It’s time to hack your life with travel hacks from Cover-More Travel Insurance. We’ve been around the globe and back again to bring you the smartest travel tips on travelling with kids.

Travel hacks for travelling with kids

  • Check your passports before leaving. Children need to renew passports more frequently than adults (children’s passports are only valid for five years). Check these early and renew them if needed. Last-minute passport costs are often astronomical.
  • If you are flying and then renting a car, call ahead to your destination’s car rental company to see if they rent child seats. This will save you the hassle of travelling with your own car seat.
  • If you bring a stroller, make sure it isn’t one you care about. A big, fancy stroller takes up a lot of space, and may be a prime target for scam artists. If you are flying, think about buying a cheap stroller at your destination.
  • Pack for your kids. It seems a little overbearing, but kids are notoriously bad when it comes to packing. If you have older children, allow them to pack for themselves, but give them a checklist ahead of time – and then double check after they have completed packing.
  • Take your estimated travel time and double it. Everything takes a little longer than you expect when travelling with kids. Don’t book the ticket where you have to sprint across the airport to get your connecting flight.
  • Plan for down time while travelling. You may be able to keep exploring all day, but chances are your kids will get cranky. Plan for a mid-afternoon break each day.
  • Pack plenty of snacks to keep your kids happy. Try packing healthy snacks for long travel times, as sugary treats may make your kids overly-hyper.
  • Write your contact information so your children may find you if you get separated. If your kids are not yet old enough to take responsibility for a piece of paper, write your cell phone number on their hand or arm. A more-permanent alternative includes using a custom temporary tattoo company to create custom rub-on tattoos with any important information, such as your phone number or information about medical conditions.
  • If your child has special needs or life-threatening allergies, travelling can present more of a challenge. For children who require special attention, planning is key. Research each airline, hotel, restaurant and monument individually to make sure they can provide accommodations. For more information on travelling with children who require special medical attention or enhance accommodations, read Cover-More’s tips.
    • If your child has a life-threatening allergy:
  • If your child has special needs:
    • Tips for travelling with a wheelchair
    • Plan stops along the way to cut down on are-we-there-yet’s. There are plenty of interesting points to get out and stretch your legs, no matter where you are travelling to, so look up a few that occur every hour or so and keep the trip moving smoothly.
    • Stop kids’ cups from rolling around the back seat by attaching one end of a string to the cup and the other end to the seat belt. This will save you from having to reach back and find the cup every time it falls.
    • Pack mystery treat bags with small toys and games to be dispensed regularly throughout the trip. This will keep kids from getting bored with toys and keep them quiet.
    • Use old sheets as seat protectors to create a hassle-free barrier between your nice upholstery and your kids’ spills.
    • Shower caddy’s make for great places to store toys or crayons. The suction cups mean they can stick directly to the window, making them easily-accessible for kids.
    • Remember a first-aid kit. You know your kids often get sick or hurt at the most inopportune times. Instead of relying on the hotel to provide you with the assistance you need, pack your own first-aid supplies.
    • Pack a night light to make sleeping in a new place a little more like home. Your child will sleep easier knowing a little piece of home is with them.
    • Keep kids busy by taking them with documenting the trip through photo or film. Purchase disposable cameras, and let them document the trip in any way they see fit. This will make trip down-time seem fun.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Roderick Eime; cropped from original