How to Survive (and Even Enjoy) Your First Family Holiday

Hey, congrats, holidays are here! Bring on sun, fun and a cocktail or three… as well as the joining up of many a freckle (well, for those lucky enough to have them!).

It’s time to switch off and reconnect like all great relaxing holidays, because travelling with kids is the exact same as previous kidless holidays, right? RIGHT?

Sort of.

In that you go away somewhere different and enjoy warmer weather. That’s just about it. Oh, and you eat more burgers. And hot chips. And ice cream. So much ice cream.

So, how has life changed since having kids and taking our first real family holiday? Quite a bit, so it makes sense to pass on some discoveries to any other newbie to parenting out there…


When heading off I remember my Mum and Dad smiling strangely at me as we spoke about throwing Little Steele into her cot somewhere in the room. Whatever, all will be well and we’ll roll with it all.

Ah, naivety. If possible, always have some sort of spare space for the little one. Some sort of spare area for kids to sleep. Alcove corner? Sure? Under the table? Um…sure? No. Don’t. Cot next to the bed? Go for it!

If you’re like us, chances are you’ll end up up sitting in the dark as a couple on the bed. Don’t whisper. Don’t move. They might wake again.

Sleepy - Dakota Corbin

Like a sleeping assassin, you never know when they might arise.


I genuinely had no idea how much of a saviour snacks were. Particularly rice cakes. Just pack a small suitcase for snacks. Rice snacks, bananas, yoghurt or sachets of…bloody anything. When in doubt get a snack out.

Suitcase Full of Food

Load that a suitcase


Dinners out are a little different. Great and fun, but different from the dinners of old times. For starters, don’t be surprised if you are waiting for a place to open up its kitchen for dinner.

Hey, a key benefit of getting into dinner at 5:30pm is at least you can access those pensioner time specials. #winning.

If you’re wanting to maintain sanity, reduced stress (which means no angry, yet sort of understanding, stares from fellow diners) and family time over a meal, embrace the early bird specials.

Then order, share some stories from the day, eat as quickly as you can, take time to high five for getting out and about, grab the bill and keep moving!

(Or do the whole order-take-away-and-head-to-a-park for an uber formal sit down dinner on the grass…with free range crawling/walking included for free).

Office Panic

We need the bill, the witching hour is nigh!


Who doesn’t love an afternoon siesta? In the past you might have had a cheeky nap after an afternoon session of drinks to prepare for the night ahead, now you get your nap on…well, because naps are the highest form of currency right now.

Who needs food when you could get a 30 minute nap?

Weighing Up

Is there really a choice?


Forget late night adventures and surprises as you venture out and about town.

Who needs bars, clubs and sore feet from tearing up the dance floor (read: dancing like a an off-beat fool). We’ve discovered the greatest thing ever: sunrises every single day.

The most amazing thing with early nights and early mornings is the huge amount of brilliant experiences you can get. Bring on sunrises, empty piazzas and streets, more sunrises, the odd hot air balloon and generally the run of the whole city while all those other suckers are asleep.

It’s pretty incredible what you can access, see and experience during the first hours of sun. Accidental journeys into laneways, private beaches and possibly the Sydney Opera Houses all await you and your pram riding buddy/child!


We’re the king and/or queen of the world! (While everyone’s asleep)

Any other tips we’ve missed out on? What is it you wish you had been told about to help with a family holiday?


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