I agree traveling with kids can wreak havoc with your trip if not organized appropriately without prerequisites and adequate information. But, the good news is that I am here to help you save time, money, and particularly the strain that you may get only by thinking about babies traveling with you!
No time and ‘energy’ for traveling?
Being a mom of three, I understand that looking after kids is a full-time job and drains you at the end of the day. But grabbing just a few of my traveling tips and tricks with kids can help you stay sane on your next vacation.
Whether you are a new mom or have been traveling with children before, skimming through my experiences over the years will help you know some important traveling tips and tricks for your family. The plus point is that, in the end, you will realize it can be boringly tedious traveling without the kids.
So let’s get going about travel tips for beginners……..
Traveling tips with a small child
1. Book Flights According to your Kids’ Schedule
Do you have babies who still like to have long naps? Then, of course, the best thing you can do is schedule your flight according to your baby’s sleeping timings. Maybe it won’t be ideal for you, but, believe me, it will save you and others from most of the unpredicted disturbance. Booking your flight with your child’s regular sleep hours will mean more peaceful hours for you on the plane.
If you are not OK with the evening timings, try to book such that the departure time is 30 mins to an hour before the nap time. I used to do this when Nathan was one and continued with the rest and then used to pray that the flight wouldn’t get late. I got to the flight, made a quick bottle or snack, and hopefully, the plane movements used to drift off for the majority of the time.
However, scheduling your baby’s sleep time-traveling tips and tricks work for smaller travel durations. If you are moving long distances, like for over six hours, you would need a bigger game plan!
#1 Trick: when booking a flight, try to reach out to customer service and let them know you are playing with a youngster to see if you can get seats together to let your kid a sound sleep, or a basset, or any other perks the airline might have.
2. Don’t be on Time!
Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but I mean to plan to get everywhere BEFORE time. This advice is especially useful for mothers of young children. I strive to plan an hour or two before the exact timings and avoid causing chaos in anything I do. I schedule my trips ahead of time. If I must fly to a destination, I arrive early at the airport, glide through security, stock up on snacks, and remember that one of the kids will need to use the restroom right after the announcement!
Planning and leaving some extra time until you get on board will help you:
⦁ Enjoy your journey with tranquility
⦁ Reduce stress when traveling
⦁ Prepared for unexpected interruptions
For example, you do not want to miss your flight because your stroller and bottles took an extra 10 minutes to go through security. Then you are trapped at the airport with an angry and squeaking kid, waiting for your flight to be postponed. That is not fun, believe me!
Leaving additional time for any means of your journey is a winning idea.
#2 Trick: Plan the whole travel with kids travel accessories to and from the airport 2 days in advance. Because down to the time it could take to either be picked up or even driving around the parking garage to find parking. Double-check the time with your ride to and from the airport.
3. Know the Rules (Tips for flying with kids)
You might be thinking that I want to travel, but I have a child, so what shall I do? Traveling with kids during covid was quite difficult but now things are going right all around the world. So, it is important to know any restrictions or changes in rules before you leave, from carrying liquids on board to whether you may bring your stroller to the airline. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration at the airport. While each airline has its own set of rules for kids, you may rest assured that an infant carrier and booster seat will be permitted for safety reasons.
Strollers can be checked (as long as they are in a protected bag), but you can also push them up to the gate and have them tagged there.
International travel with kids
The airport employees will meet you at your arrival gate and assist you in getting them off the plane so you can strap in and go. The stroller, which has an extendable handle and wheels like a carry-on bag and allows you to strap your car seat directly to it, was one of the useful little items that kept me calm during airport time.
You may take your infant or toddler through the airport without having to worry about how to carry a car seat.
Remember that agencies now require that children aged two and up wear masks on all types of public transportation (including airplanes, trains, and subways).
Eat and drink health
When on board, the only exemption is to eat or drink for a short period of time. If your child is not used to wearing a mask yet, begin practicing as soon as possible. While adults are severely limited on liquids, the security allows formula, breast milk, and juice in moderate quantities for infants and toddlers. Ensure you have separated them from the rest of your belongings and that the TSA officer is aware of their presence. Furthermore, take enough food with you, that help in survival while flying with kids.
3 Trick: In a world that is ever-changing, make sure you read, call, or even search online for the most updated rules and regulations to make sure you are fully prepared.
4. Engage with your Children
When traveling with small children take care of their health. You can look after them by playing with them and at the same time, you can keep them entertained. And the winner is always something new. I adore magnetic playsets, which include a board and magnetic parts that allowed Ethan and Sophia to make their own robots or princess fairies.
Coloring and activity books can also be used as a source of distraction. Bringing new surprises on board, hidden in your own carry-on, is another interesting option. I normally do three at a time, wrapping each one for added delight.
#4 Trick: take your kids shopping for at least 2 or 3 games, fidget toys, or something or better yet, go get them a little survival the flight kit that you create and make yourself and surprise them with it as they sit down on the flight.
5. Carry these essentials as a traveling Mom on your next family vacation
It was NORMAL for me when my three years old threw up while choking on candy in the waiting room, and I had to open my handbag for a spare shirt, change his clothes and wash his dirty shirt in the public toilet with the public soap.
Since then, apart from a spare shirt for my toddler in my personal carry bag, I also carry a vomit bag!
#5 Trick: Don’t forget the Dramamine. Tylenol or children’s Allergy medication that suits your kids should be in your hand carry. Also, keep some space for these essentials
⦁ A spare shirt of your younger kid (although sometimes older ones can create a mess too)
⦁ A vomit bag
⦁ A small sewing kit
⦁ Wet wipes
⦁ A water bottle
Remember road trip with kids is an adventure. You may have some pits and bumps, but you would be giving your kids a thrilling and memorable experience! I would say, find out a destination for Family vacations in the Southwest US for better entertainment.
If these tips helped you in any way, comment down below. If there is something I have missed or you have experienced, do let me know, and I might do a part on them featuring your comments.