Budget Travel & High Flying with Kids

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Happy travel with children is all about preparation, careful planning and control. Budget rent a car travel and planes are two of the best ways to master control even if you have three small kids and the adults are always outnumbered. The two worst options for traveling with children include travel bus tours and connecting intercontinental economy flights.
Why a Car Hire with Kids Makes Travel Sense
At first glance a car rental seems like parental suicide. My kids and me trapped in a car for several days rather than flying from Sydney to the Gold Coast. No thank you! However, renting a car gives a parent that all important and illusive quality: control! Hungry? Diaper change? Need to run around? Just pull off at any number of the roadside cafes and let your family join the Australian families on holiday. Small moments like these are the moments that make travel memories. There is nothing better than seeing your son running madly after a cute little Australian girl exactly his age at a caravan park.

Renting a car gives you and your family a chance to really spend hours and hours of uninterrupted time together. These days there is always something interrupting quality time in the car at home. Cell phones, in-car movies and game systems literally make people that travel together everyday into little digital islands. At first the togetherness of a car rental can be overwhelming but after the first few hours and teaching, “the ants go marching one-by-one,” to your children the together time takes on a special quality.

The best part of rent a car travel with kids? It’s like a baby carriage on steroids. Need snacks? Got that. Need cold drinks? Got that. Need toys? Got those too. The “pack lightly” requirement that is akin to the insanity of the grapefruit diet goes out the window when you rent a car. Once you “move in” to the rental car you and the kids are set. There are food options, stop options and no one is paying $6.50 for a stale airport bagel!
Private Jet Charters
Certain parts of the planet like Western Australia are only sanely accessible by private planes (also called private jet charters). Oh what a way to travel! No waiting, no crowded horrible airports, good food and take the dog if you like! Private planes can be an excellent option for a large family or two families that like to vacation together. Once junior is over two, he or she commands an adult fare. Multiply that by five kids plus two adults and a private jet charter starts to look very appealing. A private plane is able to access small airports both internationally and domestically. This advantage removes additional travel time making a short trip to St. Andrews in Scotland for golf feasible.
The Most Horrible Modes of Mobility with Kids
Travel buses, difficult at the best of times, are impossible with children unless the trip is designed especially for families. One word: Carsickness should cross this option off your list of travel options!
Overseas economy flights with multiple connections is another “kill me now,” scenario. How is a parent expected to answer, “Are we there yet?” when there is a four-hour delay in O’Hare with another two connections to go? Ughhh. When planning economy flights with kids always opt for the more expensive direct flights. This is especially the case in winter when delays are most common and grandma is waiting on the other end.


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  1. Hey I appreciate your candidness about budget traveling with kids but you know what, last time I did that, I had to endure a lot of mess considering my kids are just plain wack! It may be good on your pocket but can be disastrous with other travelers on a budget. So unless you can tell your kids can behave pretty well with a big crowd, by all means, that is the way to go. Cheers! 🙂

  2. No doubt flights are painful! We just traveled with our two-year-old internationally. She was awesome but it was hard!

  3. ooo, Australia!

  4. I always have trouble packing lightly so car travel works much better for us. Traveling with kids is never easy!

  5. I prefer car whenever possible. My more toddler isn’t good at long trips!

  6. We only travel by car. I won’t even take the bus at Disney lol
    We flew once when I only had two kids and it was a disaster!!

  7. I always think traveling in the car just gives you that much more opportunity to stop and see more things and create good memories.

  8. Travel buses are a no go with me period.

  9. I’m all about controlling as much as I can about our travel… we drive overnight to our destinations so that the kids will sleep through it… it’s a little tough on us parents but it’s so worth it to avoid the arguments and issues!

  10. I’m all about the car and travel with kids, unless it’s a short flight.

    NO WAY on earth you’d get me on a bus with a little one in diapers…we’d be crying together.

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