Momma Told Me: Tips For A Relaxed Family Holiday In Australia

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Tips For A Relaxed Family Holiday In Australia

***This guest article was composed exclusively for Momma Told Me and it's readers. The header image is free content from freelance wallpapers. All other photos are original and copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2013. 
Momma Told Me: You never know what you'll find abroad!

Taking your family to Australia is a fantastic experience, and one they will probably never forget. It’s just about as far away from home as you can possibly get, but with no language barrier it is accessible for all despite the distance; in fact, half the fun can actually be in the journey getting there. Australia is spread out across its huge land mass and there are many holiday destinations within the country to choose from. First time travelers are often surprised to learn just how much there is to do after touchdown, but common oversights in travel preparation can quickly ruin a quality vacation.
Long haul flights can be a nightmare even for adults. You have to contend with jet-lag, boredom, and cabin fever as you make the trek half way round the world to Australia. Never board a plane stressed, especially if you are traveling as a family and likely to have a fairly stressful flight anyway. Plan your arrival at the airport with ample 'exploration time,' and be sure to know your airliners policies on in flight meals and snacks. You can also fly to Sydney from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and stay locally the night before your flight at one of Travelodge's Heathrow hotels in Terminal 5, so you can wake up refreshed and ready to go, not drained having sat on the motorway for hours. Whenever I am planning a flight longer than cross-country, I always consider a half day layover at the mid-point.

Many people will make a stopover similar to this about half way through their trip; this is a particularly good idea if you are traveling with children as it breaks up the journey and allows them to adjust to different time zones step by step. Even with stopovers, the flights will still be long, and kids are very likely to get bored cooped up on an airplane. Remember to pack lots of activities that they can sit and get on with without disturbing the other passengers. If you are relying on electronic devices bring back-up chargers and batteries. And be careful not to use all of the entertainment up on the outbound flight, pack some different activities for the way home too! (My pop used to have me write an imaginary 'school report' on my vacation, that he could share with our extended family upon arrival home.)

When travelling as a family you will have slightly different needs than couples or backpackers heading to Australia. North, South and Western Australia all have areas that are family friendly and will be enjoyed by all, but the key is to find a hotel central to your desired hotspots. If you are going to Australia to see some typical Aussie wildlife then you should head to
Kangaroo Island. This is a particular favorite with kids; they can spot koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and many more native animals by day and by night in close proximity. To experience more native wildlife, stop in at Kakadu, an Australian zoo renowned for it's up close and personal feature of animals native and worldwide. Of course you'll find more family fun on one of Australia's many white sands beaches. The Island is located in Southern Australia and has fantastic beaches as well as native wildlife. 

If you your vacation style includes more beaches and delicious BBQs then holiday in Patonga in New South Wales. This area is great for a relaxed beach holiday with the kids. You can go canoeing, fishing and surfing here and the laid back friendly vibe is well suited to families. It takes and hour to get to Palm Beach from Sydney, an iconic stop for vacationers anyway, and then it is just a short ferry ride to the idyllic Patonga. The roads are quiet, kids can play outside safely and you can even stay-over in a timber lodge. Everything about Patonga is a throw back to simpler and more relaxed times, a great getaway for all.

Australia may have the same Queen and speak the same language as people in the UK, but that is where the similarities end. The Australian way of life is less hectic, and their land is much less densely populated. Although the inner cities are busy, there are vast expanses of uninhabited land, punctuated by small towns. Simply put, if you're considering a European vacation, consider to mellow, yet exotic, vibes of the Outback. See for yourself all that Australia has to offer and take a trip to Sydney via Heathrow’s Terminal 5. 

What Daughter Says: Take some of the stress out of a long trip to Australia and stay-over at Heathrow's Terminal 5.


  1. Sounds like an amazing time. One thing I always try to remember is that vacations should be relaxing so don't be afraid to just hang out and do nothing if that's what you enjoy.

  2. I remember when we got stationed overseas in Germany and with all the flights bus rides and layovers it turned into 24 hours of exhausting traveling. We should have done a day layover and rested up!

  3. I would love to visit Australia! What an amazing place! When we travel, I make sure we have plenty of snack food. Especially if you have kids. You never know if the flights will get delayed. And frankly airport food is pretty pricey.

  4. Allow yourself to sleep on long haul flights. When the lights get dimmed used that time to rest, relax and get ready to see all of the amazing sites. For children bring those "magic" just add water activity books this way they can color and create without worry about drawing all over the airplane. Oh and take snacks that you and your children love because even though long haul flights serve food it is often not the most appetizing.

  5. What an amazing experience - I'd love to go there one day

  6. The first thing I do when I travel is line my bag with garbage bags. I had one flight where it was raining like nuts and our luggage sat outside so when I got to my business conference everything I owned was soaking wet and I had to go shopping for the event that night.

  7. My key to vacation travel is if I am flying to NOT OVERPACK!

  8. Bring lots of snack for your kiddo and water and ipad!

  9. How fun to travel to Australia! I would agree with others on not overpacking...I always do! Also, try not to squeeze in so much that you don't have time to just enjoy where you are.

  10. Wow it sounds like you all had a ball. I have never flown anymore than a 6 hour trip and I was miserable after that, I can only imagine the horror it would be to take children on a flight longer than that. I enjoy layovers especially in a nice big airport that has a lot of restaurants to go to and things to look at. So happy that you did this and can take it off your bucket list..

  11. My nephew went there and I was so envious. I use to watch Steve Irwin and loved his program. One day, I'd love to visit

  12. This is quite interesting.. Definitely good thought.
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