02.27.2012 / Traveling With Children

Before you can get to this

You must endure this


Traveling with kids differs for everyone.  But however you put it or plan it out it is not an easy task.  I’ve come to the conclusion, 9 years and 4 kids later, that it basically comes down to luck and money.  Not what you wanted to hear right?  Luck if you have a well tempered little one (s).  Luck if you happen to get the right ticket agent who will hook you up.  Luck if the flight is not full and you can stretch out over a couple of seats.  Luck if you have no delays or hiccups.  Money, you ask?  Well, money, can buy you lots of things, like extra seats, traveling nannies or flying private, which of course would be the ultimate easiest way to travel with kids.  Yes, I know very far fetched but I’m just speaking the truth.  You drive your car right up to the plane.  Load anything and everything you want on the plane.  You can stretch and roam about and eat catered food.  Your kids can even talk to the pilots and see what goes on in the cockpit.  Then the nice pilots land the plane.  Open the door and viola your car awaits you and you’re off.  And this pretty much would explain how Brand and Angelina can travel the world with 6 kids often and easily (that and add in a couple of nannies + an entire staff).  Ok, now back to reality.

I’m a planner, and thus I plan, very strategically, on how to make travel as easy as possible.  Of course, it doesn’t always go according to plan.  Sometimes it goes way worse than expected + surprisingly sometimes it goes better.  None the less, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way:

01/ Technology.  Load those iPads / iPods up and let them roll.  Be sure to bring earphones that work with small little ears (ones that you wear like a headband and cover the entire ear have worked best for us).

02 / Snacks . Bring lots of snacks + then some.  Whatever it takes, yes, even candy (suckers last a long time).

03 /Change of Clothes.  I forgot  a change of clothes once (duh) and of course LB had an explosion.  Thank God it was summer time + a short flight.  He ended up wearing a slightly stained white onsie.

04 / Pain Reliever.  I don’t know if people still give there kids a little “something” when flying, but  I always bring a little Tylenol for sensitive ears (do you?).  Gum is also a great idea for take off and landings.

05 / Coloring / Craft . Ok, you know you want to bring something like this.  Go ahead and do it.  I recommend Crayola Color Wonder coloring books + markers (no mess).  However, prepared to pull the iPad back out after 3.4 minutes.

06/ Bottles. If you are still nursing or bottle feeding, bring enough milk (or plan to nurse) for take off and landing and extra for in between.  The swallowing helps babies ears when you are climbing in altitude.

07 / Buy an Extra Seat.  Here is where money and luck comes in.  If  money is not an issue, by all means, buy an extra seat for your baby.  You might not have the best luck and may end up squished between two people with baby screaming on your lap.

Although traveling with children can be hard and, yes, very tiresome.  In the end, it is worth it.  Hours of pain for days of fun.  And lets not forget, memories that last a lifetime.  Yes, even those travel nightmares end up being some of the funniest memories and most told stories.

What about you dear reader, do you have any tried and true traveling tips?  Or any hilarious traveling with children stories?  Do tell!

ps- We did have a lovely vacation.  Mostly just hanging out at the pool, soaking in the sunshine, eating great food, a little shopping + some horse back riding.  A few more pictures here.

 

11 Comments

commented on February 27th 2012 at 6:23pm

Your holiday looked divine.

My funniest thing on a plane with kids is stickers…! They get stuck all over the chair, themselves, the back of the head of the person in front…ahem. Much entertainment. Just make sure they are not too sticky to get off at the end of the flight!

I usually take on a little bag of new tiny toys and treats and bring something new out for every hour we are on the plane. Though now we have an ipad so it could get a whole lot easier!

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replied on February 28th, 2012 at 12:41pm

@Tracey, Thanks, Tracey. It was divine. I love the sticker story. That is hilarious. And well, at least you left your mark :) Love the idea of a new toy/treat for every hour!
XO . T

commented on February 28th 2012 at 3:54pm

These are great tips, especially coming from an experienced mommy. I traveled with Hayden when she was 6 months and it was easy peasy… I guess that was luck for me since she was pretty chilled. But now, we’re planning a trip in the summer and we’re not quite sure how it’s gonna go this time around. She’s def. a lot more alert, and a lot LESS chill… so i’m going to come back to your notes in a couple of months. :)

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replied on February 29th, 2012 at 12:02am

Jeanne- she will be great. Two of you and one little one, def makes it manageable. You can take turns entertaining if you have to, etc. We are completely outnumbered now with 4. Thankfully my older two are really helpful. I think the hardest age is around 1- 1/2, when they are crawling, just walking and want to move constantly but you still can’t reason with them. But after that age it def gets easier. I’m sure you will have a really fun trip!
XO . t

commented on February 28th 2012 at 7:01pm

Lovely pics and some great tips! I like to try and make a connection with the flight assistants. Often they will bring out some kids colouring packs etc. Always a winner if your kids can draw them a nice picture to give as a thankyou ;) Trips to the toilet (just to smile at random strangers along the aisle) seem to be popular with my kids too hahaha.

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replied on February 28th, 2012 at 11:57pm

Thank you. Great idea. And yes, trips to the bathroom are always popular :)
XO . t

commented on February 28th 2012 at 9:11pm

We just made a trip to Atlanta with two littles in tow. Let me tell ya, leaving the Georgia Dome in the midst of 70,000 other people at the same time can get nerve racking. Best tactic for keeping up with the kids…..put them on your shoulders and bulldoze your way through the crowd.

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replied on February 28th, 2012 at 11:57pm

That sounds way stressful. Kids or no kids – 70K people. Wowza. Kids on the shoulders sounds like the only way!
XO. t

commented on February 28th 2012 at 10:38pm

Thanks for posting these tips – it’s so nice to get an honest look! xo

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commented on February 28th 2012 at 11:56pm

I always wish I had A) and assistant to pack everything & ship it to our destination…I would arrive blissfully care free and of course they would unpack it all when I got home and do all the laundry :)
Looks like y’all had a great trip!

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replied on February 29th, 2012 at 12:06am

@michelle @ pretty mommy, I like that idea very much! We did have a fun time! Hard to go from sun and mountains to gray and dirty snow, sigh.
XO . t