We are packing our suitcases with swimsuits, shorts and flip-flops and headed to the sandy shore of Pawley’s Island, SC. I’m pretty excited for a vacation to relax and spend time with my family on the East coast, but I’m little nervous for the journey to get there. If you’ve ever traveled with kiddos, you know how exhausting it can be, no matter how good the kids are. Not to mention the looks you get from other people if your kid even makes a noise! (eye roll) I don’t know about you but when I’m traveling, my brain is already being pushed to the limit. Adding two little loud people to be responsible for and BAM…my mind is a scrambled mess. Where are the tickets? Did I bring enough diapers for the flight? I can’t believe they didn’t let us in the family line! Where the heck are the tickets?? Don’t worry though, here are a few tips to make traveling with kids easier:
- Be prepared!! Bring two extra diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, change of clothes for all kids (maybe even yourself), snacks, etc. than you think you need. Being overly prepared is better than being stuck on a plane with a hungry, poopie baby and 3 more hours till landing.
- Read the TSA guidelines for traveling with children for further information.
- Have a designated, easy-access pocket/zipped pouch for tickets, passport or identification. I travel with a small fanny pack for easy access.
- Pack each child a separate snack pack. Avoid sticky, crumbly foods and opt for pretzels, carrot/apple sticks or pre-made pb&j.
- Bring a sippy cup for each kid so you can easily fill and dump water.
- Pack a few hard candies for the kids (of appropriate age) to suck on while ascending and descending. This will help them pop their ears while pressure changes. Dum-dums always do the trick, especially for screaming babies.
- Pack sanitizer wipes for hands and airplane tray. It’s going to be a long flight, you’ll feel better if you’ve wiped down the area around your child.
- If you’re nursing, wear loose clothes and bring a nursing cover, blanket or cover-up. It’s also nice to just have an extra layer as airplanes tend to get cold.
- Having a new toy will occupy the kiddos longer so bring a new coloring book or toy. I keep a couple of these mess-free coloring activities stashed away for upcoming road trips and travel.
- Ipads, Leap Frog tablets or books (small books or soft cover) are also a good distraction. I load our iPad up with educational apps and movies.
BEFORE THE FLIGHT
- Make sure you and kiddos are in easy to remove shoes for TSA lines or comfort of flight.
- Use the bathroom just before the flight or change diapers before. The less time spent in the small plane lavatories the better.
- If you’re traveling alone and have more than one child, a double stroller would be handy and you can just check it at the gate. A baby carrier is also a great option for a baby under 2.
- When you get to the gate, check with the gate desk if there are any rows open. Having the most room possible for the littles to roam is best. Also, get your stroller tag while you’re there.
- Let your kiddos roam (within sight of course) before boarding the flight. If you have a baby, let them crawl or walk around holding their hands. Get some energy out so they might actually sleep on the flight.
- Be ready when they start calling passengers. They may even let you go first if you’re at the gate doors.
TAKE-OFF AND LANDING
- During take-off and landing, have your child chew, drink, or suck on something. Babies can drink a bottle or suck their pacifier. Again, this will help their ears pop during the altitude change. (one of the best tips I’ve been given)
- Double check the area around you before exiting (including the floor infant and behind as things tend to roll) for anything left behind.
- It may be easier to just let everyone exit the plane before you and take your sweet time getting off.
Lastly, please remember that no matter what happens, whether the baby was screaming at the top of her lungs or your three-year old wouldn’t stop kicking the back of someones seat…you will get through it. When the plane lands and the doors open, just walk off and you will hopefully never see those other passengers again. Brush off the unfriendly glares & eye-rolls (most people understand) and keep being that good parent that you & I know you are!
If you have any tips to make traveling with kids easier, please message me! I could always use advice:)