Real mums' top 10 travel tips

Mums find journeys & packing the most stressful parts of a holiday, & offer their top tips for coping with both

04 June 08 The saying, "travel is a journey, not a destination", would not appear to be one Mums agree with, as they rank the journey there and back the most stressful part of a family holiday. In a recent survey of over 1,600 Mums this was overwhelming voted the number one cause of stress when going away, followed by packing the right things and remembering all the necessary paperwork.

In addition, the survey revealed over 80% of Mums are lumbered with ALL the holiday planning, so it's not surprising they set off feeling less than relaxed! Good news, however, is that once they're away, the stress of all the planning and worrying about the journey soon dissolves and the majority come back feeling relaxed, refreshed, revitalised and closer as a family.

In the survey, carried out by leading holiday home rentals website, Holiday-Rentals, Mums were asked to share their best tips and advice for family holidays. Below are their top five tips for de-stressing the journey and packing; by far and away their two biggest holiday hassles.

These, plus many more tips and advice on booking the perfect family break are available in the new Mums Holiday Guide which is FREE to download from Holiday-Rentals. Visit: It offers advice on everything from choosing the right location, to packing and how to get the rest of the family involved in organising the holiday.

Top 5 tips for de-stressing the journey

1. "Have a bag of cheap items (pound shops are good for this) all wrapped up and just produce another goodie from the bag whenever they start getting bored. Our daughter had loads of fun unwrapping each little novelty and she was as good as gold for the whole ten hour flight!"

2. "Portable DVD players are a life-saver. Don't take loads of their favourite toys - you'll get upset if they get lost and kids will make their own amusement on holiday and leave those toys right where you packed them, until the minute you arrive home."

3. "A fifteen meter roll of aluminium foil costs £1.50. The foil can be used to create sculptures, such as birds, dinosaurs and egg cups. If each meter keeps a child entertained for half an hour, you have a while until they start getting bored!"

4. "On plane journeys, take a bags of sweets for kids to chew during take off and landing to reduce painful ears, and for newborns/young babies, give them a bottle of milk/drink to suck."

5. "Take blow up neck pillows and blankets so children can sleep and if you're going to arrive before early evening then change them in to their sleepsuit beforehand so they can be moved straight from the car into bed - saves having to wake them up!"

Top 5 tips for packing like a pro

1."To enjoy your holiday start preparing passports and other important information two weeks prior to leaving. Prepare clothes on each bed so you can easily see what you're going to pack. Remember to check all passports are in date too!"

2. "Don't pack too much stuff, the less gear you take the better, and often you don't really need it. Kids don't care if they wear the same clothes three times, and if you are really desperate you can always buy items whilst away!"

3. "We vacuum pack the whole family's clothing, towels etc.., so we only need to take one large suitcase." (Useful website:

4. "Split the family's clothes between all cases so you all have something to wear if a case gets lost."

5. "Put coloured ribbon (all the same colour!) on suitcases, so they are easy to locate on carousel. This also keeps the kids amused when looking for them."

» Download the full mums holiday guide now