Temper tantrums at customs. A baby that screams for six hours straight. A toddler that won’t stop kicking the seat of the passenger in front of them. Strangers giving you the stink eye. Becoming a casualty of projectile vomit from your sick child. These are a few of my travel experiences that I hold near and dear to my heart. Let’s face it, traveling with children has its moments and can be tough on parents and children, but it hasn’t stopped my husband and our three young children from our globetrotting adventures. Here are some of my top tips to help you stay sane the next time you fly. Bon voyage!
For long flights, I always choose a red-eye. My kids (fingers crossed) always seem to fall asleep immediately once we take off—gotta love the white noise. When we fly to France, I make sure that Maeve, my 17-month-old, and Graham, my 3-year-old, skip their afternoon naps. I always pick flights with few connections—nonstop work best with my family. Do yourself a favor and dress for comfort on travel days for both you and the children. Pack an extra set of clothes for your baby in your carry-on. Wet clothes are no fun! Airplanes tend to be cold, so bring an extra sweater for the kids. Car seats may seem like a bulky carry-on and just one more item to add to the pile, but a car seat is much more comfortable for your tot than a seat designed for an adult.
A light umbrella stroller is a must! I’m still using my Maclaren Quest for Maeve—the same one my eldest son Liam used six years ago. It’s clocked some serious mileage and is still going strong.
I always throw my ERGObaby carrier into my suitcase for Maeve. It allows me the option of wearing her while keeping my hands free—perfect for subway rides.
Keep your children entertained with a bevy of options: portable DVD player, iPod or iPad, Nintendo DS (Liam’s favorite), books, stickers, crayons and coloring books. My clan enjoy the oversize headsets, plus they just look cool.
Be sure you’ve packed the “must haves” for your carry-on bag: a hearty supply of snacks that aren’t super messy, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, diapers, rash cream, ziplock bags, sippy cups, formula, extra bottles, pacifiers (a favorite in our home), Tylenol/Motrin and any special medications your child may need.
Do you have any travel tips to share with our readers? If you do, I’d love to hear them.