Introducing Travel Mum!

Updated: Mar 30, 2021


Meet Kristina Conley AKA Travel Mum!

Kristina is a Brisbane-based travel enthusiast and Mum to her 4-year-old daughter. She has combined her passion for travel with her knowledge of parenting to found 'Keeping Kids Busy'. Where she sells age-appropriate activity bags packed full of crafts, books, games and puzzles designed to keep kids busy anywhere. www.keepingkidsbusy.com.au.Kristina will be sharing all her tips with travelling long haul with kids on the plane, road trips, finding the right family-friendly destinations and hotels across the world. 

Here's her story...



Catching the Travel Bug


I caught the travel bug early, I was 21 and my boyfriend (now my husband) and I decided to set off on a round the world ticket and spent 5 months exploring USA, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and China and it was honestly the best experience and one I will remember forever. 

We lived the good life a little too much and unfortunately ran out of money after 5 months and didn’t get the opportunity to go to Australia which was somewhere we always wanted to go to. We went back home to the UK, started to save again and 2 years later we left home yet again and arrived “Down Under” on our working holiday visas. Fast forward a year and I was very lucky and ended up getting sponsored by the company I was working for and our 1 year working holiday turned into a 5 year stay. We arrived as “Pommie Backpackers” and left as “True Blue Aussie Citizens!”  After five years in Australia we started to get extremely homesick so back we went to the UK. 

We are the classic ping pong poms (those that can’t decide where to live) and only lasted back in the UK for 3 years. We bought a house and had a baby but the itchy feet started again and ultimately we thought that Australia would be a better place to bring up our daughter. When she turned 2 years old we sold our house, quit our jobs, put all of our stuff in storage (just in case…. we had a habit of moving back and forth) and said goodbye to our families and set off again for Australia. 


But this time the flight was a bit different. Anyone that has kids will know the anxiety and fear I had about traveling so far with a 2 year old. We had been on the plane with her once when she was 9 months old and it wasn’t pleasant and that was only a 4 hour flight, how on earth would we cope with 24 hours of traveling with a 2 year old?! Did I mention that I also hate flying, I always have an irrational fear that I will not survive the flight, but that’s another story!



Flying Long Haul with a Toddler!


Google was my best friend, I was constantly searching how to travel long haul with a toddler and I was happy to find lots of tips and hints online about what snacks to take, what activities to take, what clothes to wear but there was so much advice it was almost overwhelming and I think I went overboard. 

We saw some cute ride on luggage and bought that, only to realise it wouldn’t fit in all the stuff I wanted to pack and realised that she was only just turned 2, she wouldn’t be pulling or riding it across the airport so we took it back. 

I also had a lot of anxiety as she had a milk and egg allergy and found the airline we were traveling with not helpful at all. They couldn’t provide a suitable meal or let me know what ingredients were in the child’s meal (helpful) so we had to bring so many extra snacks as 'food is life' for my daughter. We also selected a vegan meal for ourselves (well my husband did) to ensure we had something we could feed her as a backup. 

We decided that we needed a million nappies and wipes, spare dummies as that was her comfort, her cuddly toy and spare clothes for all of us just in case there were any accidents. I went overboard and got about 20 toys that I wrapped up (I don’t actually recommend wrapping them as then you have loads of rubbish all the time throughout the flight). My husband thought I has gone mad when he saw the amount of toys and activities I had bought for the flight but I thought it was better to have stuff in case we needed it. I spent such a long time looking in all of the shops and online to purchase all of the toys and activities and spent a fortune but I figured it was a must have for such a long journey. Plus she was a great sleeper so I thought out of the 24 hours she was bound to sleep a massive part of the flight……I was so wrong. 

She literally slept for maybe 2 hours on the first leg of the flight which was 7 hours and maybe 1 hour on the second leg which was 14 hours…little miss also declared that she wanted to get off and wouldn’t wear the seatbelt….sigh.



Traveling Long Haul with a 3-year-old - A DREAM!


We had been in Australia for 18 months and missed family and friends, so we decided to go back for a three week holiday and the flying anxiety kicked straight back in. But I thought, surely as she was older, the flying would be easier – I’m pleased to say it was an absolute dream. The difference of her being now almost 3.5 years old was amazing, she absolutely loved flying, loved picking what she wanted to watch on the TV, played some of the games and loved having her own Keeping Kids Busy bag full of goodies that were all perfect for her age. So all of my hard work paid off and it was liberating! These long haul travel experiences with my daughter ultimately led to the creation of Keeping Kids Busy. Each bag has 10 age appropriate games, crafts, books and activities designed to keep kids busy and are perfect for plane travel as the items are not messy, are quiet and are easy for kids to carry as they are all in a reusable drawstring bag. 


This was the ultimate test of my new business venture and I am pleased and relieved to say that the toys inside the '3-5 year old Busy Bag' kept her entertained for hours. Not just on the plane but at the airport, in the hotel room, when we went out to eat and even when we had some rainy days - it truly was a life saver. The bag contains a soft toy, a scrapbook to make memories of the trip, stickers, crayons, colouring book, a first readers book, play doh, a car, making masks craft activity and a puzzle. My daughter was very excited every time she saw her activity bag and loved carrying it around herself.



To get an age appropriate 'Keeping Kids Busy Bag' for your next holiday visit www.keepingkidsbusy.com.au.

Kristina has kindly provided us with a discount code so that you can get 10% off your purchase. Enter PARENT10 at the checkout.

Keep an eye out for Kristina's articles where she shares a plethora of amazing tips for traveling with kids!