It’s almost mid-December, and the holidays are creeping closer every day. A little hard to believe, isn’t it? As you wrap up presents and grab last-minute stocking stuffers, it’s a good time to start thinking about travel plans for the whole family. Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be overwhelming!
Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, we have a couple of clever tips to help keep the kids occupied during a long journey.
Carry-On Their Own Essentials
For most commercial airlines, each person is allowed at least one carry-on item. This means if your kids are old enough, have them carry their essentials in their own carry-on bag, this one is one of our favorites. A lighter bag for you and more responsibility for them? Sounds like a win-win to us. As planes often shift in temperatures quite a bit, we suggest packing a small travel blanket, an extra sweater, and maybe a travel pillow for the longer flights (especially if you’re traveling during nap time). This is a simple tip that can make traveling with kids a bit easier.
Pack Snacks – Especially for Picky Eaters and Traveling with Kids
If your flight is longer than a couple of hours, pack a handful of healthy snacks to hold your kids off until you land. Avoid liquid snacks like applesauce and juice boxes, as those aren’t allowed past security. Instead, pack a collapsible water bottle like HYDAWAY. It’s easy to flatten, and you can fill it with water past security or ask the flight attendant for juice. This will save you money and room in carry-on bags.
If you’re looking for a great way to carry a variety of snacks and toys, consider a small snack container. While it’s not a traditional way to store things, it’s an easy way to keep everything neat and tidy (and safe from getting crushed during travel). This makes it the perfect storage solution for everything from pretzels to crayons. When it’s time to land, it’s easy to pack everything back into the box and slip it back into their carry-on bag.
As a parent, you know that accidents can and will happen. When traveling with kids by air, you truly have to be prepared for anything. Keep a small bag of clean-up essentials handy – just in case. Throw things like wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and a change of clothes in a plastic bag inside their carry-on. You never know if turbulence will make your kids (or you) sick, so including some breath mints in there couldn’t hurt.
Activities to Keep Busy
One of the most difficult parts of traveling with kids is keeping them busy for the entirety of the trip. The last thing you want is a restless kid on a cramped airplane! Depending on the length of the trip, have them choose different toys and games to take with them. This could mean a small pencil box with a deck of cards, a set of coloring books, educational work pages, or an iPad preloaded and charged with games and videos. While flying can be stressful, giving them a couple of comforts of home will help the trip go a bit smoother. (And will make life easier for you too!)
While traveling during the holidays isn’t always easy, it will all be worth it to spend time with family. Have safe travels and hope traveling with your kids is a bit easier.