Travel Agent Kim Mason, her husband and two boys aged 5 and 8, are adventure-loving travellers with a penchant for the snow. Here are some the top tips that she shares with her clients who love their kind of holiday.
By Michelle Hespe
Despite many families loving a great ski holiday, skiing is a dangerous sport, no matter what age or level you’re at. So before she gets to fun part of planning, Kim always ensures that her clients are aware of the dangers when skiing and when in remote areas, and that they are prepared for possible accidents or sickness when on holiday.
“Some of the biggest obstacles people face when travelling with children, are medical issues,” Kim says. “And they can easily ruin your holiday if you’re not prepared. Firstly, always ensure that you are in easy reach of medical facilities.
If you are on a ski field, know where help is. And always carry the Australian Health and Medical Line phone number on you, so that if you are somewhere where you can’t speak the language, or where you can’t get help, you can speak to someone in Australia, around the clock. Always make sure it’s an easy dash to the hospital.”
Kim also recommends carrying powdered antibiotics for little ones, as things such as ear infections can occur, especially if there’s lots of swimming or water involved in your holiday. “And always, always, carry a First Aid kit with everything you need in it, including medications,” she says.
Medical tips aside, Kim has some great tips for plane travel with kids. “My golden rules are to always pack dry crackers and chips, and water bottles to fill up as you often have to empty them at security, and everyone should stay hydrated on planes. Keep the snacks in a bag on you, as you never know when you’re going to be stuck on the tarmac or a plane is delayed and everything is closed. And I always order food ahead of arriving somewhere late at night, so there is bread, milk, and the basics, in case everyone is exhausted but hungry when we get there. If our arrival isn’t too late, I always have dinner booked somewhere so that we can go straight out to eat.”
When it comes to long hauls (or short hauls for little ones) Kim always recommends packing fresh clothes for everyone, as children being sick on a plane is all too common. “For the long hauls, we keep some kind of routine happening as well, such as putting them into their PJs. And we try to choose flights where we leave at night, so they fall asleep. I always have Panadol handy. Even if I haven’t needed it, I can’t tell you how many times another passenger has needed some, and the staff have been so grateful that I can give them some.”
Finally, something that Kim’s mother taught her. “My mother always said that travel is not a right, it’s a privilege, so we dress up nicely to travel. The kids aren’t rocking up in their thongs. It’s a special occasion, travelling, and so I always make sure that we all look nice.”