20 Essential Tips to Avoid Tantrums When Travelling with Kids

by | Jul 1, 2024 | General

Travelling with kids can be an exhilarating adventure… filled with the joy of exploring new places, creating cherished memories and creating a sense of adventure.

But let’s be honest, it’s not always filled with Hallmark card moments. To make your next trip a little easier, here are our top 20 tantrum avoiding tips (and it doesn’t matter if they are your tantrums or your kids!)

For the Road Tripper

1. Plan Your Stops: Plan regular stops to stretch your legs, use the bathroom, and burn off some energy.

Knowing where you can get decent food is also crucial.

Skipping Maccas for something healthier might mean driving another 40 minutes before finding anything decent.

But planning ahead to avoid hangry meltdowns and stopping at scenic rest areas with picnic facilities can give kids space for a quick game of tag or a short walk together, which can do wonders for everyone’s mood.

2. Plan Games or Activities for Each Hour: Yes, car games can drive you batty and are cliche, but they help hold off the dreaded “Are we there yet?”.

By breaking the trip into hour-long segments and planning a new activity for each hour:

  • a new game
  • a snack break
  • or a story

The kids will look forward to the next fun thing. But if you keep rotating activities, it keeps the excitement alive and prevents boredom and restlessness.

Remember to keep the backseat tidy and organised with car organisers or a travel caddy. Store toys, books, snacks, and gadgets within easy reach to avoid the constant “Mum, where’s my…?”

Which helps maintain a clean car and reduces stress.

3. Use Headphones: Music can be a great mood booster, but listening to The Wiggles on rotation for 10 hours? No thanks.

Get age-appropriate headphones to listen to their own tunes while parents enjoy a podcast. #Winning.

You could even create a playlist with a mix of your kids’ favourite songs and some of your own. And include songs that encourage movement or actions can also help expel some energy.

Consider downloading audiobooks or educational apps to make screen time more beneficial.

4. Bring Toys: A $10 etch-a-sketch was a lifesaver on our last trip. Yes, Mum drew 178 dinosaurs, but it beat cleaning red crayon off the car seat and stickers off the windows.

Choose toys that are mess-free and engaging that can also keep kids entertained for hours when travelling:

  • Magnetic puzzles
  • Interactive books
  • Small action figures

5. Pack a Portable Potty: Kids always need to go at the most inconvenient times, right? A portable potty is a lifesaver when the nearest toilet is miles away or in a less-than-ideal location.

Make sure to have extra toilet paper and plastic bags for easy disposal.

what to do on planes when travelling with kids tips from absolute baby rockhampton

What to do on Planes

6. Choose the Right Time: Avoid flights at nap time, even if they save you $50 at the time of booking. Pay the extra to fly when your kids are calm.

No one wants to handle a cranky, sleep-deprived toddler.

Early morning or late evening flights often have fewer crowds, which can also reduce stress.

7. Pack Essentials in a Carry-On: Planes breed germs, and kids touch everything. Wet wipes and hand sanitiser are your best friends; keep them and other essentials—nappies, wipes, snacks, a change of clothes, and favourite toys—easily accessible in a carry-on.

Then, you’ll be ready to wipe down tray tables, armrests, and hands. You don’t want to rummage through overhead compartments mid-flight.

Having a well-organised carry-on can make the journey smoother.

Don’t forget that plane noises, especially during takeoff and landing, can be extra loud for little ones’ ears. So, some baby ear muffs or kids’ ear muffs can be your saving grace, too.

8. Bring a Travel Stroller: This is the best purchase ever. A travel stroller you can use through the airport and carry on is a game-changer.

Wheel it down the aisle and make other parents jealous.

It’s compact, convenient, and ensures your child has a familiar place to sit or nap. This also helps navigate airports quickly and more efficiently.

If you don’t want to buy one, you can hire a travel stroller through our Rockhampton baby store for the duration of your holiday with our convenient and easy hire system.

9. Prepare for Meltdowns: Devices off during landing can trigger meltdowns. Have you tried to remove an iPad from a kid halfway through an episode of Peppa Pig? No, thank you!

My best tip on how to calm a temper tantrum is to have a new toy or game ready to pull out if things get intense. Trust me, it’s a lifesaver.

Consider non-electronic options to keep them entertained, too:

  • Colouring books
  • Stickers
  • Small puzzles

where to holiday with kids tips from absolute baby rockhampton

Where to Go on Holidays with Kids

10. Know Your Audience: Beach holidays have a casual vibe and kid-friendly restaurants, and there will be other kids for yours to play with.

Wineries and day spas? Not so much with kids in tow.

But if you can access a Kids Club, you’ve struck two magic words that spell parental timeout.

11. Choose a View: If you’re stuck in your room by 8 pm with little ones, at least enjoy the ambience of a nice view.

If there’s a balcony, then it could be the perfect spot for a parent retreat during your holiday stay.

12. Get a Kitchen: It’s handy if your kids are exhausted and need a night in or for heating milk to precisely 38.7 degrees if your kid is that particular.

13. Have Access to a Washing Machine: This is a godsend. When my one-year-old threw up all over the car seat – that thing got pulled apart and chucked in the washing machine, and a major crisis was averted because we could still do car trips.

If you have an Infasecure car seat, an Infa Piddle Pad can save the seat from accidental wetness (and reduce washing), so it’s definitely worth checking out before your next holiday road trip.

packing tips for holidaying with kids from absolute baby rockhampton

Packing Tips for Holidaying with Kids

14. Use Ziplock Bags for Outfits: Pack outfits in Ziplock bags. This method saves arguments over what to wear daily, keeps clothes organised and clean, and makes packing and unpacking easier.

Bonus: Pop the dirty clothes into the bag once the clean ones are out.

15. Include Comfort Items: Bring your child’s favourite blanket, stuffed animal, or pillow to help them feel secure and comfortable in new environments. Familiar items can provide emotional comfort during family travels. Just make sure that their favourite item makes its way back home.

Mini Backpack at Absolute Baby rockhampton

16. Bring a Backpack: Backpacks are convenient and keep all essentials within easy reach during the journey and on day trips.

Depending on the age of your kids, get them a small backpack for their water bottle and their favourite comforter. And choose one with multiple compartments for better organisation.

For peace of mind, include 1 pocket with first aid supplies like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and basic medications. You don’t want to be hunting for a late-night chemist. #MurphysLaw.


17. Dress Comfortably: Weather can be unpredictable, so choose comfortable, layered clothing for you and the kids that can be easily added or removed to keep everyone comfortable.

Planes can be chilly, so pack an extra jumper or blanket.

Loose-fitting clothes and slip-on shoes also make car rides comfier, and airport security checks are quicker and easier. This ensures that you’re prepared for different climates.

tips to keep adults happy and avoid tantrums when travelling with kids from absolute baby rockhampton

Tips to Keep the Adults Happy and Avoid Tantrums

18. Know Your Coffee Stops: Always know where to find decent coffee. Parents have temper tantrums, too. A good coffee can make a world of difference on a long trip.

19. Carry Snacks and Drinks: Always have snacks and drinks handy to keep everyone fed and hydrated.

  • Encourage your kids to drink water regularly.
  • Avoid sugary drinks that can lead to energy crashes.

Snacks are also great for diversions, distractions, bribes, and actual hunger.

“Mum, are we there yet?” No, have a muesli bar.

“Mum, my brother is breathing my air!” Here, have a sandwich.

Pack a mix of healthy and indulgent options to keep everyone happy.

Also, involve your kids in choosing snacks beforehand to ensure they look forward to their favourites.

20. Wine: If Mum is relaxed, the whole family will be too.

A glass at the end of the day (on that balcony you booked) can work wonders. So, enjoy a quiet moment with a nice drink and breathe. It will do wonders for you.

Do you feel prepared for your next family holiday?

Travelling with kids can be both exciting and challenging, but with careful planning and a sense of adventure, it can also be incredibly rewarding.

By implementing our helpful and practical tips above. From planning engaging activities and packing smart snacks to using technology wisely and scheduling regular breaks. You can minimise your child throwing a tantrum or having a meltdown (both kids and adults). And turn your journey into a memorable family adventure.

Remember, flexibility and patience are key when travelling with children.

Embrace the unexpected moments and enjoy creating lasting memories with your little ones on your next Australian road trip or holiday.

And don’t forget we’re here to help you with your baby gear hire needs when holidaying in Rockhampton and across the Capricorn Coast. Come say hi to us at shop 234 Lion Creek Road, West Rocky.

Happy family travels!


Rebecca is a twin mum with a passion for child passenger safety. She completed ACRI training in 2015 to become a CPST and had a great trainer in Townsville. Then on returning to Rocky in 2016, she started Absolute Baby with the goal of helping parents and caregivers navigate the world of child car safety seat stages and terminology so they feel empowered rather than overwhelmed.

You can connect with Absolute Baby on Facebook, Instagram and Google.

For more expert advice on child car safety seats visit Bec at the Absolute Baby Rockhampton shop. 📍 234 Lion Creek Road, Wandal Qld 4700 Australia.


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