Travelling with children opens up opportunities to create experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. While the destination is always worthwhile, the journey can have its challenges. Between managing the kids’ expectations and needs, and ensuring a smooth journey, there’s a lot to consider before you embark on a family adventure. To help make travelling with kids a stress-free and enjoyable experience, we’ve compiled a list of our top travel hacks. From packing essentials to keeping the little ones entertained, these travel hacks will help make the travel easier so you can properly enjoy the time spent together.
Download travel and entertainment apps
Before the journey, download useful travel and entertainment apps to your device. Having travel apps like MyTranslink on your device means that you quickly and easily check for services and connections. It also allows for flexibility with travelling with children, so that if expectations or moods change, you can simply adjust your plans. It’s also worth having some child-friendly games downloaded to your device, so that when the boredom kicks in you have entertainment on-demand.
Ensure devices are charged
As most parents know, your phone, tablet or other device isn’t just for your use – it’s for the kids as well! When travelling with children, make sure your devices have plenty of battery for navigation and photos, as well as for providing entertainment to the kids on the journey. For full-day trips and longer journeys, another travel hack is to also pack a portable charger so that you charge your device on-the-go when the battery runs low.
When it comes to kids, hunger can strike at any time. You need to be prepared for travelling with children by packing a variety of snacks you know they will love. The best travel-friendly snacks for children are ones that are durable, small and familiar. And of course, ensure you pack a water bottle that can be re-filled throughout the day.
Get the kids involved
By getting the kids involved before and during travel, you can make the experience more engaging for them. Beforehand, talk to them about the destination, let them choose a few activities and show them photos of what to expect. During the journey, keep the kids informed of where they’re going next to conjure excitement and at the end of the day ask them what they enjoyed the most.
Check and plan for service disruptions
The last thing you want while travelling with kids is to have an unwelcome disruption. Before your family adventure, check online for any major events, track work or other disruptions that could impact travel. By being in the know ahead of time, you can plan for things like delays, rail replacement buses and crowded transport. We publish all Airtrain service changes online ahead of time so there are no unwanted surprises when travelling with children. Service changes to other lines and services should be checked via Translink.
Special Airtrain travel hacks
Free travel for kids under 14
Kids travel free when aged 14 years and under and travelling with an adult between Brisbane Airport station and any Brisbane City station. Less money on travel means more money for activities – it’s a no brainer!
Free wi-fi on board
When the travel boredom kicks in, you can keep the kids entertained with free wi-fi on board. Airtrain trains, as well as all Airtrain Domestic and International stations, provide complimentary wi-fi for all devices.
Discounted online tickets
It pays to be organised and buy your Airtrain tickets online. By doing so, you’ll avoid the stress and time involved in queuing and paying at the train station. At the station, your online ticket is simply scanned from your smartphone.
By purchasing Airtrain tickets online, you’ll also be entitled to exclusive offers and discounts. When you pre-book online you will get your return journey free*. This exceptional offer is available between Brisbane Airport and all South East Queensland train stations. Airtrain passengers who pre-book online will also receive a 15% discount for one-way journeys.
Travelling with kids via Airtrain
Take the stress out of travelling with kids by using Airtrain. Before your journey, use the Translink Journey Planner to plan your travel to the many attractions and experiences around the cities.
Airtrain runs express from the Brisbane Airport and stops at Fortitude Valley, Central, Roma Street and South Brisbane stations. From there, you can continue on to the Gold Coast, and access buses or trams from Helensvale station.
Make family travel fuss-free with a go card, accepted on all Translink transport throughout Greater Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
Smart Ticketing is also available on Airtrain, making your journey easier than ever before! With the world-class Smart Ticketing system, you can simply tap and travel with Visa, Mastercard and American Express.