Whether you travel by plane, car, boat, or whatever you decide, at some point, it is nice to get out of town. Having little ones can make this daunting and stressful, but I have great tips to get you to your destination.
General Tips for Travel
Be Prepared: Yes, everyone knows the boy scout motto, but it’s so important to be prepared. Depending on the age of your kids, bring food, changes of clothes, and entertainment.
Supply Food: Food is helpful because it can not only entertain kids for a long time, but it can keep children (and yourself) from getting “hangry” before reaching your destination. Be selective with the food you are brining; less messy items are ideal. Finger foods like cereal were great when the kids were little. Now they like granola bars, pretzels, and gummy fruit snacks.
Bring a Change of Clothes: You won’t regret bringing a change of clothes for your children and possibly for you as well. I did not do this on an airplane once and Sienna had an accident while taking a nap. I had to fashion a skirt out of a sweatshirt and was actually very impress by my concoction! On two different occasions, Ethan (when he was an infant) threw up on Victor right before getting on a plane. Luckily Victor remembered his emergency shirt both times and was able to change quickly.
Provide Entertainment: Many kids, especially younger ones, are not going to be happy people watching or napping while travel so make sure you bring something to do. Food is a great entertainment for younger kids. I pack a backpack for each kid with a snack, magnetic games, something to color, and a few little cars or toys that I don’t mind getting lost. We let the kids play with these items for as long as they are entertained and then we always have an emergency movie downloaded on a tablet. We also have headphones for the kids, so they can watch the movie quietly. (Well, semi-quietly, Sienna is known to sing “Let It Go” on airplanes along with the movie!)
Be Flexible: When traveling there are so many variables. Understand and something is going to go wrong at some point. Just make changes as they come and adjust as needed.
Get Organized Before You Leave: Depending on where you are going and how to plan to get there, you may need passports, theme park tickets, room reservation numbers, and more documents. Before you leave, make sure you have all of this handy. If I received a confirmation by email, I take a screenshot, so it’s in my pictures. Therefore, if my internet does not work, I can still get the information I need. I also print any tickets or documents that I need in paper and bring in my carry on.
Stay Calm: Even if you don’t like flying or sitting in the car for hours, make sure you stay calm as possible. If the plane is late or you are in traffic, your kids will know that you are stressed and can feed off of that making a bad situation worse. Do your best to stay relaxed. Know your family is together and you’ll make the best of the situation you are in.
Even if you are visiting relatives, going on a tropical adventure, or just planning a day trip, remember that you are getting away with your family. Enjoy it! Safe Travels!