Everyone has traveling on their bucket list. It’s beautiful to explore new regions, visit family or just relax on a beach. But the game changes when traveling with kids!
This year, we have three family trips scheduled to attend friends and family weddings all over the country. When you’re traveling alone, with your partner or with a group of adults, navigating an airport can be stressful – especially at those pesky checkpoints! But throwing kids into the mix changes the game.
Since I have a few trips with kids under my belt, I thought I would share what has worked for me.
- Pack technology. Ipads or tablets and headphones are so necessary. I don’t even want to think about what life was like before the Disney and Nick, Jr. apps were invented.
- Download their favorite shows or games BEFORE you get to the airport. You cannot always count on your flights having WIFI so be prepared by having the favorite episodes downloaded and saved.
- Pack snacks! I cannot say this enough. Nobody has time to purchase those expensive snacks in the airport stores so pack snacks in your purse or carry on. Great options are dry cereal, small bags of chips, fruit snacks, flavored drinks, etc.
- Pack lollipops or suckers for the changes in on the flight. Usually right when we are about to take off, we pass the kids a lollipop which allows them to swallow constantly to relieve pressure in their ears.
- Bring surprise toys or activities to occupy their hands while traveling. I often grab little crayon or coloring books or sticker books from a dollar store or from the On the Spot section at Target. Even small quantities of Play-doh can provide a distraction while in the air. The key is not to let them see any of it until they are buckled in their seats.
I also travel with travel size flushable wipes, Clorox wipes and wet wipes for emergencies and to wipe down suspicious stains while traveling. The little food tray in front of your seat is one of the most disgusting and bacteria ridden parts of an aircraft – wipe them down!
Lastly, I don’t have it to a science but I am pretty close to taking that title. The one thing you cannot predict is the TSA agent you will cross at a checkpoint. Last week as we traveled to North Carolina, the TSA agent took Zavier’s juice box – poor kid had been wanting that juice box for hours! When he saw me reluctantly give the juice box to the TSA agent, all hell broke loose.
We witnessed Zavier turn into a human monster as he wailed and kicked and screamed about that juice box! Even the other TSA agents looked at Captain Thirst Killer like he was stupid.
My point? Bring some cash in case you have to buy another juice box once you get past the checkpoint.
What do you do while traveling with kids? I can always add more to my routine!