No matter if it’s your first trip with your first kiddo, or your fourth trip with your fourth, traveling with kids is not the easiest task. From knowing what to pack, to how to keep them busy—it’s filled with many unknowns and can be super overwhelming.
Whether you are traveling for the holiday’s by plane, road tripping for spring break, or a friends wedding— at one point or another you will be traveling with your kiddos and will need all of the tips and tricks you can get.
What better resource than tons of Moms, like you, who have traveled many times with their kids of all ages!
I am so grateful for everyone who shared their tips that can help you prepare, and save you from going insane.
I have put together all of the tips for traveling with kids. Some are for babies, some are for older children, and some are for you. :-) I hope you enjoy! Please share and tag your mom friends!
Personally, my husband and I have done a few trips with our kids and all I can say is, travel while they are still babies! Do not be afraid, because quite honestly, once they are mobile it adds a whole new element to it. I wish we had done more trips when Marlie was a baby, but I was too afraid to take a baby on the plane or road. Looking back it is now much harder with a toddler and a baby!
Although this is true, it can be done and here is a collection of real advice from real moms like you!
I create lists in my phone for each kid and then one for myself. This helps me to not forget anything (well most of the time haha) and helps ease my mind rather than stress myself out scrambling the day of to pack everything. I recommend writing everything down and then checking them off as you pack the items and then check the list again in the morning when you pack up the car.
Make sure to overcompensate for things you will need on the plane—More snacks, more milk, more diapers, more clothes, more wipes than you think (just in case!). This is where the “less is more” concept does not apply.
You will need your child’s birth certificate so remember to bring that!
“Pack kids outfits together in quart size or gallon sized bags! Include underwear, socks, tops and bottoms. Whether you're camping or at a luxurious hotel--it keeps clean clothes separate from dirty, kids are independent--just grab a bag with your name on it, other traveling companions can help dress your kids (ie Dads or grandparents) and it's actually space saving. I've even come home with a few clean packets occasionally.”
“Wear matching shirts (or something like a hat!). I found with 4 kids--it helped in airports, amusement park lines, and any busy place. If others think you--that group of wiley coyotes--are together, they help you STAY together. They make a path, let you on the escalator, return your youngest to you. It doesn't have to be corny. Try Red. Bright Blue.”
“Time. Allow for extra time and let them run around when you can”
Most everyone who sent me their tips, mentioned things that we did/do! One thing when flying is having an extra seat. If you can, purchase a seat for your toddler because I promise you, you won’t regret it. If you know my daughter—she loves snacks, so bring all of the favorites and then some.
I make sure to always have their favorite sleepy toys and blankets and to book flights early (delays can and will happen) and during nap times! Remember that your kiddos feed off you so try and stay calm.
here are some awesome tips from other Mama’s:
“Amazon pad with movies/shows for longer flights favorite books “
“Children’s ears get plugged pacifier front of plane is better less engine vibration/noise. “
“Bring new toy or book. Magnetic letters and shapes “
From a veteran traveler with 3 kiddos :
1.”Always be flexible and let everything wash off your shoulders, (i.e rude passengers). Breathe. Conversely, accept all help from kind fellow travelers.
2. More snacks than you think for those picky snackers.
3. Tissues and wipes hidden away!
4. Make it fun from the minute you get going to the airport or wherever-kids feed off your energy.
6. One favorite toy that’s not big.
7. Younger kids are happy with empty water bottles, straws etc, getting creative with the crap you accumulate on your journey.
8. Now my kids are slightly older, creative books/mosaic sticker books, coloring.
9. Just drove 8 hours and last 2 hours were that’s when you get the movie on.
9. Fun music.
10. Rest assured that you will arrive at your destination and it will be history before you know it “
From another veteran traveler with 2 kiddos:
“Lots of book and games, coloring on flights. International flights introduced media
Cars: do a lot of podcasts (kids after age 3.5)”
+ Birth Certificate
+ baby wipes
+ extra diapers, diaper cream (must be smaller than 3.4 ounces due to airline regulations)
+ extra outfits for baby and yourself— incase of blowouts
+ Changing Pad (Disposable pads are great!)
+ Plastic Bags for Soiled Diapers (Air sickness bags can be used for this as well)+ Doc-a-tot
+ umbrella stroller (can be gate checked)
+ Baby carrier - I use the Ergo 360 (new rule you have to have them out of it and sitting in lap for take off and landing…ugh)
+ empty water bottle to fill when get through security
+ more snacks than you think/baby food
+ if breast feeding —pump, extra accessories, breast pump cleaning wipes, bottles, extra milk (can bring it all on plane be ready for it all to be checked)
+ If bottle/formula fed — bring more than you need on the plane
+ A Sippy-Cup
+ Pacifier — bring extra and keep them handy for take off and landing
+ Car seat (Even if not booking a seat for baby – it can be gate checked)
+ Medications (Ibuprofen for sore ears and anything else baby may need)
+ Favorite Books and some New Books
+ Favorite blankie or stuffed toy
+ New Small Toys (my mom use to gift wrap them)
+ Crayons or Washable Markers and a Coloring Book
As Bree said it best, just remember that it won’t be forever and will all be worth it once you get there! Just do your best, breathe and enjoy the ride xoxo