You’ve decided to do it. After much thought and contemplation, you’ve decided to take that huge plunge…. and travel with children! Yes, I know – traveling with children! It could ultimately be the bravest, most challenging thing you’ve done. Even topping childbirth and that marathon you ran back in the day. It’s no easy task, but with preparation, we think you can do it! And be the winner of a nice, peaceful vacation with the family. Here are our ten best tips for traveling with children:
1. Be Prepared.
Yes, if you plan to travel with kids, physical preparation is great. But we recommend mental preparation as well.
2. Pack Plenty of Wet Wipes and Hand Sanitizer.
You can NEVER have enough of these. For hands, diaper changes, spills, germ-infested items… You’re a parent, you know the drill. We love this organic, chemical-free brand!
3. Use a Backpack as a Carry On.
This will free up your two hands so you carry a dragging or tired little one if you want to move a bit faster. Also, using a baby carrier works for the same reason. Freedom of movement and speed while you travel with children can get you on the plane in just the knick of time. We use this packable lightweight but very durable brand!
4. Snacks. Snacks, and More Snacks.
Squeeze as many snacks as you can in your carry on. Especially the ones your kids love. Don’t go heavy on the sugary ones. Although it may temporarily appease them, the sugar rush will make things more difficult for you and surrounding passengers.
5. Prepare Note Cards.
This is a fabulous idea! Take a stack of pre-written apology or thank you cards along on your travel with children, and hand them out to the people around you. There is a great possibility that your kids will irritate someone along the way. Maybe the passenger in front of them, beside them, even a few rows in front. The possibilities are endless, so be prepared to use those cards as needed. You can use this really cute and inexpensive multi-color pack with matching envelopes.
6. Pack Each Child a Bag for the Plane Ride.
In actuality, children love having their own bags, so you won’t have to beg them to handle this job. Keep the bag small, so that the kids can carry it on their own. Fill it with unknown items from the dollar store that they can not see until takeoff.
Then, Surprise! This can entertain them for hours. I put a handful of blind bags in my daughter’s plane bag, and by the time she opened them and identified whether they were rare or ultra rare, we had almost reached our destination!
7. The Airplane Police.
A little white lie for the sake of others’ sanity never hurts anyone, does it? I mean the airplane police can come at any time for misbehaving children! Now what they do with them can be left to the imagination!
8. Preplan for Your Baby Formula.
As if travel with children wasn’t difficult enough, imagine getting stopped by security for your baby formula…. Added security measures are a blessing for us, but when you have your hands full of children, and children’s entertainment stuff, it can be a tedious task to undertake. Be preventative and research what is and isn’t allowed in airports. In the UK, there is a company called Boots, where you can order your formula and they deliver it to the airport gates. Maybe the idea will catch on!
9. Party Time! Ooops, I meant Potty Time!
Be wise and strategic when planning your travel with children. Even if they say they “don’t have to go” before you attempt any travel with children, whether it be via air, bus, boat, or car, ALWAYS make them use the bathroom before boarding. And avoid drinking fluids by the gallon for the sanity of you, your neighbors, and other restroom patrons.
10. NEVER Forget Your DVDs, Tablets, Smart Phones, and Chargers.
Many airplanes have now installed personal TVs in each person’s seat. This is the most amazing travel apparatus available! But regardless, pack the portable DVDs, tablets, and smartphones. You could have unanticipated waiting times, down times, and unexpected technological difficulties. Be prepared! You are traveling with kids!
If you decide to travel with kids, those are the ten most important things to remember. Also, take care of yourself. If you are relaxed, well rested, and nourished, you will be able to handle this project way better. Enjoy traveling with children. It’s ultimately rewarding.