I love reading blogs about family holidays, but I sometimes feel like family travel bloggers live in a world of unicorns and rainbows: they trot up the Himalayas with their toddlers in their backpack (because they found the best carrier in the world, of course), they have anti jet-leg techniques down to a fine art, they always choose the perfect accommodation and they have children who never ever would throw a tantrum anywhere, least of all in a public place. Or do they?

We all put our best step forward when we write our blog posts, but I can guarantee you that the reason why so many family travel bloggers have so many nice holidays is down to the fact that they have had their share of travel fails and they have learned from them. I confessed a lot of my own travel disasters in a post I published right before Christmas (this one) and since this candid approach received a lot of positive attention I decided that this time I would force some of my blogger friends to share their own ’embarrassing’ moment.

Being the fun bunch they are, they raised to the challenge and sent me some of their stories. Each of them links to their blog where you can find more candid adventures and a lot of family travel inspiration covering, I am not joking, all continents with the sole exception of Antarctica!

Family travel disasters: travel bloggers confessions

Marianne, Mum on the move

Mum on the move: family travel disasters

One of my standard pieces of advice I give to people about travelling with kids is to pack changes of clothes for everybody in your hand luggage. Well, I didn’t heed my own advice on a recent three-hour flight from Phuket to Hong Kong and paid for it. Luckily I did have changes of clothes for the kids – but not for us. First, my son’s nappy leaked, so we swiftly changed him into his change of clothes. Next, he threw up all over me. Not having a change of clothes for myself, I had to do my best to wipe down my vomit-covered jumper with a wet wipe, while my little boy was changed into his sister’s flowery leggings.Then my daughter fell asleep on my husband’s lap, knocked his beer over and leggings were now on her brother, she now didn’t have a change of clothes until we got to our suitcases, and my husband (who also didn’t have a change of clothes) had to walk through immigration with a large wet patch on his jeans, looking like he’d wet himself. Moral of the story –pack a change of clothes for everyone!

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Maria, One Tiny Leap:

One Tiny leap family travel disasters

We had a minor travel fail early in our US road trip. Arriving in Houston, we had two visits planned, to the Houston NASA Space Centre, where we planned to pretend to be an astronaut for the day, and to the famous Schlitterbahn Water Park, where we planned to swoosh down slides and ride the River Rapids all day.

To avoid the weekend rush, we decided on doing the Schlitterbahn first, and set off early on a Friday morning to try and beat the queues. The whole way over to Galveston Island, we were chatting excitedly about the park and the rides – our son is a bit of an adrenaline fiend with a smile plastered on his face. Just before we got there, though, we hear him say ‘Mama – I need to … ‘ and we had to make an emergency pit stop, as he had his first serious attack of car-sickness. We pulled over, washed his seat off with a bottle of water, got him changed, put a smile back on our faces, and then set off again, still ahead of time and still as excited, if just a bit smellier.
When we got to the Schlitterbahn though – DISASTER! We hadn’t realised that despite the 30C heat outside, it was low season, which meant the park was only open on weekends. The car park was completely deserted, and we had to break it to our son that we would have to come back another day. Cue a major meltdown, one of the worst we’d ever had, with screams stretching all the way to Houston! It took us well over an hour to calm him down and get back into the (very smelly) car. We made our way to the Space Centre instead, which just couldn’t live up to water-park epic levels, and despite there being a lot of fascinating activities (and an angry birds slide), C maintained his pouty face, lost all interest in astronauts and was never able to get fully into it, so devastated was he about missing out on the water park.
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Keri, Baby Globetrotters

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Never assume that you should you should stop taking spare supplies on a plane with you once your child is toilet trained.
Sure, it’s nice to think that less packing is involved, lighten the load.  After all, we already had enough things to carry with an 18-month-old as well.  It was about the 4-hour mark of a 7-hour flight that we insisted our Miss 3 really should go to the toilet.  She kept declining, we kept pushing – it turned out she was terrified of the toilet flush! For a little girl who’d already flown dozens of times and had been toilet trained about 18 months ago, this was new.
Had we been clever at this point, we would have whipped a nappy on to her regardless.  But we assumed once she needed badly enough she would go. I forgot, she was my stubborn child. She happily peed right there in her seat about the 5-hour mark.  Then she cried and howled about her wet seat, wet knickers, wet dress.  We had no change of clothes for her (it was only a 7-hour flight – easy for us!!) And we only had one spare nappy left for the baby!
The airline were lovely and were able to give us a spare nappy, and extra blankets to line her seat. She is luckily a small girl and sill fit her chubby bubby brothers clothing, and we only had 2 hours of the flight left to sit with the pee smell – it could have been a lot worse.
Always, always bring a spare set of clothing for everyone, and more nappies than you could ever humanly go through for the length of your flight – this is one part of your carry-on you should completely overpack with small kids!! And wet wipes.  (At 6 now her plane toilet phobia has not improved!!)
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Nicole, The Passport Kids

And did you know you can get a flat tire on a stroller? No? then you should read this post by Nicole of The Passport Kids with a few other precautions you might want to take before travelling with children!

The passport kids: family travel disasters

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So, now we have confessed our travel disasters: have I encouraged you to share yours? I hope you do so in the comments!



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