Traveling with kids takes a whole new level of planning. I have learned over the years that there are things that make traveling, in our case a party of six, a lot easier!
After we had our third little boy we realized we were outnumbered not only at home but with hotel beds! You either get a king or two doubles and sometimes a bonus pullout couch. I tried thinking outside of the box. How can I make this easier on myself instead of worrying if the hotel can accommodate our needs? I’ve waited HOURS on hotel staff to bring an additional roll-away or bedding. When I’m traveling with little ones and it’s late, I’m ready to set up shop and go to bed.
I found some inexpensive “kids tents” that we set up in the hotel room. You don’t have to worry about your kids sleeping on a dirty floor and it’s a new adventure for them! I also ask for extra blankets right away at check-in instead of waiting until we’re settled. If you are driving, bring a sleeping bag or blankets and you’re all set.
Airplanes and Automobiles
When flying on the plane or the road I try to avoid too much iPad/screen time (because mine get a little wired with too much screen time). My boys love activity books, so I stock up at the dollar store. There are many different options from “learn how to draw”, crossword puzzles, hide and seek and sticker activities.They also have small travel games that you can fit in a carry on or pack and play in the hotel room. I also grab extra notepads, journals and new markers all for under $15.
We try and avoid too much candy because we will end up with wild little monkeys. Suckers seem to last a long time. We will make it a contest to see whose lasts the longest. (My boys love a good competition). I also pack several flavors of gum, granola bars and I’ll buy a water bottle once inside the airport and keep filling it up as we go about the day.
Lots of snacks! Puffs, cereal in baggies, sippy cup, toys they can hold like magic light up wands (again, dollar store to the rescue). Once they start getting restless, let them walk up and down the aisle. Take-off and landing is a good time to give them their milk or drinks and bonus if they will fall asleep.
My 1 year old had a burst of energy when I traveled with him a few months ago and was pretty restless. I was so nervous, but the passengers around me were so friendly and played with him. If you see another mom struggling, be their friendly face and offer a game of peek-a-boo.
The biggest advice is try to avoid “travel anxiety” because our kids tend to pick up on that. Prepare for the worst and then relax, you’ve got it covered momma. People give you a lot more grace than you realize.
Safe travels and have fun!