You know you’re travelling with kids when…

Dinosaur mini golf in Phuket

We’ve all seen the memes on social media describing kids who fell asleep at the end of a 16 hour flight (I can attest to that happening in real life). Or the ones about taking bets about how many times they will ask if you’re nearly there yet! I reached out to you lovely people and you call came back to tell me how you know you’re travelling with kids when…


Kids Gear

  • You look like you are moving out when really you are going on a three day break. Who knew babies needed so much stuff!
  • Your suitecase is full of babies stuff!
  • You can’t close the boot for all the luggage and your own personal travel bag is instead filled with Organix snacks, baby wipes, bottles and nappies
  • An assortment of cuddly toys also come with you!
  • Carrying loads of wet wipes, stocking up on wet wipes at the airport and then again when you arrive. CANNOT run out of wet wipes!
  • You’ve packed about 15,765 outfit changes “just in case”…
  • All your suitcases are trunkis!
  • Your hand luggage is heavier than your actual luggage because it’s full of kid friendly entertainment even though the traveling is only a couple of hours! God forbid they get bored for two seconds!
  • When there’s barely enough room in the car for you with all the ‘stuff’ you have to take.

Own Gear

  • You get to your destination and you have packed fabulous clothes for hubby and the kids and all there is for you is a pack of pants and a t-shirt.
  • Your luggage used to have 17 pairs of shoes in it and only holds flip flops. When you have forgotten that air travelused to mean reading a magazine and drinking wine and you swear repeatedly at a trunki in the departure lounge as if it is another traveller!
  • 90% of your hand luggage belongs to them! Toys, changes of clothes, snacks, wet wipes! It’s all theirs.
  • You can only wear black or navy so that no one can see the food/dribble/poo/sick (delete as appropriate)
Packing laid out on bed
You know you’re travelling with kids when… you pack for them but forget your own stuff!

Bodily Fluids

  • You hear “uh oh” and your first thought is poo-related
  • You are sat at a toll booth for two hours because your 11 year old decided to get out to be sick and wont get in until he is sick but isnt actually being sick! This happened to us in August!
  • The door’s not even closed and they need a wee
  • You’re crouched down between the car and a bush, balancing a child with one arm while trying to help them quickly get their underwear down with the other, only for them to pee into your hand. At least the clothes stayed clean I guess.
  • You find yourself considering fitting yourself and your six year old twins into an aeroplane toilet. It can be done!
  • You have to use a portable potty in the queue to get onto the plane (we were in the middle of potty training)!
  • You’ve only been driving for 30 minutes when your child shouts ‘I need the toilet’!
  • You get puke in your ear on the transfer to the hotel after an 8 hour flight “Mummy, I feel…BLEURGHHH”. Note: this didn’t happen to me. It happened to my mother. I’m sorry, Mum (I was 4!).
  • You arrive at your destination covered in someone else’s bodily fluids.
  • You’ve had to stop at the last 5 exits in a row because someone has to poop!

Long Journeys

  • Your stress levels have hit boiling point before you have even entered the car.
  • You have the radio on full blast just to drown out the sound of them screaming!
  • Choose to have the radio on just so you can’t hear this little ones constant screams and questions of are we there yet?

Concepts of time and distance

  • You are constantly asked ‘Are we nearly there yet’ ‘How long is an hour’ ‘Well just how long is that then’ and other such time related questions that a four year old simply can’t get the grasp of.
  • You’ve just got out of the road and you hear “are we nearly there yet!
  • Are we nearly there yet is heard.

Songs and Games

  • When you’ve heard Alvin & the Chipmunks sing ‘Christmas don’t be late’ five times before you’ve covered five miles.
  • The game of choice is i spy for a billion miles.
  • You narrate the entire journey: “Look, there’s a horse! Wow, what a big lorry! Can you see that bus?” Oh wait, I now do that even when she’s not in the car as well. Oops!
  • You are already sick of the singing and the eye spy.
  • I hear “Whats That” as she points to every single thing she see’s from the window.
Granny Wanderlust in the back of the car with the Things in Lake Como
You know you’re travelling with kids when… long car journeys are torture!


  • Your itinerary comprises of a lot more zoos, aquariums and attractions than you’d ever care to see before!
  • When an outdoor playground in any country is a godsend, especially after a long flight. Grassy spaces, slippery dips and a bench seat? Yes please!
  • You choose your hotel based on their kids club rating and the gaming systems they have.
The Things playing mini golf in Lake Como
You know you’re travelling with kids when… the itinerary is orientated around activities for them, not you.


  • You have more snacks in the bag then you do clothes!
  • When you have enough snacks to feed a small army, the only thing of yours in your hand luggage is your phone and you look wistfully at all the couples in the airport.
  • You pack enough snacks to feed a small and very hungry army.
  • You eat room service in the hotel bathroom.
  • The relief is palpable when you find a fast food chain or there is pizza on the menu knowing there won’t be an argument about food / battles with hangry kids later.
Pizza - found in a restaurant in Jordan
You know you’re travelling with kids when… they won’t eat the local food

Stranger reactions

  • Strangers look at you and roll their eyes.
  • When you apologize to everyone next to you, in front of you and behind you before you have even sat down in your seats.
  • Everyone in the departure lounge eyes you nervously with the hope that you’re sitting nowhere near them shining in their eyes.
  • The queue parts at the airline check in desk to let you and your four kids, one of whom has his jeans on backwards, walk right on through. People look at you with a mix of pity and awe.
The Things watching iPads on a plane
You know you’re travelling with kids when… they love getting on a plane as much as the holiday itself!


  • It’s 11am and you are already shattered!
  • None of the hotels have the travel cots you have requested so you all end up on about 2 hours’ sleep a night.
  • Your kids somehow forget to get jet lag and don’t give you the lie in you were hoping for.
  • You hang out in the bathroom peeking round the door waiting for the kids to go to sleep.
Thing 2 in a
You know you’re travelling with kids when… you get no sleep


  • You stay in a glamorous and highly expensive five star resort on one of the most spectacular islands in the world, but the highlight of the trip (and the only memory your toddler retains) was seeing the frogs hopping out onto the lawns after it rained.
  • The kids’ favourite holiday is based on memories of an excellent kids club.
  • They’re more excited about how many modes of transport you took than the things they saw.
  • There’s no disappointment at the end of the holiday because the best bit (an aeroplane) is still to come.

When you’re not travelling with kids

  • For once I was NOT traveling with kids, what a strange feeling! I could actually walk looking straight ahead, all the time. I only had ONE bag to carry. I could eat all my OWN food, I could go to the toilet when I felt like it, not when my children needed it. I didn’t need to hide the sex scenes on the in-flight little TV screen. Forgot what that felt like to be that selfish.

And Finally…

You need a holiday by yourself afterwards!

Passport, boarding card, glass of wine and water
You know you’re NOT travelling with kids when… travelling by yourself is weird

Special thanks to all you lovely lot who answered the question over on my Facebook Page including:

Lylia Rose, The Growing Mum, Yorkshire Wonders, Truly Madly Kids, Motherhood Diaries, Captain Bobcat, All Things Spliced, Our Bucket List Lives, Digital Motherhood, Kids on Tour – Autism Without Limits, Mummy Alarm, From Rachael Claire, Have Kids Will Travel UK, Me, Annie Bee, Are Pops, Flying With A Baby, Twinderelmo, Household Money Saving, The Incidental Parent, Can We Skip The Teenage Bit, Truly Madly Cuckoo, Our Seaside Baby, Follow Your Sunshine, Freddie’s Mummy UKOutnumbered By Bunnies, Mummy Cat Notes, My Tunbridge Wells, Inspire Gratitude and Manifest, The Queen of Collage, Burnished Chaos, Wild Mama Tribe, A Creative Life, Lily’s Little Learners,  Five Little Doves, Ethan and Evelyn, Bare Mother, Mimi Rose and Me, Mumzilla – Musings, Mothering, Mayhem.

Emma Morrell
Emma Morrell

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  1. 13 January 2018 / 21:46

    Love it – so true – I needed a holiday after last time we went away. Looking forward to our next hoiliday that is in a villa so no rolling eyes from onlookers – space and sun loungers all to ourselves – We just need to get there!

    • 14 January 2018 / 08:28

      I’m past caring about other people. If they want to judge that reflects more on them than it does on me. I judge myself harshly enough so I don’t need to add to that any more. Its taken me a long long time and loads of travel to get to that point though! So glad you have a nice holiday planned. Enjoy!

  2. 20 January 2018 / 10:42

    This article is funny and so true! I turn up the radio just on short journeys 🙈
    We drove go Disney Land Paris last year with three little ones. Surprisingly is wasn’t as bad as I thought. It’s all about the prep – snacks, iPad, Disney dvds and being prepared to stop!

    • 7 February 2018 / 09:07

      The replies I got when I asked people did make me giggle! Preparation is CRUCIAL!

  3. 20 January 2018 / 10:55

    Fab post. It always amazes me how much stuff we take and how little is mine! Hanging out in hotel bathrooms too!

    • 7 February 2018 / 09:08

      I feel like hanging out in hotel bathrooms is a rite of passage lol!

  4. 20 January 2018 / 12:12

    Haha so true, all of them! And thanks for including my comment too. It’s strange travelling alone these days!

    • 7 February 2018 / 09:09

      It’s so weird! I got to the airport at the “normal” time and made it from being dropped off to through security in 15 minutes… normally it takes 45!!!!

  5. 20 January 2018 / 12:29

    We haven’t been abroad with the kids but I overpack even when going on small theme park holidays for them. Even if its only a day or two.

    • 7 February 2018 / 09:10

      I overpack even more for road trips and day or weekend trips – baggage restrictions actually really help to stop me doing it!

  6. 20 January 2018 / 12:45

    This is sooo true lol!! I’m travelling long haul with a new born shortly, wish me luck!! Xx

    • 7 February 2018 / 09:11

      Oooooh good luck! I’d love to hear how it goes xx

  7. 21 January 2018 / 20:51

    Ha ha, this made me chuckle! We have definitely felt like we need another holiday to get over the last one when we’ve been away with the kids. Looking forward to our first break away without kiddies in 2 weeks- eek!

    • 7 February 2018 / 09:11

      Oooooh I hope it went ok! I am DREAMING of some time away just us but its not really feasible for now.