10 Tips on traveling with young children

Before I had children I could pack in an hour. When they were babies it would take me days of planning but I have gotten better at packing the for myself and that would make it easier to pack for the kids. I used able to read a gossip magazine and take a nap on the flight. When you have children no way can you do that anymore !! No longer!  My children are all grown, ages now 23 and 25. I consider myself a professional mom lol, because I have had years of experience on what to do and not do. 

Here are my top 10 tips for traveling with young children

  1. Bring a stroller. If one of your children still needs a stroller occasionally, bring it! Seriously, it may seem like a hassle, but it will be a bigger nightmare if you have a small child that can’t keep up and you have to carry him/her everywhere. Make sure it’s an easy to fold umbrella stroller so it can be loaded it on the plane at the gate. The stroller will be waiting for you once you arrive at your destination. Rent cars seats. They are a nightmare to lug through the airport.
  2. Wear slip on shoes. This is particularly important for the kids. They are slow enough as it is and if they have to sit down and lace up shoes you are going to lose your mind. Especially if the security line was long and you are trying to get all of your belongings collected.
  3. Have each child bring a backpack.  I would tell both of my kids to pack whatever they want as long as it fits. This includes; toy, books, coloring books, crayons, Etch-a-Sketch. Now with such technology most children have their own phones, tablets to keep them busy. 
  4. Pack snacks. This is really important since a bag of popcorn at the airport will set you back $6. I had each child pack whatever snacks they want in their backpack including one juice box or disposable water  which they can drink in the car and before they go through security. If you are going to be flying during a meal-time make their favorite sandwiches and have them pack that too. They can get juice on the plane but if you think that tiny bag of pretzels they hand out with the juice are going to cut it for 6 hours you are sadly mistaken.
  5. Pack extra underwear. I would always take for a just incase moment. This is also stored in each child’s backpack in a baggie, just in case your flight is delayed. If your child still needs pull-ups at night, have them pack a couple of those instead.
  6. Let’s move on to what mommy should pack in her carry-on. I always had wipes and a small hand sanitizer that will go through TSA security. I am a little germ crazy and wipe down the trays with the wipes which my kids would  always put down the second they are seated. I also pack extra snacks because my children are sure not to pack enough or my husband and I might get hungry.  Pack something healthy. Ideas include, fresh fruit, dried fruit, crackers, olives, cubed cheese and anything that can be packed in separate plastic containers you don’t mind throwing away.
  7. Let’s talk about the suitcases. I packed my children’s clothes together in one suitcase and I make sure to pack a couple extra outfits because kids are messy and I probably won’t have access to a washing machine. I also make sure everything matches so I don’t have outfit problems once I am away. Make a list if you need to.
  8. Bring a small laundry detergent. You may need to wash something in the sink and hotel shampoo won’t cut it. I put some of my household detergent in a little travel-sized plastic bottle which I then pack in a baggie.
  9. Pack a few plastic grocery bags. These come in handy for soiled clothes, wet clothes like bathing suits and dirty shoes. A few zip lock baggies are not a bad idea either. They come in handy for all the little items you will find while doing a last sweep of the hotel room.
  10. Pack a child-friendly first aid kit. It does not have to be big but should contain band-aids, antiseptic, ointment, motion sickness tablets, bug bite lotion, any regular medications, diaper rash cream if anyone still wear pull-ups to bed and whatever else you find you need. I suggest to keep it in your suitcase at all times and refill whatever is needed as soon as we return from our trip.

Being prepared and being calm will make travel with kids much easier and enjoyable. I have learned so much through the years that I think this few tips are still up to date on what I did when my children were toddlers !!