This is a topic that I get messages about weekly. If you are a mom you know that traveling with kids can be very stressful if you are not prepared. I travel with my kids (sometimes solo) at least once a month. Once I figured out the tips and tricks of travel with kids…it was life changing! We have created so many special memories that will last a lifetime. So I am going to share those with you.
I started traveling with both of my kids as new borns. They are now 3 and 6. So I will focus less on babies in this post and more about toddler and child. Let me remind you…I am a boy mom and my boys both have unlimited amounts of energy. But it you do things right…it will work smoothly.
Make is a family affair. When we travel I often start off by telling my boys all about that days schedule and what we will be doing. This has a huge pay off. I get them involved in helping me with directions, and help me look for whatever it is we are looking for. It ma sound silly but these little distractions keep their minds focused on the get to our destination goal. Which leaves less time for mis-behavior. Our 6 year old can now navigate us through the airport. If I give him our gate number he can get us there and he loves this task!
Since our 3 year old is not old enough to navigate yet…I just keep him included and he is learning fast. When we travel I let him pack whatever he wants into one of the larger pockets of his backpack. I will pack “things to do” in the other pocket and keep it a surprise. This is enough motivation for him to behave and keeps him excited for the plane ride.
What to pack? Do not over pack but be prepared. This will be different for everyone but I will tell you how I pack. I always bring an oversized multi compartment bag and a backpack.
My backpack will have my computer, chargers, makeup, wallet etc.
The over sized carry on will have a small bag of medicine like kids Motrin, themometer, barf bag, adult Motrin, asthma pump…or anything your family may need on the plane. We have actually used all of these at some point on a plane ride…yep even the barf bag. I also pack extra clothes for each kid…I have had to break these out more than once. I also bring Clorox wipes, purel and baby wipes. I always wipe down the plane once we sit. My 3 year old has no problem licking the plane.
Snack bag…will save you every time. Do not pack to much in the snack bag and keep the sugar content down. I pack two snacks per kid and an extra for emergencies. I also always pack gym and suckers. Some kids have difficulty coping their ears so that is why you need those. The suckers may even save you in a meltdown occurs.
Pack entertainment. My kids each have their own backpacks for entertainment. Like I said this is what keeps them beyond happy. I do pack each of their I pads. I try not to use those for movies unless they are whinny. I also pack a small blanket in each of their bags. I love these because they are lightweight, cute and easy to travel with. My boys love their own neck rests. You can find some options below.
If I travel alone with my boys I will bring a stroller. You just push it through the airport and they will check it at the end of the jetway under the plane. After you land it will be waiting for you once you get off the plane and onto the jetway. Before you board the plane, terminal gate check will give you a pink tag to place on it…in case it were to get lost.
Car seats. I believe you can use these on the plane. I never have. If we are getting a rental car I will bring a car seat and just check it at the main gate. Usually it is free since it is considered a baby item. You will just pick it up at baggage claim. However…sometimes since it is a bigger item it will not go to baggage claim. It will go to the large item claim. Also with fishing poles, skies and things like that.
Remember…just relax and have fun! Kids can sense if you are stressed. So keep it exciting and fun! Most flights have waters and a small snack if you get in a jam. In my experience the flight attendants are always welcoming and willing to help if you run into any issues.
I also always get to the airport a little early to make sure the kids get an “airport snack”, go potty and get a little energy out. This is a game changer.