Three Hacks to Make Traveling with Kids a Breeze

Thanksgiving is right around the corner which means families will be traveling to see each other. This is my favorite time of year because of that exact reason; families gathering together is always eventful. The most stressful time for most people is getting to that final destination in one piece. Easier said than done when you’ve got two kids, two dogs, and an early morning flight to get to. Am I right?

I have done several cross country road trips as a parent and multiple international flights from Italy to Oklahoma. I believe we’ve somewhat mastered what seems to be an impossible situation and over the years Trebor and I have learned to roll with the punches. I compiled three travel tips to help you; the inexperienced traveler, new parents, and maybe even you veteran travelers too. This advice comes from years of freaking out about packing snacks and scheduling the perfect flight time at the right price! I used to have a panic attack (seriously, if this is you I get it!) on the way to the train or airport if we left just 5 minutes late because I couldn’t stand the thought of having a delay in our travel.

  1. Pack different types of distractions - What does this mean? Well I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old. They are both into totally different things so I find small forms of entertainment that they could possibly both be interested.

    • Coloring books for my three year old with some games/puzzles that my five year old could do when thats not interesting anymore.

    • Race cars or a baby - This is tricky because it has to be something that if it gets lost the entire trip isn’t going to be ruined.

    • Snacks - Variety is your friend, I’ll share more on this later but just get a few sandwich size ziplock bags and fill those suckers up.

    • Tablet/iPad - Listen, I know this is for some reason a controversial topic but remember YOU ARE IN SURVIVAL MODE. Your objective is to make the process as painless as possible and if you have a direct flight from JFK, one movie could have your little one distracted 90% of the flight. That’s a win in my book! I will say that if I have a long trip, maybe a connection or a long drive the iPad is our LAST RESORT.

  2. Give yourself enough time - So, this means that if you have to make a connection with kids DO NOT give yourself less than an hour to get from plane to plane. This is the worst thing you can do to yourself. Why, you ask? Let me make a quick list of just possible situations: diaper changes, you need a coffee, you have to wait for the stroller to get to the gate check area, or a 10 minute delay on the tarmac. I mean think about it, this one is a no brainer.

  3. LIQUIDS & the dreaded TSA security line - Some of my mom friends didn’t know that they could bring sippy cups and bottles with the liquids your kids need to eat. In my experience I’ve been able to bring water, juice, breastmilk, and those amazing food pouches. For more on the TSA rules click here. Just a side note here but don’t worry about taking your time with the stroller in the security line, honestly, don’t worry about it. There are plenty of lines for everyone else.

  4. BONUS: Expect to have delays or that you’ll forget something. We travel very frequently and I still always forget something. At this point we just laugh about what I forgot to pack and move on. Remember, there is a Walmart or Target where you are headed and if you can’t deal with going to the store, there is Amazon. Packages can be delivered to a hotel or a friend’s house.

I hope you have safe travels over the holidays and make memories that you might have missed through the anxiety frenzy.

If you found this post helpful feel free to share with other moms and dads that could use this advice or maybe just an encouragement for the “happiest time of the year.”