Moving with kids: Packing tips

Moving with kids: Packing tips

Moving with kids: Packing tips

Shifting your entire life from one home to another is a huge undertaking, especially when you have toddlers, tantrums and non-stop energy balls to consider. I know what you’re thinking. How are you going to find time to arrange all the packing and moving logistics, get everything into boxes, transport it all, unpack it again AND still be a good parent in the process?

Don’t worry. It’s very possible. All it takes is a little preparation and organisation. Simply follow this survival guide of things not to forget!

Think of the children

  • Is your child precious about their belongings? Will they get teary seeing things thrown out or boxed up? You need to be wary that acts like this can upset young ones, but that’s easy enough to navigate! (Scroll down to ‘After Dark’ for ideas).
  • Keep your kid’s routines as unchanged as possible. It can be hard when their room becomes a pile of boxes, but bedtimes, school, meal times and extra curricular activities will be like warm blankets of comfort when their world is being boxed up around them.
  • Get them involved! Let them help pack things up, wrap things in bubble wrap, and (if you think they can stomach it) decide which old clothes and toys are able to be given to charity. The more involved they are, the more exciting the whole process becomes.

Think of the pets

Pets are often overwhelmed by all the changes of moving too. It may be easier for everyone to board them during the few days of mayhem, particularly if you have pets that love going on their own little holiday anyway. Make sure you update any pet tags and microchips prior to the move and keep your pets crated, indoors or on a leash until you are sure they are used to the new place.

If you have a transport crate, it is a good idea to get your pet used to this as a safe ‘den’. Set it up with some towels or blankets and make it cosy and make a positive association by giving them treats in there. Once you move this can continue to be a nice safe den that smells like home. Cats will need to be kept indoors for at least 2-4 weeks after a change of address and will be much better if they are initially restricted to one room in the house. You can read more about moving with cats here.

Get organised early (4 to 6 weeks out)

  • At least 6 weeks before your move, create a “moving folder”… or as soon as you start making any moving arrangements. Use it to store all the details of your movers, box rentals, receipts, as well as your plan of action of “things to do”. Keep a few blank pages in it and a pen so you can jot down any important things you need to remember, whenever and wherever they may spring to mind. (Eg. “Have I made sure the fridge will fit in its new space?”, “Who’s looking after the cat during the move?”. Really, anything and everything).
  • Always be mindful to keep dangerous items (scissors, tools, sharps, and breakables) secure and out of a little arm’s reach at all times. (And remember, even sticky tape dispensers have serrated bits!) Packing is a time of additional perils, so be extra cautious.
  • When packing, start with the rooms and items that get used the least. If you have bookshelves/an attic/ overcrowded garage/ fancy cabinets filled with fine china and unused ornaments… these are all good starting points. Chances are this stuff gets used less often anyway.
  • Other things to do:

o   Research and book a moving company.

o   Make sure you’ve given your landlord notice of your moving date

o   Set aside important documents (birth certificates, insurance papers, vaccination papers, passports) – you never know when you’ll need them! Keep them safe and together.

o   Give kids plenty of warning! They’ll appreciate having time to adjust, come to terms with it, and say goodbye to their friends if required.

o   Do some research on your new area – schools/shops/housing/sports clubs/fun activities – if anything stands out, tell the kids about it so they can start getting excited too.

o   If the new home is far away, plan a moving day itinerary: print out a map and plan for some fun stops along the way.

o   Hold a garage sale to get rid of stuff that is still of value, but that you do not wish to move with you. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so they say.

o   Photograph important furniture and household items so you have a record if removalists damage them at all.

 Closer to the big move

  • Begin to tackle your kitchen. Set aside some pots and pans, enough plates to cater for your meals until the big move (or even go out and buy some plastic ones that can tide you over so you can get ahead with your packing).
  • Make sure all boxes are clearly labeled with what room they belong in! This is very important. You want movers putting them in the right room so that you don’t have to lug everything about after they leave.
  • Start packing children’s stuff up last… like literally one or two days before. They are going to want things like favourite DVDs, toys and clothes right up until the big move.
  • To make boxing things up more fun, give your child stickers and textas to decorate their boxes of stuff – they’ll love it and it’s also then easier to locate where there stuff is upon arrival in your new home.
  • Set aside a “kid’s moving survival kit” – stock with a favourite toy, a few books, maybe a colouring book and pencils, and also put in their pyjamas, a change of clothes and their bedding. This way they’ll have items to entertain them when the packing and moving all becomes too much… and you’ll be able to make their new room feel homey from the very first night’s sleep!
  • Other things to do:

o   Cancel memberships to clubs/programs in your local area that will no longer be used.

o   Get a copy of your family’s medical history from your doctor so that you can hand it over when you find a new practitioner.

o   Notify utility and service providers of your change of address (gas and water company etc).

o   Update the address on your driver’s license (this can also be done very soon after the move).

o   Closer to the move, stop buying so many groceries and cleaning products – you’ll want to try get creative and use up as much of your existing stock as possible.

After dark

  •  Some packing tasks are best left for when kids are tucked up in bed and dreaming sweetly. All handling of delicate items, for example.
  • Once kids are asleep is also the time to chuck out any items they may have a hard time parting with – but will never think of again if not bought to their attention (their broken doll, threadbare two-sizes-too-small t-shirts and such). Be mindful though; you don’t want to start an argument when unpacking because you “misplaced” a favourite stuffed toy!

Moving day

  • When the big day rolls around – you may be feeling overwhelmed, but embrace it and know you’ve done the best you can to get things all in order.
  • Have suitcases of clothes and toiletries packed in your own car (you won’t be able to source all of it easily straight out of the boxes on the first night).
  • You’ll also want a box with you filled with small basic items: toilet paper, paper towels,
  • If your kids are little, plan to have someone looking after them while the trucks are being loaded with stuff – as much as you love them, they can be a slight hindrance in this process.
  • Make sure you have a well kitted out first aid box in your care… a general rule for all drivers, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded again!

So I’m sure that leaves you feeling utterly swamped with plenty of things to think about. But I’ve no doubt you’ll handle it just fine and come through it – kids and all – far better and happier than you could ever image.

Good luck and happy moving!

marisa photoMany thanks to Marisa for this post. Marisa is the mother of 2 energetic children who love to hide random objects in her bed to find at the end of a long day. Intensely curious about the world, she has lived and travelled to most corners of the globe with her most recent Expat adventure taking place in Qatar in the Middle East where her youngest child was born. Marisa is an extremely curious person and spends much of her time learning about her favourite topics; health, fitness and saving the planet. As a lover of spontaneity, Marisa is always happy to embrace change and new experiences and enjoys living on the edge.

Protecting your kids from the sun on holiday

The sun produces both UVA and UVB rays which can be harmful to our skin,  prolonged exposure especially for young children can lead to future health issues. Using the right sunscreen is vital to help protect your children from the harm as many parents will know however there are a few things you might not know.

Using the right sun cream

Did you know?

• Having a tanned skin doesn’t protect against UVA rays only reduced the risk of sunburn

• You should reapply sun cream to children every 2 to 3 hours

• Sun creams come with a SPF rating of protection which can vary from 5 (low) to 50 (total protection)

• UVA rays can actually go through clouds so even on a cloudy day you’re not safe

• Sun cream should not be used on babies under 6 months old, meaning they need to be kept in the shade at all times.

The recommended minimum SPF protection for children is 30, however for children who have fair skin or who have exposed moles  I would suggest a higher FPS of 50 as you can never be too careful.

Sun cream should be applied about half an hour before exposure to the sun as it takes time to properly sink in and settle. This is especially important before going in the pool as it can be easily get washed off.

The Importance of Sunglasses

Having your children wear sunglasses is extremely important as not only do they protect your eyes from bright light but also can help prevent against permanent eye damage and a variety of future problems.

Sun exposure to your eyes can lead to cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  Sunglasses also help to protect the skin around your eyes from premature aging and can also help to protect your children’s eyes from wind, dust and sand which you can be particularly plagued with on beach holidays. Many young children damage their eyes by getting sand in them which leads to them rubbing and causing more damage trying to get the sand out.

Did you know?

• Not all sunglasses protect from UVA rays

• Just because glasses are dark doesn’t mean they offer more protection

• Many holiday destinations will sell fake sunglasses on market stalls which usually have little protection and any claim of UV protection is almost always a lie as they are cheap imitations.

The right sunglasses for your kids should have quality standard marks. The Australian Standard is AS/NZS, The European standard EN and the US has s ANSI each with their own set levels of protection.  This is why it is important when choosing sunglasses to buy from a reputable retailer and to make sure they offer a good amount of ultraviolet light protection.

I hope you and your kids stay sun safe on any up and coming holidays.

This was a guest post by created by Sam Fisher on behalf of House of Fraser . He decided to create this post and Infographic to help promote child safety and the danger of sun exposure for children of all ages. 


Five Essential Items to Pack When Travelling With a Newborn

Travelling with a newborn can be one of the more stressful events following the baby’s birth, but after a couple months or even a couple weeks, many new families find themselves hitting the road to meet extended family or just get away themselves.

You may look around your home, decked out in baby gear, and wonder just how much is necessary to bring with you. In truth, not too much, although that may depend on how long you will be gone. Here is a checklist of five essential things you need to bring for your newborn.

Bottles and dummys
If you are bottle feeding or expressing breastmilk you are going to need a good supply of bottles, and this includes sterilization equipment, extra parts, and storage for breastmilk or mixed formula. A good rule of thumb is to always bring more than you think you will need. When you are on the road, you do not want to worry about running out and having to find a store.

Along the same lines, bring extra dummys. If your newborn loves his dummy, count on at least one or two getting lost or dirty without access to a place to wash, so have extras on hand.

Baby Carrier
A baby carrier is an excellent piece of travel equipment because it is an extremely convenient mode of transportation. Babies often love them because they offer the chance to be close to you, which they find comforting, especially when in a new place. For breastfeeding mums, they also allow for easy feeding and offer some cover protection. Finally, they allow you to be hands free while going about your daily tasks, making many things a great deal easier.

Portable Cot/Crib
Portable cots or cribs, whether they are pack – and – plays or co – sleepers work extremely well for travelling infants. First, they allow babies to sleep somewhere familiar. Many babies get stimulated when travelling, and having a familiar place can be comforting. Also, even if you co – sleep at home, they can be great playpens or nap places to help keep the baby safe while you are dealing with the stress of travelling and unpacking.

Medicine and doctor’s number
A baby spiking a sudden fever is extremely scary, especially for first time parents. The only thing that might be scarier is having it happen away from home without access to your children’s Paracetamol or your pediatrician. Bringing this equipment with you in case of emergency, even if it is just overnight, can be reassuring and helps prevent middle of the night runs to a local pharmacy.

Extra nappies and clothing
New parents often make the mistake of packing for their baby the way they pack for themselves, however I have seen a newborn have one day in one outfit and the next day in five. You never know when your baby’s nappy will leak or they will have a day with a ton of spit up, so bring lots of extras. The same goes for nappies. Luckily, babies clothes are small that packing extra outfits shouldn’t take up that much room.

Travelling with a newborn can be a fun and exciting family bonding time. By making sure that you are packed and well prepared you can relax and enjoy your time away. This checklist should help you organize your baby’s things and determine what will be necessary for this time away from home.

This post is courtesy of Brenda a web contain writer for Hugabub. In her free time she loves to blog about fashion, home improvement and home decoration.

Travelling with Kids – the importance of Travel Insurance

Travelling with kids is a great experience. Before the big trip, good planning and preparation is the key to ensure a smooth holiday (as much as possible!)

Thinking about all the different aspects of travelling with kids is important such as the types of clothing required, which toys to take to entertain, medicines required and so on.

As we know and have experienced before, it is so easy to forget and leave behind an important travel item (I even had a friend once who got to the airport for a New Zealand flight with no passport!). However, in reality, leaving behind an item or two in most cases will be a slight inconvenience.

In my opinion, the most important item to remember to take with you on your holiday is most definitely travel insurance as travelling with kids is not always fun and games.

Following are the key areas to consider and why travel insurance is so important when you are travelling with kids.

Travel insurance covers many different aspects. How many times have you had to cancel your trip even before you embark on your dream holiday? It’s not uncommon that once you have planned every detail of your holiday, one of your kids (or yourself) fall sick which causes you to cancel your trip. We all work very hard to go on holiday and it’s important to have measures in place to protect that holiday investment. It is really important to make sure the travel insurance policy you choose has a sufficient level of cancellation cover.

If you have ever travelled with kids, you would know that you need to take lots of luggage and valuables! For peace of mind, a family travel insurance policy would most likely cover you for risk factors such as lost or delayed baggage. You would be surprised to learn how often luggage is delayed at airports or even lost and stolen. It can be a very expensive exercise for a family to have to replace important lost or delayed luggage on a holiday.

Medical Expenses:
No one wants to think about potentially falling ill or having an accident on their dream holiday. However, it can be a very expensive and stressful experience being stuck in another country and having to pay large amounts of money for medical and hospital expenses. Travel Insurance is so important because travel insurers will generally cover you for medical, hospital and repatriation costs (if needed). Our advice would be to select a travel insurance policy that includes unlimited medical expenses. So be sure to read the travel insurers product disclosure statement to ensure its right for you.

Choosing the right travel insurance policy can be time consuming and confusing. We have highlighted above the 3 of most essential types of coverage to look out for when selecting a travel insurance policy for your family.   We have also noticed a few travel insurance providers that allow kids to go free as long as the kids are under 18 and are accompanied by an insured parent or even grandparent.

It is one of the most important things to do in the planning of your trip, so always take time to do the research and get the right insurance to suit your holiday.

Travelling with Kids and Sickness – a few tips

Travelling with kids not only gives them a great opportunity to learn and experience new things, but it also creates so many great memories that will stay with them for life.

Unfortunately though it is easy for kids to get sick while travelling, whether it be a mild form of car or plane motion sickness, to full blown bugs picked up in the local country.

Here’s a few tips to try to minimise the disturbance to your holiday through sickness:

  • Water and food hygiene is critical to ensure nasty bugs do not ruin your holiday. Always take care, drink bottled water if you are unsure and use common sense with foods you buy. Also use an antibacterial sprayto kill germs in toilets, on table tops, in public transport, anywhere.

    PSI Bands – great for motion sickness

  • For motion sickness, try the PSI bands – they are fantastic drug free acupressure wrist bands perfect for the relief of nausea and they are safe for children
  • Also always keep Chuckies Travel Sickness Bags in your bag in case nausea hits
  • Ensure you have a letter from your doctor if you are carrying prescriptions, epipens or other medications
  • Always have travel insurance suitable for your destination
  • If travelling overseas or to a remote location, check what medical facilities are available, whether that is at the hotel, or local hospital or medical centre. You do not want to be looking for this information when your child is sick. Always pack a comprehensive medical kit appropriate to your destination.
  • Check immunisations required, as for very young children certain destinations will not be suitable.
  • If travelling overseas and to regional or remote locations, check in advance what flights are available (keep a print out in your luggage) back to a major city or your home, in the case of emergency this information could be critical.

Chuckies Travel Sickness Bags

We would love to hear your experiences of how you overcame sickness when travelling, and some tips for others. We have 1 pack of 3 Chuckies to give away (6 in total) for the first 6 comments below.

Note Chuckies giveaway is for Australian residents only, please provide comments of around 20-40 words approx. (or more if you have some great tips for others!)

School Term and School Holiday Dates – by State

We’ve put together a quick guide of the dates of school terms and school holidays. This is based on Public/State Schools around Australia, check the term/holiday dates with your school direct if your child attends a private, catholic or other type of non state school.

Western Australia

  • Term 2 –  Tuesday 20 April – Friday 2 July
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 3 July – Monday 19 July
  • Term 3 – Tuesday 20 July – Friday 24 September
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 25 September – Monday 11 October
  • Term 4 – Tuesday 12 October – Thursday 16 December

New South Wales

  • Term 2 – Tuesday 20 April – Friday 2 July
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 3 July – Monday 19 July
  • Term 3 – Tuesday 20 July – Friday 24 September
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 25 September – Monday 11 October
  • Term 4 – Tuesday 12 October – Wednesday 15 December

South Australia

  • Term 2 – Monday 19 April – Friday 2 July
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 3 July – Sunday 18 July
  • Term 3 – Monday 19 July – Friday 24 September
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 25 September – Sunday 10 October
  • Term 4 – Monday 11 October – Friday 10 December

Northern Territory

  • Term 2 – Monday 12 April – Friday 18 June
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 19 June – Monday 19 July
  • Term 3 – Tuesday 20 July – Friday 24 September
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 25 September – Sunday 3 October
  • Term 4 – Monday 4 October – Friday 10 December


  • Term 2 – Monday 12 April – Friday 25 June
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 26 June – Sunday 11 July
  • Term 3 – Monday 12 July – Friday 17 September
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 18 September – Sunday 3 October
  • Term 4 – Monday 4 October – Friday 17 December

Australian Capital Territory

  • Term 2 – Tuesday 27 April – Friday 2 July
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 3 July – Sunday 18 July
  • Term 3 – Monday 19 July – Friday 24 September
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 25 September – Sunday 10 October
  • Term 4 – Monday 11 October – Friday 17 December


  • Term 2 – Tuesday 13 April – Friday 25 June
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 26 June – Monday 12 July
  • Term 3 – Tuesday 13 July – Friday 17 September
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 18 September – Sunday 3 October
  • Term 4 – Monday 4 October – Friday 10 December


  • Holiday Break – Saturday 29 May – Monday 14 June
  • Term 2 – Tuesday 15 June – Friday 3 September
  • Holiday Break – Saturday 4 September – Sunday 19 September
  • Term 3 – Monday 20 September – Thursday 16 December

Remember to check with your school about pupil free days.

For more information go to:

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Travelling in the car – tips and a checklist

Tips when planning a family holiday

Travel Checklists – forms to help when travelling with kids

Travelling in the car – tips and a checklist

girl in car5844152Travelling in the car with kids can be challenging at times. Here’s a checklist for keeping kids well fed and comfortable in the car – to make car time more enjoyable for all!

1. Always pack snacks, water bottles and if applicable, 2-3 baby bottles (with the correct water in each bottle and pre-measured formula in separate containers). You never know how long you can be held up in traffic or delayed at your destination so always take more food or drinks than required. There is an in car bottle warmer available so you can easily feed when on the go.

2. If travelling with more than one child, have a snack bag for each (with same contents to avoid fights). Include things like dry fruit, rice crackers, sandwiches, mini muffins and maybe a few small treats. Don’t fill them up on too much sugar though as they will then want to run around not sit in a car! There are some great food containers available that keep the contents cold for up to 8 hours – so you can safely take milk,  yoghurt and cheese on long trips.

3. If you are on a long car trip, pack an “in car” and an “in boot” bag with snacks. Take enough snacks and drinks from home so you can refills for the first few days of the trip so you don’t have to go to the shops straightaway.

4. Always keep in the boot of your car – a hat for each child, sunscreen, a few nappies and wipes, a portable potty, nappy sacks, pram/stroller, books/toys/activities, a blanket if it’s cold weather, first aid kit (include insect bite relief, burn cream, insect repellant).

5. If you are on a long trip, plan to stop every couple of hours for a toilet break, drink, something to eat and depending on the time of day some activity time. You can take a basketball or soccer ball so the kids can have a run around. If your kids get restless in the car and you have a very long drive, travel at night so they sleep in the car.

6. If your child is toilet training, you can take a travel potty with you and keep it always in the car, even if your child is well trained. Use a seat protector so if your child wets in the car, their car seat is protected.

Blog us your thoughts and any ideas for keeping kids comfortable in the car and any great in car snacks for kids.

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Tips when planning a family holiday

Photographer.Planning a family holiday can be great fun and something every member of the family can be involved in. See below a few ideas and tips to make sure you plan the right holiday for your family.

When Booking a Holiday

1. Holidays are for parents and kids. A great place to go is a holiday resort that has a kids club and lots of kids activities suitable to your kids age group. A lot of these places offer kids stay and eat for free (at certain times), and really welcome young travellers. Remember that kids club doesn’t mean your kids are in there all holiday. Plan it so the kids go a few times in the holiday and while they are there, plan some alone time or couple time. If you are not going to a resort, check on local and surrounding activities to make sure there is enough to do to keep the family entertained.

2. When you are booking ask about room facilities – eg for safety (balcony type, courtyards that are closed off), kitchen, microwave.  It’s also handy to ask about room configurations to ensure they will suit you and your children and whether bedrooms have balconies or unsafe windows.

3. We recommend booking at least a one bedroom apartment (separate bedroom to living area) with a baby and two bedroom if you have two or more children. Remember babies and small children still need to sleep in the day and go to bed around 7pm, so if they are sleeping where you are living you won’t have a holiday at all.

4. Also check if you are booking adjoining rooms that it is guaranteed 100% they will be adjoining before you book and pay.

5. If booking a rental car, ensure you book a car seat to suit the ages of your children. Most rental companies offer this service or you could use a baby equipment rental company.

6. Baby equipment rental companies operate in a lot of major and regional areas, and offer portcots, prams, car seats and toys for hire.

7. Check on dates and times on local festivals which might attract or deter you from travelling there at that time.

Just Before you Travel

1. Pack some plastic bottles or jars and fill them up with enough dishwashing liquid, napisan and washing powder for your holiday.

2. If you are bottle feeding, take your bottle brush, bottles, steriliser, formula container and formula. The brand and type of formula may not be available where you are travelling, especially if going overseas.

3. A great tip is pack the long life milk in 200 or 250 ml cartons. You can put these in your carry-on drawstring bag so your child can have milk on the trip.

4. Order some groceries online and have them delivered to your hotel or holiday accommodation the day you arrive. This will save you having to go to the supermarket to buy supplies the minute you arrive.

5. If travelling overseas or to a remote location, check medical facilities available, whether that is at the hotel, or local hospital or medical centre. You do not want to be looking for this information when your child is sick. Always pack a comprehensive medical kit appropriate to your destination. Also, check on outgoing flights so if you have to leave in an emergency, you have an idea if flights go daily or early morning/evening.

6. Leave details of your holiday with a family member or close friend at home and also keep a copy in your luggage/hotel safe. Details include flights, hotel details, insurance policy details, copy of passport and birth certificates and lost/stolen credit card phone numbers. Here’s an easy to complete form to hold all of these details.

7. When travelling overseas or to remote areas, check that your mobile has coverage. Take a phone card if not.

8. If you will be relying on taxis for transport, check with a taxi company at your destination whether you can order a taxi with a child seat or whether you will need to take yours with you.

9. For older children, a child safety harness (and booster if needed) is a great alternative for travel, as it still bolts into the vehicle but is compact to take with you.

More interesting posts you will surely enjoy reading:

Travel Checklists – forms to help when travelling with kids

School Term and School Holiday Dates – by State

Travel Checklists – forms to help when travelling with kids

Girl making checklistPacking up for a holiday, especially one with kids, cannot be done 5 minutes before you leave, it takes time and careful planning.

The Travel Forms below are designed to help you get ready for your trip, as well as when you are en route.

Things to Do/Things to Take List
Helps you organise your trip with ease and less stress. Keep it on the fridge while getting ready for your holiday and when you think of something you need to do or take, fill it in.

Download  Things to do, things to take form

Important Information – Leave at Home – Take With You Form
If you are travelling overseas, going away for a period of time or interstate this form will help you keep in one place important information like passport numbers, flight details, hotel information, insurance details and so on. Take this with you and also leave one at home with your next of kin, family or friend.

Download Important information – leave at home, take with you form.

Arrival Card and Details Form
Use this form to keep your passport, visa and hotel information in one place – great for when you are completing landing cards or travelling to your hotel.

Download arrival card and details form.

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Travelling in the car – tips and a checklist