Dad’s travel hacks to make families’ half term holidays less stressful

It’s almost half term and plenty of families are planning to jet off for a final stint in the sun before winter sets in.

While holidays are always exciting, choosing to go during October half term does come with its downsides.

You may benefit from cheaper tickets than during the summer, but airports and flights are no less busy.

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Plus, the kids still need to be kept entertained to avoid them running wild or getting frustrated and upset.

To help make things a little easier for families planning an October half-term break, travel company eShores has teamed up with award-nominated UK dad blogger, The Yorkshire Dad.

He shared his top tips for tackling chaos when travelling with children.

Check them out below for a stress-free, smoother experience this half term.

Keep children as preoccupied as possible

Karl explained that keeping children busy is the best way to combat travelling chaos.

He noted: “Before we travel, I ensure all electronic devices are fully charged, and we have chargers within reaching distance if needed.

"We bolster our snacks, games and books/magazine supplies before we arrive at the airport, which helps us ensure that we always have something ready should we hear those dreaded words 'I’m bored, are we there yet'?"

Split your luggage

There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination, finding out your case has been lost and spending the rest of your holiday without any luggage.

However, you can take steps when packing to reduce the chance of being caught short without your holiday clothes.

If you’re travelling as a family, rather than packing one suitcase per person, spread your clothes and personal belongings across all your suitcases, with a few of everyone’s items in each.

This way, if one suitcase goes missing, you’ll still have access to some of your clothes and essentials in another.

Another clever tip is to buy some Apple AirTags, or a similar tracker.

These GPS trackers can be attached to suitcases and connected to your smartphone, allowing you to keep tabs on your case and help pinpoint its exact location if lost.

Be smart with the items you take onto the plane

If you’re an over-packer and struggle to get everything in your suitcase, check your airline’s stipulations to find out what additional items you’re allowed to take on the plane.

Most allow a reasonably large carry-on bag, and you can buy bags that match the exact size requirements to ensure you get as much space as possible.

A personal item, such as a handbag or pillow, is usually allowed.

For most airlines, each ticketed passenger is allowed a carry-on bag and personal item, so if you’re travelling with children, ensure you’re making the most of the bags you’re allowed.\

You can also save room in your case – particularly with liquids – by buying essentials at the airport once you’ve already passed through security.

Most Boots stores even allow you to place an order ahead of time to collect in store, so you can pick up items such as sunscreen or baby milk quickly and easily.

These shopping bags don’t count as towards hand luggage (as long as they’re a reasonable size), so you can take them onto the plane for free.

Explore the airport

When the kids are getting restless, take inspiration from your surroundings.

The Yorkshire Dad suggested: “Exploring what the airport has to offer has also been an effective way of killing time when travelling with the kids.

"Whether it’s plane spotting, a walk around Duty-Free or trying to find the most obscure toys, the lounges can offer a welcome distraction for children of any age.”

Make it an adventure

If you’re stressed, your children will likely pick up on it.

Instead, try to cultivate an air of excitement around the trip.

From the airport to the plane, treat the journey like an adventure your children can get excited about.

For a child, airports can be incredibly fun places, with loads of new things to see and do, so try to suppress any stress you may be feeling and make a game of the journey.

You’ll help keep the boredom at bay and have a much happier time!

Look at twilight baggage drop

If the idea of queuing to drop bags off with restless kids is stressful, check to see whether your airport offers any baggage drop-off options.

Many airlines allow you to drop off bags the night before, meaning you don’t have to queue with bored children on the day of your flight. While this tip works best for those who live nearby or are staying onsite at the airport, it can drastically reduce travel stress and
waiting times.

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Consider your flight times

Planes can be stressful for children. In an ideal world, they’ll sleep through most of the flight. Try to encourage this by travelling at night if possible.

This way, you can tire them out with fun activities during the afternoon and, with any luck, they’ll doze throughout the flight.

This will also help ensure their usual bedtime routine isn’t too disrupted by the trip, helping you settle back into things as
seamlessly as possible once you arrive at your destination.

What are your top tips for travelling with kids? Let us know in the comments below.


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