I have traveled several times with my kids, alone and with my husband, and I want to share some things I have learned that have made traveling with kids a lot easier. Traveling with kids does not have to be a stressful event. I think as long as you are prepared you can get through almost anything.
Before my older son turned 2 we flew from Mexico to Florida several times. Many of those trips we without my husband so here are some of the things I learned:
- When we fly the kids get some sort of treat. One thing that has helped is having candy. Lollipops are a great treat to have with you. It not only makes the kids happy, it really helps if they haveg problems with their ears because of the air pressure. You could also pack other snacks they don’t get to have often. My kids love when I surprise them with fruit snacks or M&M’s.
- If you have a baby make sure you have a bottle ready around take off and landing. This will also help with their ears. I once saw a flight attendant place two cups over a screaming baby’s ears. The baby stopped crying. You could also cup your hands over the baby’s ears. Sometimes when I give my baby a bottle at take off, he sleeps for most of the flight.
- Ziploc bags are my best friend while traveling. I have a Ziploc bag for toys, food, diaper supplies, and an extra one for smelly stuff. When I need to change my baby’s diaper I just grab the diaper Ziploc bag and that is all need to bring with me. (I use this tip all the time in everyday life with my baby.) I don’t have to dig through my bag – everything I need is in 1 large Ziploc bag.
- I use Ziploc bags for my stuff too. I put our passports and any other important documents in a Ziploc bag with a pen so it is easily accessible.
- Take your stroller all the way to the gate. My stroller carries so much more than just my baby. I don’t want to have to carry that stuff if I don’t need to. Check with your airline but I think that most airlines still allow you to check a stroller at the gate.
- Get on the plane last if you already have your assigned seat. You have more room in the airport than on the plane.
- When I am packing I put a few things in the outer pockets of my luggage so it is easier to access if I need something. I put extra diapers and clothes for my kids in there. I will also put an extra bottle or toy there so I can find it easier. I have also put a shirt in there for me! This is helpful so that when you arrive at your destination you do not have to unpack immediately. It is also good if you ran out of something in your diaper bag you can easily replenish your supplies without going through your whole suitcase. This also helps if you are traveling internationally. When you arrive back in the United States you have to claim your luggage to go through Customs and Immigration. You could easily restock you diaper back if your items are easily accessible in the outer pockets.
- Know what will keep your children occupied. Depending on the age of the child you could let them watch a movie on an iPod or iPad. Bring a coloring book and crayons. A sticker book is always a hit with my kids.
- Don’t let little things stress you out. If your child wants to walk up and down the isle for a few minutes, let him. She could probably use a little change of scenery.
Have a great trip!