The Step-by-step Tips & Tricks to Planning a Family Holiday with Small Children

The Step-by-step Tips & Tricks to Planning a Family Holiday with Small Children

Planning a holiday can be daunting, especially when you have small children to accommodate. With so many things to consider, such as flight prices, accommodation options, and activities suitable for toddlers, it is easy to become overwhelmed. But not to worry, with a structured approach, you can plan a stress-free family holiday that everyone will enjoy. In this article, we will guide you through the process, step by step.


Two small children playing on a beach while on holidays

Step 1: Start planning early

When planning a family holiday with small children, the most important thing to do is start early. Give yourself time to research and decide on the right holiday for your family. Start by narrowing down a handful of holiday destination options that you think your family will enjoy. Then, define your budget and determine the costs associated with the holiday. This helps you plan a realistic financial plan.

Step 2: Explore activities and entertainment options

Before making a final decision, it is important to consider activities and entertainment options at the destinations. Look for child-friendly restaurants, fun places to visit, and attractions that will keep your children engaged.

Step 3: Decide on your itinerary and travel timeframe

Decide on your itinerary for your trip and a preferred travel timeframe. If possible, allow for a few days of flexibility to find the best flight prices. If you are planning multiple stops during your trip, research the best modes of transport to get from one location to another.

Step 4: Book your flights first

When planning your holiday, we recommend booking your flights first and then locking in the accommodation. Flight prices are a large expense that can vary significantly depending on your travel dates and how long in advance you book, meaning that booking early can save you a lot of money.

Step 5: Search for accommodation with child-friendly facilities

Finding suitable accommodation is essential when planning a holiday with small children. To ensure you lock in the right one, shortlist appropriate options and then book the one that meets your needs best. I always look at apartments with at least one bedroom on Airbnb or at Aparthotels that offer travel cots, so I don't have to carry ours around. Standard hotel rooms are incredibly inconvenient as everyone has to be quiet as soon as the little one is in bed.

A family planning their holidays on a map

Step 6: Choose your mode of transportation

If it’s an option in your destination country, such as in most European countries, the most convenient mode of travel is by train. It’s a great way to enjoy the scenery while having more space for your little ones to move around.

In Europe, we always book a Eurail ticket to get from one destination to the next. This ticket allows you to travel on all train routes across the continent for a flat rate per travel day.

If a rental car is required, it's crucial to ensure a car seat is included in the booking. Using an Australian car seat is often illegal, as safety regulations vary by country. As such, renting a child car seat that meets the safety standards of the country you are travelling in is essential.

Step 7: Keep all travel arrangements in one place

To save yourself time searching your email inbox for booking confirmations, hotel addresses or flight departure times, Download the TripIt app, which allows you to upload all bookings from various providers into the app and keep all your itinerary information in one spot. It's convenient and easy to use, making it an excellent tool for busy parents.

Step 8: Make sure your travel documents are in order

Having valid passports is a critical factor in any overseas trip. Double-check your passports well in advance to avoid any unpleasant surprises at the airport. Remember that some countries have specific requirements for visas and passport validity, so it's best to research extensively before your departure.

Step 9: Check luggage allowances with your airline

Lastly, familiarise yourself with the luggage allowances of your airline before packing. Please don't go overboard with packing because, with kids, it's easy to overload your bags. Check out my blog post about packing tips for travelling with a baby, which includes a checklist for packing for babies and toddlers.


Travelling with kids is an excellent opportunity to escape the daily routines and create unforgettable memories together. With proper planning, you can ensure a smooth and comfortable trip for you and your little ones. So, start planning your next family holiday today and make it one to remember!

Please comment below if you want to share any additional tips and tricks that worked for you in the past!

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