As the holidays draw near I know many of us will be traveling great distances to see our loved ones. This used to be enjoyable, didn’t it? I remember the days when the Mr and I would take road trips and talk for hours as the open road invited us to leave our troubles behind. We even had a few airplane rides together sans spawn that I vaguely remember lacked a certain toddler-esque screaming sound.
Those days are over brothers and sisters.
With Bug and Little Bug in tow we now approach travel like a military operation. Procedures have been created, tested and implemented. Required items for deployment have been issued. Proper documentation procured. Traveling with kids is our reality. Sound familiar to you?
So it doesn’t have to be completely full of stress. Here’s a few ideas that we’ve found helpful for traveling with kids.
- Food. Always.- don’t be a fool and think that a simple thing such as a snack can be skipped while traveling. If there’s one thing that is certain in travel it’s this, hungry kids are cranky. (this applies to the Mr as well though he only admits it in private). Always pack plenty of snacks that are easily eaten with one hand and can be cleaned up quickly. (crackers, applesauce pouches, cheese sticks, etc.)
- Keep only the necessities handy- Yes, traveling with kids requires that you bring a ton of junk with you. But remember that only a few things are necessary during the trip (diapers, wipes, food, drink, wallet and entertainment). The rest of your kid junk can be packed in the back or checked. And you don’t need tons of options for entertainment. We just pack a book and the ipad.
- Foresee issues- Close your eyes for a moment and picture every stage of the trip, in 30 minute increments. Predict the worst case scenarios and decide whether or not you need to plan for that. If you know your kiddo tends to blow out diapers, keep an extra onesie in your carryon. If your kid freaks out when you take the iPad away, don’t introduce it until after takeoff. If your kid is gluten-free or has special dietary requirements, make sure you have enough food with you to get you through several hours in case of delays. If you have a toddler who likes to walk instead of ride in the stroller (like my Bug) make sure your hands are as FREE as possible. Trust me, chasing a 2 year old through the airport is very difficult with 2 carryon bags, a stroller and little bug.
- Be respectful but do what you gotta do.- As a former road warrior in my business life, I fully understand the annoyances of children on airplanes. Now that I have kids though I want to slap the road warrior right in the head (with an open hand of course, I’m not a total b!tch). Kids on airplanes is sometimes the only way we have to see our loved ones and if you roll your eyes or think its inappropriate, then shove it. Do what you gotta do moms. If that means you have to walk the aisle with your newborn to get her to stop screaming, do it. If that means whipping out the boob, do it. (Nursing Covers are cheap). Or it could just mean letting your toddler stand up on the seat and say “Hi” over and over to the annoyed 20-something a$$clown behind you.
- Remember my motto, if you forget it, buy it.- I always tell myself this when leaving. I don’t need to bring everything under the sun with me. If I forget to pack diapers or the right shoes, and both those things have happened, I can always buy them when I get to my destination. If anything is over the top expensive that this is not doable, then make SURE you don’t forget it. Otherwise, don’t stress about every single thing and enjoy your trip!
What is your best tip for traveling with little ones?
Safe travels everyone and happy holidays!