Traveling with a family is fun and rewarding, but it also requires patience, flexibility and a lot of planning. Here are some tips that work in my family for easier travels.

  1. Don’t tell the kids you are traveling until you have to.
  2. If you are taking the kids out of school, speak to their teachers and get work for them to do during travel times.
  3. Keep a travel wallet that contains emergency contact information, insurance cards and travel ID.
  4. Order any necessary foreign currency fromΒ Foreign Cash Online, and have it delivered to your home or airport.
  5. Store travel toiletries in a large ziploc bag so you can just transfer it to the suitcase rather than packing them each time.
  6. Make a packing list for the kids, so they can gather everything on their own (but be sure to check it later because sometimes they miss items).
  7. If your hotel or vacation house has laundry facilities, pack laundry detergent and go home with freshly laundered clothes that can be put away.
  8. If you are traveling outside of your country, purchase a cell phone plan for at least one phone so that you can always be reached if necessary.
  9. Download the appropriate airline app so you will be notified in any flight delays or changes right away.
  10. Do not schedule every minute of your trip. Downtime is important too.
  11. Share your itinerary with someone staying behind, in case of emergency.
  12. Check in for flights from home, and print your boarding passes.
  13. Leave for the airport earlier than you would when traveling alone.
  14. Develop back-up plans for everything from transportation to meals to activities.
  15. When things don’t go as planned, go with the flow!

One of my lucky readers will win aΒ $100 Prepaid CIBC Gift Card by sharing your favourite travel tip!

get ready to win


This post is brought to you by CIBC Foreign Cash OnlineTM. All opinions are those of the author.

200 Replies to “Win a $100 Prepaid GC by sharing your travel tips {Canada}”

  1. Pack and extra duffel bag that’s light weight and can slip to the side of your suitcase. Extra baggage space just in case if you need it.

  2. I’m working on a homemade quiet book to keep our toddler engaged and happy while we are travelling! We also make sure to have snacks onhand in case of unexpected travel delays.

  3. I don’t really understand the first one re: not telling the kids you’re travelling until you have to. In the vast majoity of cases, there would be no problem with telling kids and in some cases, springing a trip on them without advance notice might actually backfire and cause distress in kids who don’t deal well with sudden changes and transitions. We always tell our kids as soon as we’ve firmed the plans as it gives them something to talk about, look forward to etc.

    my travel tips:

    buy each kid their own, appropriately sized backpack, to carry their car/airplane activities, a few snacks, favorite stuffy. mom & dad don’t end up carrying everything and the kids have their own luggage that they can be responsible for and independent with

    if travelling between climates, bring a change of clothes on the plane so that you can be comfortable when you get off at your destination, particularly when going somewhere warm in winter. you’ll be much more comfortable standing around waiting for rental cars/shuttles etc in 30C+ weather if you brought your shorts and flip flops

  4. Be sure that all your liquids are in a regulation sized bag and in your carry-on if your are traveling by airplane.

  5. Don’t overpack, especially when travelling with baby and small children. Essentials only, if you need something while travelling in most locations you will be able to pick up a suitable replacement.

  6. Keep kids busy by making up a travel bingo card ahead of time. When they spot something on the card during your trip they can mark it off and qualify for small prizes you’ve brought along. Super fun!

  7. Don’t forget that if you are travelling out of the country without one of the parents, you need a certified permission letter from the other! The airline has the right to refuse the family to board if this isn”t available! (obviously, if you are the grandmother taking your grands on a trip, this is doubly important!) And, old-fashioned as it sounds, bring books; as a grandmother, I am so happy that my little ones still love the looks and feel and comfort of someone reading to them. Even more than their little computer pads!

  8. Lay out full outfits for adults and children, including undergarments/diapers, then roll each up into a bundle to be packed. Saves time and space!

  9. Pack lots of snacks and ‘new’toys for kids….like something from the dollar store…something they can get as they get bored with what they were playing with before on flights

  10. I bought a small device that weighs my bags at home. I always know if I am within the approved weight limit for each airline. No big surprises at the airport and no extra fees.

  11. Pack extra medicine! Especially if you suffer from allergies and what not. You never know when it might come in handy

  12. Store makeup, sunscreen, moisturizers, hair products in contact cases labeled with a sharpie. Save so much space!!

  13. Always bring a few plastic grocery bags with you so you can put dirty clothes into and keep your other clothes fresh for the remainder of your trip.

  14. When our kids were younger, I selected their outfits for the day and had them pre-packaged in ziplock bags. So easy to just grab a bag with the entire outfit in there than dig through the suitcase for clothes!

  15. Make a list of what to bring weeks ahead..add to the list as you remember and while travelling don’t try and cram everything in one just doesn’t work

  16. Always plan ahead! Bring lots of games and snacks for the kids and make sure the destination is family friendly!

  17. While it might seem great to save some money and book your hotel through websites like Expedia or, it can actually create more of a hassle. You’re better off to book through the hotel’s website or their call centre directly. They have a better cancellation policy (Expedia is a no-cancel, all prepaid website) and can suit your booking more to your needs. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches and disappointment and can ensure exactly what you’re getting ahead of time.

  18. I make sure that the carry on luggage contains a few days of emergency clothes just in case the rest of the luggage is lost, And at my destination I have a small bag which I wear over my head and shoulder (to make it more diffiult to be stolen) which I hold on to, which contains our important documents

  19. My best travel tip is each member of the family gets to bring a carry on only plus your hand bag or computer carry on. This saves so much time at the airport not having to stand around waiting for your luggage.

  20. Ever since losing a suitcase I’ve made sure a couple of changes of clothing for everyone are in every bag!

  21. If leaving the country make sure you have photocopies of all the passports and keep the, separate from where you keep the passports.. This will make it much easier to replace them if they get lost or stolen while away.

  22. Always take a light weight shawl or pashima with you as it doubles as a blanket on the plane or hotel and will keep the rain of you for a bit if needed. Also roll clothing when packing, it takes less room and you will have less wrinkles when you arrive.

  23. Make sure everyone one has a part in the planning process and fit in at least one of their “want to do” into the holiday schedule.

  24. Make lists before you pack so that you can check everything off as you put it in and don’t forget anything!

  25. Stagger the toys & activities you’ve packed. NEVER give them everything at once.! I start with one toy & try to make it last as long as possible before bringing out the next one. A lot of times I never even make it to the last toys as the few they’ve gotten have kept then busy.

  26. My number 1 tip is to call to confirm all reservations right before you leave. There is nothing worse than getting to a destination and having problems or not having a room at all.

  27. Pack clothes and essentials needed for overnight in a carry on bag, or smaller bag if you’re travelling by car etc. I find it handier to have an easy to grab bag that is quick to go through instead of having to dig through many or a larger bag, I then repack it for the next night when going from place to place. So nice for when you are tired or rushed!

  28. My families travel tip: make sure the iPods are charged! My kids are the quietest when they are watching them and it gives me some quiet time as well!

  29. Pack essentials in the carry on bags so that if luggage is lost you can still manage when you get to your destination and pack some activities for kids for “emergency” boredom episodes!

  30. My tip is to keep all of your shampoo/conditioner/body wash, basically anything liquid in a ziploc bag in case it leaks!

  31. Always pack your bathing suit and a change of clothes in your carry on when going down south, just in case your luggage is lost.

  32. I like to pack lots of activities for my kids to do on the trip and lots of snacks. If my kids are keep busy it is a much more pleasant trip.

  33. Mix up everyone’s clothes into different suitcases so that if a piece of luggage gets lost, everyone will still have some clothes to change into.

  34. My travel tip is to pack zip loc bags. You never know when you’ll need them!! I usually bring a bunch of extra to store beach finds or wet clothes when we didn’t have time for the clothes to dry before our flight.

  35. I don’t travel much. But when I do i make sure to always make a list of what I need to pack and check it off as I pack. And I always bring wet wipes, You can even put them in ziploc bags to save space.

  36. My tip is to lay out your outfits and then roll a complete outfit together. Rolling will help so that the clothes will not wrinkle as much and you have everything you need ready to grab out of the suitcase so no searching for matching socks or jewelry. It is all rolled together ready to go.

  37. My best family travel tip is to be prepared and stock up your carry on bag for emergencies, delays, etc. We always have in our carry on – extra diapers, a package of wipes, books, small toys, stickers, a tablet, lots of snacks, a spare change of clothes, swimwear if we are going somewhere warm, a small first aid kit, some local currency, travel documents etc. That way if we get delayed, sick, or end up with lost luggage we are never in a panic because we have all our essentials on hand.

  38. Don’t overplan. Be willing to compromise and make changes and adjustments as you go. Remember that some of the most fun moments can be spontaneous.

  39. Try to pick things that you know they will love and then some that you think they should try for the experience. Once our kids were older we would give them choices so that they had a hand in planning the day. For example we told them we were doing the Magice Kingdom over 2 days and going to rides in areas close together each day. We took them through the rides in those areas and they got to pick the first 3 rides we went on. This way they participated in picking things to do that day.

  40. My best family trip was when we went to Africa for 3 weeks. It truly was great vacation in the Ivory Coast, which
    the whole family will never forget.

  41. Make sure you bring enough entertainment for the young ones, you don’t want them to get bored

  42. Don’t put your own address on your luggage tags – use a friend or relative’s address who will be in town – thieves have been known to check the address on luggage tags and then go break in while you’re on vacation.

  43. I roll clothes up to save space & I pack smaller items like hair ties, tweezers, makeup brushes & qtips in small plastic ziploc pouches from the dollar store.

  44. When flying…ALWAYS bring snacks and stuff to keep the kids busy! Toys, colouring stuff, tablet, DVD player, etc.

  45. When I pack clothes for my boys I pack them in outfits. I put it all together in bundles for each day. I also try to coordinate the colours so after all of the outfits have been worn they can mix and match the pieces. It makes it so ugh easier.

  46. Roll your clothes up to save space. Found out about this tip online after packing for my son this summer. I rolled his socks and underwear up with the other clothes to save even more space.

  47. I learnt you should roll your clothes,they take less room and stay wrinkle free,tuck shoes into one another and put in the side pocket of a suitcase

  48. I travel lots, roll your clothes, not only does it take less room, but it also help with wrinkles. Weight your bags! Very expensive if your bag are over the allowance weight. Do not choose a seat close to the bathroom.

  49. My best family travel tip that my family does when we travel is we roll up our clothes so they do not take up much space, and also make sure to bring lots of drinks and snacks along!

  50. My best tip would be, do not wait until the last minute to pack. I do it (at the least) one week ahead of time.

  51. My best tip would be to make a list of what you pack as you pack and then tuck it into your suitcase. You can go through the list when your getting ready to head home at the end of your trip to make sure you don”t forget anything behind. I can’t count the number of times we left something behind. A list is a must for us now! you can even add onto the list if you purchase things on the trip.

  52. roll your clothes and less is better! plan accordingly and bring the essentials but do not over pack also leave the valuables at home!

  53. For my two little boys, I pack their outfits into ziplock bags. Each day had a bag with a complete outfit so there is no hunting around for matching clothes, socks, underwear, etc. It makes getting dressed much easier and we re-use the bags for each trip. Another tip is when you’re flying, be sure to pack clothing for each member of the family in each bag. That way if one suitcase goes missing, you should still have clothes in the other bags.

  54. My best travel tip is to buy new toys ahead of time and put them in a backpack. Don’t let the kids see or play with them until part way into the trip. They will be new and exciting and keep them entertained longer. Of course, in this day of ipads, kindles and laptops perhaps this is outdated.

  55. put all your shampoo, suntan oils in zip lock bags in case they leak all over your clothes…oily spots are impossible to clean in a hotel bathroom sink

  56. I travel fairly often and my tip is to check your airline websites frequently for the best price on you tickets, the prices change so much more often than you might think they do.

  57. With kids who are tiny/small I always put them on a “leash” when going through airports. I a great “thumbs up” from the security guys at theOahu airport…..wishing more parents would do that with little ones. I have used the wrist ones where I wear one end and a child wears the other and I have used the Halter with wrist band for parent type. When you have 6 kids and then 7 others travelling with you, it’s the only way to keep track of the small ones. I also take various forms of nausea/air sickness remedies because you never know who is going to not take to flying. I have used wrist bands (come in all kinds of colours) and medication. Fotunately, for us the wrist bands worked. Always have extra medical insurance for the one who ends up with ear infections!

  58. Put dryer sheets in your luggage along with the dirty clothes to keep them from stinking. AND attach a colorful ribbon to your luggage handle so yours won’t get lost amongst the other other luggage.

  59. Be flexible and build in down time. DO NOT over schedule your family. Give yourself space in your itinerary to linger if something really excites your kids, or to bail out if it’s just not working.

  60. The best travel trip is to do it in real life…don’t spend it behind a video camera the whole time!

  61. My best family travel tip is to invite family members that might want to be included on a trip with you but wouldn’t necessarily ask to come along with you if you don’t bring it up. Of course, you may not want to go on family trips with certain family members but they might like to come with you so I’ll leave it up to you. It’s similar to someone who has a cottage but never invites family members to come for a relaxing stay, to have a nice experience and relax together.

  62. If it’s a road trip, stop travelling early (6:00 pm), and check into hotel or campground, if camping. Relax and have fun in the evenings.

  63. The best thing I did on family trips was make the kids a travel box that held juice, snacks and lots of activities. They always looked forward to our trips and the boxes kept them busy in the car.

  64. research where you are going to see if there are any events happening while you are there. During the summer there always outdoor activities that are kid friendly!

  65. think outside the box. when i was about 14 I forgot my very vital medical piece for my nebulizer machine. My dad got stressed initially until we realized we could try a nearby hospital for one. it worked out! Actually… another time.. when i was 19.. I forgot again lol… this time we were going on a cruise. well wouldnt you know the cruise medical area had a tonne of these nebulizer masks! dont fret… there is always a solution

  66. In our carry on bags we all carry a complete set of clothes medication ,snack as well as ID for atleast two days. This way in case the luggage is lost we have time to fill & pick up what we need!

  67. When the kids were younger & we flew down south multiple times, we’d practice the airport security scene ahead of time so they knew they had to move quickly with the shoe removal, electronics, carry-ons etc.. into the bins & through security. πŸ˜‰ (I even timed them on a few occassions) πŸ˜‰ Worked for us – the kids were quicker, less stress for mom, and they weren’t so intimidated by the process.

  68. We love to bring along snacks and food in coolers. Not only does it save time and money with stopping for food, but it also helps stop meltdowns when traveling with kids.

  69. Bring lots of snacks. Bring MORE than you think because you never know! My boys tear through snacks on road trips that mad!

  70. We spend long lazy days at Cameron Lake.We need a good waterproof sun screen and I freeze juice boxes to act like cold packs.We are also hooked on frozen grapes,yum!

  71. Road trips are hard on kids, so only plan to be in the car for a few hours each day if you have to.

  72. I use lists to help me stay organized and compiling a master list that will have all the items we need on any trip, so I don’t have to start from scratch every time we go somewhere.

  73. Have lots to entertain the kids , coloring books , games snacks , to keep them happy always works for me ! thanks for the chance πŸ™‚

  74. Pack lots of snacks! No one wants to be hangry!
    (Thanks for all the great tips, we’re travelling in a couple of weeks for the first time with kids!)

  75. Don’t put anything valuable in your suitcase. Carry a change of clothes in your carry-on and I put a change of clothes in my husband’s suitcase and one of his in mine.

  76. . Wow, prize prepaid gc is fab. & splendid. 2 fingers snap. It is tight, fly & off the chain. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. πŸ™‚ Pick me, pick me! Dear Santa: I’ve been nice. My X-Mas wish this year is to win this contest. Starving artist here desperately needs the gc to shop and eat. A life changing exp.

  77. Bring lots of entertainment for the little one. Be it toys, colouring supplies, paper, pencils, games,

  78. My best family travel tip is to leave the family at home. There’s nothing wrong with taking a solo trip. Less headaches, no fighting, no whining, and essentially much cheaper πŸ™‚

  79. I use planned vacations as a money learning tool. You have the child save what money they choose and even earn extra if they want. The child has to buy one meal while on the trip so they learn the cost of things. The rest of the money they are allowed to spend on souvenirs or whatever they wish. Mine would study prices and take sometimes an hour before they would let go of their cash.

  80. Make sure you have all your documents in order well beforehand – especially a passport, that usually needs six months after your scheduled return.


  81. Make sure the kids have plenty of entertainment for the car or plane. An ipad usually does the trick.

  82. We love to go camping to the same location every year as a tradition that started when my Mother was very young with her family.

  83. I try to involve the kids into the plan. My daughter makes a top list itinerary and we try to compromise. The kids get a little and we give up a little. We even involve the kids in the budget a little to show where costs are involved so compromises are a little more tangible.

  84. when travelling with kids, give them choices to help them feel they have some control over the situation(s). at the same time, limit the choices to 2, or 3 at most and make them doable/feasible. thanks

  85. Bring half as much clothes and twice as much money as you think you will need. Make copies of your passport and hide into the lining of your carry on, and have the phone numbers for your banks & credit card companies and the embassy in the country you are going to visit.

  86. I just traveled to Europe with my 6 year old and 6 month old boys. Having new surprise distractions were key for the long trip that lasted over 24 hours. Having ziploc plastic bags with a diaper, wipes, and disposable changing table cover inside made diaper changes a breeze in the tiny airplane bathrooms!

  87. My tip is to pack a few snacks in case your flights get delayed and to make sure you have some extra room in your bags. You might want to pick up souvenirs and it is best to leave some space in there so you do not have to cram and play “packing tetris” at the end of the trip.

  88. When the kids were young I always gave them baby tylenol before we got on the plane. They never had a problem with the changes in pressure.

  89. I always make sure that anything that I could not part with if a bag gets lost is in my carry on. I Pac lots of snacks The airport prices are crazy and The Plane is no better.

Leave a Reply