If you’re anything like most parents, you likely await the arrival of school holidays with a combination of excitement and dread. Sure, you get to spend time with your kids and travel with them, but at the same time, you get to spend time with your kids and travel with them. It can seem like the hassle of a lifetime, but the fact is that it can also be a great bonding experience for you and your family. Let us take a look at some tips that could help you with your travel troubles.

  1. Plan everything in advance

Your biggest challenge during your trip will likely be stopping your kids having major meltdowns. Now these are usually caused by the kids being bored, tired or hungry. So you can save yourself a world of pain by taking preventative measures to avoid these scenarios. Make sure the kids get a good night’s sleep before the day of the road trip or flight, and have them rest frequently throughout the trip. Tired kids are cranky, so try to keep them fresh and active.

Hungry kids are also cranky, so pack enough snacks for both the journey as well as the trip. It’s possible that the kids might not eat the food provided by the airline, so be prepared for the possibility. And keep the kids from being bored by bringing along board games.

  1. Reduce your flight costs

Flying with the entire family can take its toll on your finances. However, you can reduce your expenses by using frequent flyer points during school holidays. School holidays are some of the hardest times to find frequent flyer seats, but if you plan ahead and save plenty of points, you might be able to get one or more than one award seat.

  1. Be a smart packer

Pack smart. Never over-pack. The fewer items you pack the better, especially since you can always buy anything you run short on when you get to your destination. Choose comfortable clothes that are loose fitting and can be worn in a number of situations and combinations. If your kids are young, pack pajama and a change of clothes for dinner or for emergencies. If they’re older, have them do their own packing in order to reduce some of your own burden (and to teach them life skills, of course!) Always pack for the weather, as well as for the activities you’ll be performing.

  1. Be prepared for the flight

The flight may be the most dreaded part of flying with kids. However, you can put some smart systems in place in order to help your kids cope. Keep them entertained by bringing along coloring books, books to read, stickers, puzzles, pencils, activities and games. They’re not going to be screaming when they’re so enjoyably occupied. If you have a baby, take a change of clothes along, and pre-book a bassinet for them if the flight is long-haul.