Happy kids, happy holidays

Holidays are a time for excitement, adventure, fun, laughter and relaxation. Unless you’re a kid that forgot to pack their favourite toy! Then it’s the worst day of their life! Due to unfamiliar surroundings and different routines, you may find that the kids need extra assurance, to help them settle into the holiday. First impressions can make or break a great family holiday. Get everyone off to a great start on that all important first day of a family vacation and you set the tone for the remainder of your trip.  Happy kids make for happy holidays all round!

Research conducted by Booking.com of over 12,000 parents from 25 countries worldwide, reveals how parents cope in those make-or-break first 24 hours of a trip. From food snack packs to travel games and other insider tips, parents reveal the necessities they rely on to keep kids happy on holiday.

Happy holiday ideas from Kiwi parents

When Kiwi parents were asked how they best prepare for the first day of a holiday, they cited the two most important things to pre-empt disaster were to bring travel games and books to occupy their little ones as well as having an emergency food snack pack to hand (both 51%).

The full results were as follows:

  • Packing an emergency food snack pack (51%)
  • Bring travel games and books to occupy them (51%)
  • Packing key items (e.g. swimming costume / ski gear) separately or at the top of the case (44%)
  • Cover them in mosquito/insect repellent / sunscreen (38%)
  • First aid kit on hand (38%)
  • Ensuring they’ve bought comforts from home so the space doesn’t feel too alien (33%)
  • Packing travel adapters and chargers at the top of the case (30%)
  • Scoping out the quickest route to the beach / ski slopes (28%)
  • Enrolling the kids in advance into kids’ club (9%)
  • Renting a buggy/baby stroller (9%)

Yet as two in five parents (41%) believe that the first 24 hours of a trip can be memorable, it’s sometimes the trials, tribulations, excitement and drama that are the things which can really make a holiday special.

Share your tips below for happy holidays with kids.


Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a nationally representative sample, provided by Research Now. In total 18,496 respondents were surveyed (1,000+ from the UK, US, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, India and Russia and 500+ each from Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand and Taiwan), which included over 12,000 parents. Respondents completed an online survey between 27th April and 15th May 2017.

Booking.com – the world leader in booking hotel and other accommodation online. Guaranteed best prices for any type of property and no booking fees.


  1. Micht 18/12/2018 at 7:31 pm

    These tips are great and spot on.. i do believe it becomes so stressful that even the scolding from us as parents dampers it all… i would love to keep them happy and relaxed throughout their school holidays…and i will definitely use this as my to do list

  2. Mands1980 18/12/2018 at 5:30 pm

    I’m one of those mums that has to be organised I take lots of snack foods, games to play and of course books to read. Warm clothes and cooler if hot, plenty of fluids and paper and pens or felt for kids to draw. There is always so much to think about.

  3. Bevik1971 18/12/2018 at 11:54 am

    I usually go a bit overboard when packing for a trip with our daughter 🙂 I would definitely take too much then not enough. Some games to keep them occupied and definitely snacks and drink are a must 🙂 Stopping when you are road tripping is important too, not just for toilet breaks but to stretch legs etc

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