Summer is coming up and so is travel season for many families. We are planning a few trips over the upcoming months, so having some good tips for traveling with kids is really important!
As a mom of four little ones under the age of , traveling on a plane for long distances is not my idea of a great time. But, it is well worth it to spend time with loved ones. I remember our first real trip with kids, a few years ago over Christmas, traveling back to Washington State where my husband and I both have family. Our baby was only 2 months old at the time and our oldest was not quite 2 yet. We weren’t even allowed to sit together because of some oxygen mask rule… nightmare. Talk about a long trip. Thankfully, it is only a 2.5 hour flight and we had a non-stop.
This year, the SIX of us will be making the journey to Virginia, which I am absolutely thrilled about. This trip is much longer than the trip to Washington, and we will need to find some way to entertain our kids for a 5+ hour flight.
- Carry PLENTY of activities with you: Kids change their mind faster than you can get out whatever they asked for in the first place. Bring different types of books, a couple of games they can play with and different coloring utensils so that once they get bored with one thing, you have back up. No one wants to be that parent that had a screaming or complain child on the plane. They can only look out the window for so long.
- Download a movie (or 5) on your phone, iPad, tablet, etc: This is one of the fastest ways that my oldest falls asleep when she’s tired. We will let her watch a show on Netflix and she passes out pretty quickly. On a plane, this is an absolute lifesaver. Plus, this is the age of technology and kids love it. I rarely see a child now without some form of technology with them… some that I don’t even have! So resist the urge to give your kids Benadryl (my husband loves to joke about that), and get them some headphones and whatever movies they love to watch.
- Give them a cheap camera to take pictures with: Our oldest loves to pretend to take pictures, or steal our phones and actually snap a 100 pictures of the floor and her nose. Why not get a disposable camera or a cheap digital camera and let your kiddo take pictures of the trip? They will feel like they have a big, important job and it will keep them occupied for a surprisingly long time. Maybe just make sure that they aren’t taking pictures of people sleeping on the plane or anything like that… 🙂
- Stay away from sugar: I made this mistake last year when traveling home, and my daughter was quit amped up on some dessert she had with her late lunch. Bad idea. For one, they will not sleep on the plane for quit a while (if they do at all). Second of all, too much sugar will result in an upset stomach. For motion-sickness prone kids this is a DISASTER. All I can say is, thank goodness airlines have doggy bags.
- Bring something special for your kid(s): Pack an extra special treat for the trip, maybe a toy, game or book they’ve never seen before. When it comes down to “desperate measures”, whip that out and it will be a welcomed surprise for them. This comes in really handy towards the end of the trip when it seems like nothing will calm them down or keep them from wanting to run up and down the airplane aisle… Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.
- Make sure they are comfortable and cozy: I know we all want our kids to look like little super stars walking through the airport… But just dress them so that they are nice and comfy sitting for long periods of time.
Traveling with kids can be tough, but try to enjoy it! Remember why you are traveling in the first place and the fun that you will have while your there. For me, I know this makes it all seem worth it.
Are you traveling anywhere exciting this year?
Check out these tips to staying on track with fitness and healthy eating habits while you’re away:)
*Cheers to traveling adventures*