The family travel hack so simple, you'll wonder why you didn't think of it

family travel hack
family travel hack Photo: Supplied

Travelling with kids is no walk in the park, even for the most seasoned travellers among us. Even when they're older you feel like you're packing everything but the kitchen sink.

And keeping all those important documents in order while trying to keep multiple kids under control at airport check-in is a feat in itself.

We've all done the dreaded 'passport shuffle' - trying to find the right passport and having to open up each and every one before finding the one we're looking for. On a trip with more than a few flights, and for large families, it's just a hassle.

That's why I started labelling our passports, so I could tell instantly which one belongs to whom.

I've been posting a little of my trip planning and organisation for my family of five on Instagram and it was this photo that grabbed the attention of many of my friends.


I purchased some alphabet stickers from the scrapbooking section of Kmart ($2 for six sheets) and simply stuck the first initial on the front of each passport.

Just for good measure I also stuck one on the back, in case we were asked to remove the front ones.

My friends were quick to comment, astonished that in all their years of parenting and travel, they had not thought to do this. I'm far from smug about it being more than 14 years into the parenting gig and only just thinking of it now.

One mum of five kids who is a frequent traveller said, "Why have I never thought to put a bloody sticker on them?" 

Another - mum of two - wrote, "The labelling is such good idea! I don't know why I hadn't thought of it as it's such a pain to find the right passport every time."

And a fellow mother-of-three who has to organise a total of ten passports wrote, "Wow that's such a great idea! With everyone having double passports in our family it makes you crazy trying to find one. Will be labelling ours for sure."

Whether labelling is permitted by authorities is a question that comes to mind. Essential Kids sought the advice of Michael Gebicki, travel writer and photographer for Traveller.

He said, "For those concerned about whether a small sticker would be allowed, it shouldn't be a problem. Just make you can easily peel them off if asked to do so by airport officials."

So go forth and label - just make sure you don't use permanent marker or glue. Your passport remains the property of the government and you would need to comply with any on-the-spot requests to remove labelling.