Over many travel adventures & tales shared by well travelled folk, I have managed to amass a number of great family travel tips. These choice tips will hopefully be helpful to the globe-trotting family, solo adventurer & everyone in between. Some are probably just common sense but some can only be tried & tested once you are on your way. Every family is different & so is every destination. I hope you will find inspiration, insight & pick up a few family travel tips to help you with your next big adventure.


Take out travel insurance-This one really is common sense but you would be amazed how many people think they can get away without it. For the peace of mind it’s well worth it, especially travelling with a family, always better safe than sorry!

Register your travel plans with ‘Smart Traveller’-If you are an Australian traveller this is an important one. It is a bit tedious & time consuming (you do need to concentrate so maybe a good thing to take on once the kids are in bed) but is well worth the effort. If your details are on here & there is a natural disaster/travel emergency/war/ect the Department of foreign affairs & travel (DFAT) will be able to contact you & make sure all is ok. They will also be able to contact your nominated emergency contact person to see if they have heard from you, if for some reason they can’t get a hold of you

This is also a good site to check out current travel warnings & recommendations & to pick up extra travel advice.

www.smarttraveller.gov.au

Photocopy your passports & get the copies signed by a JP- Make sure you keep these copies somewhere secure & away from your actual passports. If for some reason you find yourself in a situation where luggage goes missing or your I.D. or passports are lost of stolen you will be able to take these copies with you as a form of proof to the nearest embassy or govt agency.

See your Doctor before you go- Your family GP will be able to give you advice on any vaccination required before you leave. Some of these may be a course of injections so make sure you leave plenty of time before you leave, 8 weeks is good.

Get a letter from your doctor/specialist/pharmacist- If you are travelling with anybody on medication or with a medical condition it is a good idea to travel with a letter detailing their condition & listing any medication that you will be travelling with. Some drugs are banned in some countries, however medication for a health condition is fine. If however there is a language barrier it certainly helps to try & explain things with that note from a doctor. Most over-the-counter drugs are fine to carry in moderate quantities & won’t be a problem unless they are known to have a high street value.

See your pharmacist- To chat about any first aid supplies or over-the-counter medication you could take to help with common travel health complaints (or refer to my detailed first aid kit).

Do up a copy of your itinerary & leave it with family or friends- I always do this & leave a copy with both sets of parents. This contains dates we will be at places & for how long, contact details of accommodation, flight times & numbers, emergency contact numbers/email addresses, & dates & times we leave & will be home. This is important to have in case you don’t come home when specified (eek!) or in case family back home need to contact you in an emergency.

Have a separate suitcase/bag for each person travelling. This is one that has taken my family a long time to get our heads around (slow learners I guess…) Airlines today are huge on looking after workplace OH&S for their staff & rightly so. If you pack all your luggage for a family into one giant bag, there is a fair chance you will be asked to unpack half of it into another bag. It makes no difference if you all have 23kg of luggage allowance each & that one bag only weighs 30kg, it doesn’t matter. Most airlines will prefer you to have one bag per person travelling. I have had many occasions of packing & unpacking my undies & personal items at the check-in counter of a busy airport, trust me, you don’t want to tick this fun experience off your bucket list.

Attach a ribbon or something distinctive to your luggage- This makes it easy to spot on a crowded baggage carousel, especially when one kid needs to pee & the other is whinging about being hungry.

Happy travels!

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