I think everyone’s biggest fear regarding traveling is traveling with an infant or a toddler. Yep. That’s always been one of my biggest travel day fears. But after doing it once, I’m ready and excited to do it again, this time with 3 kids.
In today’s post, we are going to jump right into these 10 tips that will help travel day be a little easier for you. Will it be less hectic? Probably not, you’re traveling with kids. But it will help you keep more organized and move around more easily with them. Let’s get into it!
Check-in car seats before heading to the gate
You want to bring your car seats with you on travel day for obvious reasons. I personally do not take them on the plane because it’s too bulky and it’s just more things to drag around when you have multiple children in car seats. I usually check these in when I check in my bags and we’re good to go. These are usually free to check in so take advantage! We bought this bag a few years ago to put the car seats in when we checked them in and I absolutely love it. I can fit one toddler car seat and two booster seats in it. Check it out here.
Take your stroller with you to the gate
Save yourself the stress of running after your toddler or carrying your infant everywhere you go and take your stroller with you to the gate. You can check this in there while boarding, for no extra cost. I would also consider buying a stroller bag (check this one out) to protect yours from any damages. The one we bought was for a double stroller because a few years when we traveled to Panama City beach, we took our double one for the girls but it still works great for the stroller we have today.
Pack lots of snacks
This should be a given. With covid-19, a lot of airlines have changed the way they do things. One of those is giving out complimentary food and drinks. Of course, if you’re going on short flight, you might not need to pack as much, but if you’re traveling for a longer period of time, definitely load up a large freezer bag with your kids favorite snacks so they can have something to munch on whenever they get hungry. I would even pack a light lunch for them because, hello! Airport food can get pretty pricey when you have long layovers.
Have them carry their own carry-on backpack
I actually just wrote a blog post about this last week. If your child is two years or older, let them, carry their own backpack throughout the airport. Fill it with fun activities for them to stay with busy with, a tablet, headphones, and their water bottle. Trust me, they’ll love having to be responsible for their own bag and feeling independent.
You might want to read: What to pack in your kids carry-on bag
Don’t limit screen time
I’m actually scared to write this tip cause I know there’s a lot of mama’s out there who will oppose it… BUT… don’t limit screen time! If traveling is hectic and a little stressful for you, imagine how hectic and stressful it’s for your little ones. Travel day switches up their whole routine and we all know that littles thrive on routine. So be graceful, and let them watch all the movies they want. We bought our three littles these tablets from Amazon. I love that we get to control everything, including screen time with a daily timer. We only use that timer on school days. Travel days? They’re free to watch all the movies and educational games we’ve downloaded.
Bring their favorite blanket
So, besides our personal bags, we also take with us one carry-on luggage where we pack our kiddos favorite blankies. Our oldest has this one blanket she’s had since she was a baby and she cannot sleep without it. So we just bring along their blankets so that they don’t feel completely out of routine and homesick.
Bring your baby carrier
Yes, a baby carrier is important to have on travel day. Not so you carry your baby around everywhere, but to wear your baby after you gate check your stroller and when exiting the plane. It’s a lot easier for you to move around with your carry on bags and children when you wear your smallest into and off the plane. It’s also a great alternative to buying an attachable seat belt for your lap child. When my middle child was an infant, I sat her on my lap with her still in the carrier, facing forward. Granted, you cannot have the straps over your shoulders for safety reasons, but you can still have it around your waist where it can still hold baby in safely and she/is easy to remove from your lap in any case of an emergency.
Bring extra clothes for you and the kids
If you’ve got littles under the age of 6, bring extra clothes for them, and for you. Kids get messy and eating and drinking on an airplane isn’t going to get much easier for them. You might not even have to change clothes, but it doesn’t hurt to have. I would normally pack an entire outfit for my littles still in diapers. For my older ones, just a shirt in case of any spills.
Dress warm or bring a sweater
We all know that airports and airplanes tend to be really cold. Make sure to dress your littles warm, or if you’re going somewhere tropical, bring them a light sweater to throw on while traveling. Do the same for you too!
Bring lots of sanitizer and extra masks
With the pandemic, you want to make sure you bring hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and plenty of masks. I believe you’re supposed to change out your masks about every 4 hours so I would suggest buying a box of disposable ones that you can just throw out every couple of hours instead of spending time switching out the filters. With your disinfectant wipes, you can wipe down any surfaces your littles will be touching to keep them safe.
Bottom line is, lower your expectations and have fun! Traveling with kids isn’t easy whatsoever and stressing out about every little detail won’t help. Go with the flow, do your best, and enjoy travel day because it doesn’t happen every day.