Stress free travel for families

family travel, stress free travel, trip wellness


josh, stress free travel, trip wellness

Josh in Switzerland proving that stress free travelers are made, not born!

Kids are sensitive. They can pick up on emotions and nonverbal signals pretty quickly. If Mom or Dad are stressed and a big trip is in the offing, that stress is what they’ll associate with travel. I’ve been there and it isn’t fun. Years ago I had to learn that my toddler was tense because I was. I was distracted, rushed and didn’t pick up on his needs and we had a meltdown in the airport. I had to learn how to set us up for stress free travel.

Navigating a young family around an airport can be troublesome enough, but you can get to your dream holiday smoothly by preparing for a long flight (or several!) by covering all the bases ahead of time. You can set your kids up to be great travelers for the rest of their lives. In the past couple of years my teenage son has flown to meet family in Switzerland and Japan on his own. He’s caught Mom’s wanderlust and knows that stress free travel doesn’t just happen.

Tips for stress free travel:

1. Leave for the airport early

The last thing you want to be doing is rushing to the airport. Most airlines require passengers to check-in two to three hours before their flight time, especially for flights abroad. If the city you live in has a high volume of traffic throughout the day, make sure to give yourself some leeway so that you get to the airport with plenty of time to spare.

stress free travel, trip wellness

2. Pack snacks

You never know when you are going to encounter flight delays, or more likely, hungry children. To avoid incessant moaning from your kids, pack go-to snacks. It’ll also save you money because as Travel Team Secrets reports, airport food vendors have failed to follow instructions on implementing prices that are comparable to everyday street shops.

3. Pack plenty of distractions for your children

Devices such as iPads or Tablets are ideal for traveling and can potentially keep your children occupied when you need to be focusing. Pack electronic devices, fully charged, to also help you have a little downtime in departure lounges.

airport family, stress free travel, trip wellness

4. Have your boarding passes printed or downloaded to your phone

As trivial as it sounds, some airlines have been known to charge passengers that have failed to print their boarding passes. RyanAir, which doesn’t have airline check-in staff, hit the news when they began charging unsuspecting customers for failing to have passes in hand. After a backlash from the media, the airline launched their official app allowing passengers to store boarding passes on their smartphone instead.

5. Pre-book your car parking space

Turning up at the airport’s car parking facility without pre-booking could be very costly. Pre-booking can save you money and insure you’ll find a parking space during peak seasons.

For the very best in car parking services check the airport’s website and see what they offer that suits your needs. Many airports will employ a similar structure to Gatwick Airport in London. According to Parking4Less this airport offers customers short and long stay parking options as well as a multitude of different valet services.

Any family vacation can be challenging but with a little extra preparation you can start it off easily with stress free travel.

Another post you might find helpful on this topic.

Featured photo credit: AirmanMagazine via photopin cc
hoto 2 Credit: photo credit: Kevin Shorter via photopin cc

This is a sponsored post. Find us also on Weekend Wanderlust / Our World Tuesday


  • Great tips for what can often turn into a nightmare. Especially the food piece. I was stuck on a delayed flight with two hungry kids and the late hour meant everything was closed. Thank goodness I had a backpack laden down with treats to keep everyone happy.

  • Great tips!! Definitely good to plan ahead for family trips I think! 🙂 Thanks for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust!

  • Good tips (most hold true for pretty much anybody)! We always web check in, but sometimes in Asia, they dont have another line for those who have web checked in and that ends up wasting a whole lot of standing in queue effort!

  • Great tips, Elaine. I remember having to consider all these when we were traveling with our son. But traveling with kids is also a lot of fun.

    • Traveling with kids is the best! So many times I’ve encountered stoic strangers melting when faced with a young traveler from cooing Japanese matrons to serious businessmen startled off their laptops with an unexpected toddler’s embrace. The time to travel with young ones passes quickly too, they so quickly grow up.

  • Good suggestions all. Anyone traveling with kids needs all the help they can get! When my kids were young, I recall getting out of the house was the hardest part. Usually I was in a snit when we finally were all in the car. I remember once we were traveling to Yosemite and about half way there we stopped the car and everyone was hollering and I suggested that we turn around and go home. We did finally calm down and carry on–sort of like the motto on that popular t-shirt right now. Anyway, it ain’t easy and God bless you for your suggestions.

    • Thanks, Carole, Yes! Sometimes getting out of the house is the hardest part. I saw that with my parents getting us ready for long road trips cross country and still find it so, after many travels, for myself! I’m glad you kept going.

  • These trip are so helpful. They seem obvious, but so many of us don’t do them! So often it is about the preparation. If we are prepared, we do not suffer nearly as many mishaps!

  • Didn’t travel with my kids until they were teenagers and now that my grandkids are teenagers, too, I travel with them. I give them assignments and they are a big help. I can’t think of traveling with toddlers. If ever I do, those tips will come in handy! Thanks!

    • Very cool that you travel with the teens for all of you. I love traveling with my son now he’s nearly 20 but remember those early trips fondly now that he’s not exhausting me! Thanks for writing.

  • These tips also make for stress-free adults without children!

  • Great tips! I think these can be applied to all travellers too, not just ones with children! I always try to leave early to avoid stress, nothing worse than running up the escalator and getting behind at security!

  • Good tips for traveling with kids. Having snacks and distractions available is best advice. If your child is a reader, books are good to include in the carry-on bag as well as the electronic devices,

    • So agree that books are important to have along. Electronics die, break and if a child isn’t used to settling into read a book they won’t find it an attractive alternative. What’s a parent to do?!

  • Very smart and common sense advice! You are absolutely right that the kids pick up on their parents’ mood and follow them, so if you’re stressed, they’re stressed. Luckily, if you are having fun traveling, they’ll learn to have fun as well, even in places like museums that most people think kids have no place to be in.

  • Well done. I couldn’t agree more. So many people don’t pack enough things to keep their kids busy and that just makes life bad for the parent, child, and everybody in the surrounding vicinity. Good to know you kids aren’t the ones throwing tantrums and running/screaming like mad because they aren’t occupied. 😉

    • Thanks, Melody, Kids will be kids but parents know the hot buttons. Food and diversions are biggies. Even with that preparation things happen. I’ve had my moments too and yes, some were food and boredom related!!

  • I’d say that these are good tips even if you aren’t traveling with kids. Thanks.

  • Thanks for these great tips! I didn’t get to travel much with my kids when they were young but have been lucky enough to have an adventurous grandson who I’ve been travelling with since he was a toddler. Our first trip was a 10-day train trip when he was 3 and the latest was a week long snorkelling adventure trip to Turks and Caicos, with lots of trips in between. I’ve found the iPad to be both a blessing and a curse. While it’s been handy for giving me some downtime and keeping him distracted during delays – a biggie was an 8 hour delay on a train– sometimes it’s tough to get him to disconnect. Lots of outdoor activities and strict limits on electronics ( via his Mom) has helped. Also key is choosing hotels with mini-fridges or full kitchens so we’re not always sitting in restaurants. ..places I’m keen on but him not so much 🙂

    • Wonderful that you’ve an adventurous grandson! Yes, the electronic distractions for kids can be hard to manage but I found managing the time, not using them as babysitters regularly and parental cooperation are key. Mini-fridges or kitchenettes (I think they used to be called) are a big help – gotta keep the kids fueled. Thanks for that tip.

  • Great tips on traveling with kids. When my kids were younger they all had the sneakers with wheels. They loved wheeling down the ramps at the airport. It made the time they had to wait go by fast. Thanks for linking up to #WeekendWanderlust.

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