Rudy and I had decided when we had Aria that we wouldn’t stop traveling just because we had kids. We realized that we may have to alter how crazy our destinations are these first few years because of our kids’ ages, but we know that as things get easier with them getting older, the world is our oyster! I’m all about wanting our kids to see the world, and enriching their lives with other cultures. I want them to be broad minded and also learn how to adapt. I feel like one of the most important things that I’ve learned from just these last few years of travel with our kids is flexibility.
I can tell you right now that I love my routine and schedule, and therefore I’m not great at being flexible. Actually, I stink at being flexible. I actually don’t like that about myself at all, and would love for my kids to not have this trait. I’d like for them to be able to switch up routines and it not rock their world. Shockingly, it’s actually them that are teaching me that it’s alright to switch it up now and then, and not worry about the day to day so much. It’s been freeing. But I digress…
Now, I’m no pro at travel with kids in tow, but I’ve picked up a few things here and there that could potentially help another mama out if they decide to get on a plane with their littles!
- When choosing flights, choose timings that will work with your kids! If you know that witching hour is awful, don’t choose a 5 PM flight. If they are great in the mornings, that’s obviously a better option. But if your kiddos still nap, definitely choose a flight that is during their nap! It’s awesome to drain their energy out at the airport right before, and then they pass out on the plane, which means you can relax too! We are actually tempted to try a red eye with our babies because I think that no matter what, they are tired and it may work in our favor…stay tuned for when that happens!
- I highly suggest traveling with a stroller. Most of the time, they will let you check it right at the gate before you get on the plane, which helps with putting the kids somewhere along with any carry-ons you are also traveling with. I like my sit and stand (we have this one!), because it gives Aria an option to sit and ride, or get off and walk around with us.
- If you have a sitter or a crawler who isn’t walking, I definitely recommend some sort of baby carrier. When Rishi was really little (4 months) and we traveled with him, I had the Solly wrap and wore him on the plane and through the airport like that and it was perfect to have my hands free. I will say that it was also helpful to have the Ergo or the Bjorn when Aria was a little over one to be able to strap her onto our bodies and get through the airport even faster! No matter what, if your tot isn’t fully capable of walking sturdily, have a carrier! It’ll def help!
- Snacks. Have loads of them. I always keep “fun” snacks too. The ones that are horrible for your kid but will hopefully bribe them into behaving. Fruit snacks, gummies, candy, chips, etc. You get it. I keep a mix of both healthy and unhealthy snacks so that while we are at the airport and on the plane, I have food that they will definitely eat, and keep everyone’s sanity!
- Pacifiers. If your little one likes pacis, use it during takeoff and landing. Or if you’re nursing, it’s perfect for them to feed during those times too! Helps with the pressure on their ears! If they don’t take soothies, and they are a little older, I recommend little lollipops… Think dumdums! They are small and perfect for little hands to hold and suck on so their ears don’t pop!
- Toys. I tend to hit up the dollar spot at Target or go to the dollar store prior to a trip. I load up on little knick knacks that are fun new surprises! You never know how long you’ll get stuck at the airport in case of a delay, or the TSA lines are super long…or worse, if you get stuck on the tarmac. #shootmenow If you have busy bags, or new coloring books, those are great ideas too for keeping the kiddos busy!
- iPad or tablets. Yes, I’m the mom that loves the iPad. Judge all your want but if you’re sitting next to me, would you rather have a screaming child and an exhausted mother, or one who is calm with her child just watching some Frozen or playing an educational game or two? I’m hoping you choose the latter because that’s definitely what I want! I fill the iPad with games and movies and this definitely helps with killing time!
Hope this helps any parents looking to travel but are a little freaked out about getting on that bird with tots in tow! =)