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What I can't parent without: The essentials for stress-free travel with kids in tow

By Nikolina Koevska Kharoufeh |

Holidays are meant to be a relaxing break from the busyness and stress of every day life. But throw in a kid, or two, and relaxing while travelling seems almost impossible.

With that in mind, we asked 9Honey Parenting readers for their best tips for travelling with kids and what items they wouldn't leave home without.

We hope these voices of experience help make your next family holiday the stuff of postcards instead of nightmares.

READ MORE: Dr Justin Coulson reveals how to manage sibling rivalry

Make sure you get what you are entitled to when flying with a baby or toddler. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Take advantage of hotel and airline freebies

One must-do if you are travelling with smaller kids is to check what child services your flight and accommodation providers offer prior to booking and departing.

Some hotels offer to set up a cot free of charge in your room or a highchair to be brought up saving you the effort of packing or purchasing one.

When it comes to flying, Jetstar's Infant Fee for domestic flights currently stands at $30 and comes with a few extra benefits.

Included is the option to bring a pram, stroller, portable cot and/or a highchair along with you on the flight free of charge, meaning you won't have to pay baggage fees for these items or hire fees at your destination.

Saving you money and energy.

Baggage fees for baby items when travelling with Qantas can vary between destinations so be sure the check out the website before travelling to make sure you are not spending money when you don't need to.

READ MORE: Keeping toddlers resilient at day-care

Cheerful husband and his anonymous wife walking with their little girl sitting on luggage at the airport.
Can travelling with kids really be stress free? (Getty)

Keep bedding and sleep environment consistent

Children are big fans of familiarity, so when you take them out of their comfort zone and change things up it can be quite overwhelming for them.

One way to help make them feel safe and comfortable while on holidays, and ensure their good sleep habits don't go out the door, is to replicate their sleep environment as best as possible.

New mum Julia recently did this while on a short holiday with her four-month-old boy Leo and said it was a genius decision.

"We brought along his usual dress and sleeping bag. Set up the portable cot with his bedsheets. And, we also brought along a portable white noise machine as we use one back home," she shared with 9Honey Parenting. These can cost between $20 and $150.

Along with a good familiar set up, Julia also says sticking as close to your baby's routine as possible helps them rest better while away.

phil&teds Traveller Cot

Keeping with the theme of a good bed time set up, finding a good travel cot to bring along with you while on holiday is really important.

It can mean the difference between a good night's rest for everyone after a long day of exploring, or a 'holiday' with a tired and grumpy child in tow.

Mum Emma recommends the phil&teds Traveller Cot which she says was a worthwhile purchase following the birth of son Valentino four years ago.

"It's the most compact option and can fit inside a large suitcase so it's one less thing to check in while flying and carry around with you," she says.

READ MORE: What to do if your child is a bad sport

Compact stroller that can recline

Holidays usually involve a lot of walking and exploring C something kids can tire of pretty quickly.

So another must-have product recommended by parents is a sturdy and compact stroller. Something that is portable, yet has all the essentials you need to satisfy your baby or toddler.

Mum-of-two Ana is a big fan of the Silver Cross Jet 3 which is lightweight, compact and also has a recline feature which is great for naps on the go.

Avid traveller Stina says her Baby Jogger City Tour 2 has accompanied her and her toddler Cedric on many long trips - never letting the family down when needed.

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