooms and covering exposed power sockets is always a good idea!!

12. More manners – Parents will nag you not to run and yell in a hotel and that is fair because there are other people to think about. Use your manners and be considerate. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’ll stop your parents whining!

Ensure your little baggages use their manners and have a little consideration in hotels so everyone has a good time

Ensure your little baggages use their manners and have a little consideration in hotels so everyone has a good time

13. Parents club – Some hotels have Parents Clubs. Sure they call them “kids clubs” but we’re not silly, we know parents only send us there so they can get up to mischief. They can be epic fun but make sure your mum and dad check that the one in your hotel has enough activities for kids your age or you’ll be so bored that you’ll go bonkers.

14.Lost in transit – In each new place, don’t forget to have a family plan in case someone gets lost. Our rule is to stay put so mum and dad can find their way back to us, or to ask the nearest shopkeeper for assistance. And we always have mama’s number and our hotel written on our arm. But the best thing to do is to pay attention and make sure your parents don’t get themselves lost in the first place because they’re too busy posting to Facebook to watch where they’re going. Now I’m looking at you, mama!

15.Easy peasy – No matter how many things you want to see when you’re travelling with your mum and dad try not to overdo it. The less you try to pack in, the more enjoyable your holiday will be because frazzled parents really aren’t much fun!

Have an epic holiday!

Happy travels!

72 Comments on 15 Tips for Travelling with Parents

  1. Kirralee @ Escape With Kids
    August 4, 2015 at 9:47 am (1 year ago)

    Absolutely legendary Aleney. Love love love it and all brilliant advice too. Good luck!!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:28 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Kirralee, Writing this one and filming Raffles for the video was a hoot! 🙂

      Reply
  2. stuntman
    August 4, 2015 at 10:00 am (1 year ago)

    Nice one Raffles. I always sample the food before I go somewhere new too.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:29 pm (1 year ago)

      Raffles wants to sample the food all the time, even if there’s nowhere new to go 😉

      Reply
  3. Megan Blandford
    August 4, 2015 at 10:01 am (1 year ago)

    Raffles, you are very clever! My six-year-old agrees that parents are very tricky to travel with.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:34 pm (1 year ago)

      Yes, it would seem most children concur that we naughty parents need quite a lot of managing. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Natalie
    August 4, 2015 at 10:53 am (1 year ago)

    Great post and good luck with the comp! 🙂

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:33 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks so much Natalie. Fingers Crossed. 🙂

      Reply
  5. daria
    August 4, 2015 at 11:54 am (1 year ago)

    These tips are so clever! Thanks for making my next holiday much less stressful Raffy.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:30 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Daria, have a great next holiday 🙂

      Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:30 pm (1 year ago)

      I think most kids agree with him LOL 😉

      Reply
  6. Mumma McD
    August 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm (1 year ago)

    Awesome tips little dude! I do love the lollipop with a note idea, might have to try that one next time I travel with my 2.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:32 pm (1 year ago)

      Seriously works a treat MummaD. You can see those evil-eye shooting cranky passengers melt in minutes. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Stephanie
    August 4, 2015 at 1:15 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank Raffles for sharing his tips! It’s easy to forget that they have a perspective as well!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:34 pm (1 year ago)

      It is. I was surprised when we started chatting about how similarly we saw things and yet from such different perspectives.

      Reply
  8. Shan@FortyUp
    August 4, 2015 at 2:10 pm (1 year ago)

    Love this post! You’ve nailed it – think you might have that Virgin Australia comp in the bag!! 🙂

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:36 pm (1 year ago)

      Aww thanks shan, We’re desperate to get to the UK to see Raffles grandparents so it would be awesome to win but we have a lot of equally deserving competition. Fingers crossed x

      Reply
  9. my2morrows
    August 4, 2015 at 2:49 pm (1 year ago)

    This is fab! Parents club! Haha! Gold!
    Xx

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:37 pm (1 year ago)

      I know. They’re on to us! Hehe xx

      Reply
  10. Sally@Toddlers on Tour
    August 4, 2015 at 3:09 pm (1 year ago)

    I had to smile at #10 Tanty Time, when Mr7 was 3 we were standing in the queue for customs when he started declaring he really needed to go to the toilet – at Perth airport you had to wait until you were through customs once you were in the hall. We got whisked through customs in no time. I didn’t tell them he was wearing a nappy in case of an accident 🙂

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:43 pm (1 year ago)

      We’ve had it happen overseas a few times. Fatigue sets in after a long flight and the whinging starts and woosh, all of a sudden they’re racing you to the front of the queue before the kid melts down. It’s tempting to wind them up just to speed things up (Joking! I’d rather a long queue than a melting down pre-schooler any day) LOL.

      Reply
  11. Deborah
    August 4, 2015 at 5:23 pm (1 year ago)

    My style of packing resembles Raffles’.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:37 pm (1 year ago)

      To be honest so does mine! Mr Eats World is the anally retentive packer in our house! 🙂

      Reply
  12. Bronnie - Maid In Australia
    August 4, 2015 at 6:08 pm (1 year ago)

    Parents are the worst to travel with. Especially when they complain about kids and all their stuff! And it’s not fair that kids get to have all the fun, like hand out lollies on certain plane trips and have free rides on the bellhop trolleys … (Seriously I think that’s why parents get so cranky!)

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:39 pm (1 year ago)

      We’re are shockers aren’t we? LOL 😉

      Reply
  13. Louise Baker
    August 4, 2015 at 7:21 pm (1 year ago)

    Excellent, excellent advice. I so remember my first trip to Australia with my parents, you would not believe how many times I lost them in the shops. Silly parents, you couldn’t take your eyes off them for a second.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:27 pm (1 year ago)

      Reckon! They’re so unreliable 😉

      Reply
  14. Lisa
    August 4, 2015 at 7:34 pm (1 year ago)

    Awesome post Aleney. And I loved the clip. Will definitely be referring to this before our next trip!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 7:38 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Lisa. Raffles certainly loves to ham it up for the cameras. His teacher told me today he’s the same in class when he has to present to the class. He has everyone cackling 🙂

      Reply
  15. Rebecca Bowyer (@RebeccaBowyerAU)
    August 4, 2015 at 8:18 pm (1 year ago)

    I love, love, love this post, it’s hilarious! We’re heading to the Gold Coast with Mr 5 and Mr 3 in a few weeks. It’s not a hugely long flight from Melbourne but I’ll still be bookmarking this post for reference! #TeamIBOT

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 9:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks so much Rebecca, my two don’t hold back with the honesty but they do make me laugh. Have fun on the Gold Coast with your micro managers. Be sure to behave 😉

      Reply
  16. Christine
    August 4, 2015 at 8:54 pm (1 year ago)

    Oh stop it, you’re so creative! I love this post 🙂

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 9:44 pm (1 year ago)

      That’s such a nice thing to read from someone as creative as yourself, Christine. xx

      Reply
  17. Lorraine @Not Quite Nigella
    August 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm (1 year ago)

    OMG as if there was any need to adore you guys more but you hand out lollipops with messages on them? You can sit next to me any time! 😀

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 4, 2015 at 10:08 pm (1 year ago)

      It’s definitely an ice breaker and it stops any dirty looks from those folk who think that all kids misbehave and are noisy on flights. Has all but the most hardened passengers falling all over mine.

      Reply
  18. hugzillablog
    August 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm (1 year ago)

    OMG this is the BEST!! That kid is such a natural. Good luck with the comp – surely you guys have a brilliant shot at it!! x

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 6, 2015 at 7:36 am (1 year ago)

      Aww thanks Hugz! He’s only done the hammy video thang a few times but he does seem to have a knack for it. ANd he keeps asks to do more… little diva that he is!

      Reply
  19. Ruth - Tanama Tales
    August 5, 2015 at 11:16 am (1 year ago)

    This is so cute. Agree with every thing in here especially the snack to eat during the plane trip. Beware kids! Some adults do not think about taking snack on a 14 hours plane ride (like somebody who is writing this). It is very tempting to ask your parents for a snack.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 6, 2015 at 7:32 am (1 year ago)

      Seriously where would be without the kids to manage us!

      Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Kirsty. It was so much fun to put together.

      Reply
  20. Bronpon76
    August 5, 2015 at 1:15 pm (1 year ago)

    I loved this so much fun! Good luck!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 5, 2015 at 3:12 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks BronPon. Fingers crossed!

      Reply
  21. The Plumbette
    August 5, 2015 at 3:36 pm (1 year ago)

    What a great post. Loved it. 🙂

    Reply
  22. seizetheday20
    August 5, 2015 at 4:04 pm (1 year ago)

    Loved this post Aleney! I laughed at your son’s To-Do list: Eat eat eat eat eat…. I have two teenagers and that is DEFINITELY their priority!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 5, 2015 at 4:47 pm (1 year ago)

      Hehe. Not looking forward to his teenage stomach. he already eats more than the average sumo wrestler.

      Reply
  23. Sasha @ Fromtheleftfield
    August 5, 2015 at 4:13 pm (1 year ago)

    Love it! How cute is your little guy!! These are some amazing tips. The writing of numbers on arms is so important. We have two firecracker ladies who take perverse joy out of watching us stress, so this would be one huge thing we could relax about. The longest we’ve dared to take our kids on a flight is 2.5 hours but after all these tips I could be feeling game to try more. Maybe with a lot of wine, and possibly popping this third one out and letting it grow a bit. 😉 x

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 6, 2015 at 7:34 am (1 year ago)

      Hehe. They do seem to get a sick joy out of seeing us fall apart which is why I think the compact travel size just-popped ones are the easiest to travel with! 🙂

      Reply
  24. Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)
    August 5, 2015 at 8:30 pm (1 year ago)

    Great spin on an ‘old topic’. Found myself nodding along to more than a few of these, especially about remembering to pack snacks and activities for the parents so that we don’t steal the kids food!
    Thanks for joining in #wednesdaywanderlust

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 5, 2015 at 10:02 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Malinda, we parents are terrible aren’t we? 😉

      Reply
  25. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    August 5, 2015 at 8:30 pm (1 year ago)

    Gosh that is the best idea, those lollipops, I hope Virgin loves it as much as I do! x

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 5, 2015 at 10:01 pm (1 year ago)

      Seriously, it sweetens the sourest old grump! 😉

      Reply
  26. Fairlie
    August 6, 2015 at 10:14 am (1 year ago)

    So great! An entertaining spin on the travel tips. Raffles is a born TV presenter!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 6, 2015 at 11:08 am (1 year ago)

      He seems to have a knack for working the camera. Sure doesn’t get it from his camera shy parents! xx

      Reply
  27. Lou
    August 6, 2015 at 11:44 am (1 year ago)

    Brilliant! Will be using some those top tips when we head back the UK in December too! And too presenting job Raffles xx

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 7, 2015 at 4:51 pm (1 year ago)

      Glad you found them useful!

      Reply
  28. mkadens1
    August 7, 2015 at 12:15 pm (1 year ago)

    Absolutely brilliant advice! Priceless!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 7, 2015 at 4:52 pm (1 year ago)

      Kids know best! Just ask them 😉

      Reply
  29. yinyangmother
    August 7, 2015 at 12:57 pm (1 year ago)

    Fabulous – love the video, love the lollipops, just love Raffles expressions, and of course Sugarpuff has such cute value. Looking forward to seeing you at Problogger – you’ve had such a big year and must be very proud.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 7, 2015 at 4:52 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Kathy, Looking forward to seeing you too xx

      Reply
  30. Leanne Anderson @YourGetawayGuru
    August 7, 2015 at 4:12 pm (1 year ago)

    Such a great post. I think I should have had my (then) 13yo write a post about travelling with parents to Italy where his highlights included daily pizza and/or gelato; videoing wildlife and a visit to a medieval musuem and not the visits to duomo’s and museums (such a surprise!).

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 7, 2015 at 4:53 pm (1 year ago)

      Yeah they seem to prefer ice-cream to more intellectual pursuits 😉

      Reply
  31. EssentiallyJess
    August 7, 2015 at 5:09 pm (1 year ago)

    Oh that’s very cute! He makes a lot of sense 🙂

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 8, 2015 at 8:56 am (1 year ago)

      THanks Jess – his tips are actually all pretty useful (well maybe except his packing ones)!

      Reply
  32. Jenniferl
    August 7, 2015 at 11:12 pm (1 year ago)

    Just brilliant Aleney. And here i was thinking i was going to read a post on traveling with your parents (as in aged – ie grandma status.)

    I reckon you are on a winner here and Raffles what can i say, he is a natural. Reminds me of a certain 12yo!

    Good luck and look forward to more collaborations with the fam.
    Jenn

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      August 8, 2015 at 8:59 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks Jennifer. His teacher says he even “works the room” when he has to talk to the class. Seriously don’t know where it comes from though because his dad and I are camera shy!

      Reply
  33. moniquetheurbanmum
    August 12, 2015 at 12:07 pm (1 year ago)

    Congratulations on getting in the TOP 10!! See you soon. x

    Reply
  34. Sublime Finds
    August 12, 2015 at 12:52 pm (1 year ago)

    Such a fun take on travel Aleney! Love the packing tips! Congrats on making it to the top 10 of the comp!!

    Reply
  35. Kevin Wagar
    January 23, 2016 at 2:30 am (7 months ago)

    This post killed me! I love how you swapped the roles. Great job!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      January 23, 2016 at 8:47 am (7 months ago)

      Thanks. It was a fun one. Especially the video. MY boy is such a ham.

      Reply

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