A family holiday abroad is the highlight of the year for many of us – a chance to relax, unwind, and spend some quality time with our loved ones. However, navigating a foreign country with little ones can pose its own challenges, so we’ve rounded up our top tips for travelling abroad with kids.

Make them comfortable

Heading out on a road trip can be an exciting adventure, but it can also overwhelm your little ones, especially in an unfamiliar country. Long car journeys can make kids restless, so try and make the car a relaxing and familiar environment.

Putting up sunshades should keep your little ones cool, and help them to fall asleep if you’re travelling during nap time. Pop some blankets and pillows within reach to make the backseats snug and let them settle in.

When it’s time to eat, a coolbox is a handy way to keep snacks and drinks fresh – you can plug an electric coolbox straight into the 12v outlet in your car to keep your little ones’ favourite foods chilled and ready to enjoy.

Long car journeys or flights can lead to boredom, so be sure to pack some entertainment to keep your kids happily occupied. Colouring books, toys, books, and gadgets can all help to make long trips fly by. In the car, you could take turns picking the music or finding where you are on a map. On a plane, try to get them up and walking around, when possible, to release some energy – this should help to prevent any upsets.

Plan your days

It can be difficult to fit in everything you want to see and do on a foreign holiday, especially with little ones in tow. Try to be realistic about how much you can do, and don’t be disheartened if something doesn’t go to plan.

Kids work best with routine, so talk your little ones through the day’s agenda before you set off so they know what to expect. That’s not to say that you can’t go on the odd detour or change your plan, but giving your little ones an idea of the day ahead should help to avoid any sudden meltdowns.

Two key things to try and keep consistent are sleep and food – aim to get them fed and in bed at a similar time to normal, to replicate their routine and keep them happy.

Bring the right kit

When you’re holiday packing, it can be hard to figure out what’s necessary to bring and what’s just taking up space, especially when it comes to your little ones. For us, there are a few bits of kit that we’d always recommend you bring, to make travelling with kids easier.

A foldable lightweight pushchair can be a lifesaver when travelling with babies and toddlers, whether you’re navigating airports, train stations, or exploring your destination. They’re quick and easy to put up or collapse and give your little one somewhere to rest when they get tired. Plus, they’re handy for carrying additional baggage or food for your days out.

If you’re hiring a car abroad, make sure to bring any additional safety features you’d have in your own car. Things like rear-view child mirrors and seatbelt adjusters may be supplied by the rental company but be sure to check before you leave so you don’t get caught out. In the same way, make sure your child seat attachments are compatible with the car you’re renting.

Handle the admin early

Your holiday should be a chance to relax and have fun, but there’s often a lot of paperwork and preparation to do beforehand to keep everything running smoothly. It’s best to get this out of the way as soon as possible, so you can handle any hiccups and keep everyone happy.

Depending on where you’re travelling to, you may need to apply for travel documents, fill out forms, and arrange to get vaccinations, especially if your little ones haven’t travelled abroad before. These things can take a lot of time to process, so the sooner you get the ball rolling, the fewer issues you should run into before you set off.

If you’re driving abroad, especially in Europe, there are a few items you’ll need to keep in your car. The Halfords Motoring Abroad kit contains everything you need to drive in most European countries, in one handy pack. It contains universal headlamp adaptors, a warning triangle, reflective vests, a UK sticker, and a first-aid kit, all in a handy storage bag with Velcro boot-fixing tabs.

With these handy tips, you should be ready to kick back and enjoy your well-earned family break. If you do need anything else, head over to Halfords.com or pop into your local store where one of our experts will be ready to get you back on track.