Essential guide to taking a day trip with kids

27 March 2018

There is nothing like a day trip to explore new places, refresh and regenerate without the organization required for an actual holiday. You can avoid planning, booking, packing, arranging someone to feed the pets. You get the idea!

In order to help your next day trip run smoothly, we have put together our essential guide to travelling with kids.

1. Keep travel time under 2 hours 

Most kids can be entertained in the car with a few games and some kid-friendly music, but once you get over an hour or so, they start to get twitchy, wanting to stop for snacks and toilet breaks. Be mindful of this when planning your destination, and pick somewhere that you can travel to in one leg without stopping. This will extend your time to relax and enjoy your destination. Also consider catching a train, ferry or a bus, as it adds to the sense of adventure.

2. Walk on the Wild Side

If you spend most of your weekends beachside, mix it up and go somewhere in the bush or more rural. Likewise, if you tend to visit more landlocked locations escape to a beautiful coastal spot taking in the glorious QLD coast. Kids don’t always see the differences we do, and may not understand why, when they live five minutes from the beach, Mum and Dad have made them sit in the car for two hours to go to a different beach. It’s all sand and water after all. Keep that in mind when planning as a new destination, different from their every day will really enhance their sense of exploration and excitement.

3. Think kid-friendly

When your kids are little, they aren’t going to want to hang about while you wine taste, or sit in front of an open fire in the mountains drinking cups of tea and eating scones. Be realistic and don’t expect too much of little ones, especially if they will be travelling for a long time. As a family, sit down together and identify your common interests so everyone gets something out of the day. Also, there are so many great free options available to parents. Beach parks, playgrounds, bush walks, lookouts and waterfalls; QLD has so many gorgeous destinations for every age group, plan around what will work for the majority of your family. Kids are much more likely to behave if you choose a destination they are looking forward to seeing.

4. Pack for every scenario

Part of going on a day trip is not knowing how the day will play out, so the benefits of being prepared should never be underestimated.

  • Pack wet weather gear, no matter how sunny it looks you never know when one of those glorious tropical storms will pop by for a visit.
  • If you’re heading to the mountains pack swimwear and sun protection in case you come across an amazing waterfall or lagoon.
  • Spare clothes for everyone (yes even the adults). Kids are unpredictable, they can have accidents, fall over in the mud, get car sick, and parents can occasionally get in the firing line so pack a change of clothes for everyone.
  • Even if you have a plan for lunch, pack a bag of snacks and water in case you get held up or have car trouble (or if the kids are losing it).
  • Pack scooters and bikes if you can, as you might come across a great track and it’s a perfect way for the kids to burn some energy.
  • A first aid kit with a few basic medications is always a good idea. Also if you have kids that get travel sick, plenty of wet ones and a bucket and lid can go a long way!


Written by

Melanie Aslandis

Melanie Aslanidis is wife and mother of two beach loving boys aged 5 and 2.

She is the founder of where she curates beach-related brands and and writes content around coastal lifestyle and travel inspiration.

Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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