Traveling with kids
Be prepared or be sorry
So how many brave souls out there have traveled with kids on a plane? I had never done this and much less for a cross-country non-stop flight having only hours to pack for a family of four. I learned a thing or two here from this experience so take notes and make sure your trip goes without a bump…bump…bump.
After having two kids the hubs and I knew our vacation days were to be placed on hold (not to mention, shopping sprees, pets and an impeccable clean house). We have been ok with this reality and were looking forward to a mini vacation to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland (about a two-hour drive). However, when you get a free trip to New York city you don’t pass it by, even if you only get hours to pack for two adults and two kids under the age of three. I even impressed myself on how fast and efficient I could pack when the Big Apple was calling me (this is my happiest place on earth).
So after our first mad dash family trip, I bring you my Do’s and Don’ts of traveling with children.
Plane Ride Do’s
- Bring extra pairs of clothes for kids in case they have a potty accident (my 2-year-old did and had to wear his pajamas the rest of the trip)
- Bring plenty of snacks and kid food (I did good here). They no longer serve free meals only peanuts and pretzels and my 11 month old has no teeth to eat these. They do allow unopened baby food and sippy cups on board.
- Bring plenty of entertainment for kids (unless you plan to be their entertainer). Consider books, iPad, games, puzzles, toys and if you are creative like me, snacks that might take them a while to eat i.e. a whole apple.
- Bring juice and or water for the kids. Buy them after you have passed airport inspection. We had to constantly hound the stewardess for drinks and it got old really fast. If your kid is anything like mine, you’ll need at least a gallon worth of liquids.
- Buy your infant their own seat and bring a carseat. I know we are on a budget but it is one thousand times safer and will give you a peace of mind that is priceless. If they do get their own seat make sure you place them in the seat next to window for safety purposes.
- Try to get seats near bathrooms Diaper changing is not fun if you have to stand in line and wait while holding a smelly infant. Plus, you get to stay seated and make a dash to the bathroom when there’s no line.
- ***BRING YOUR GAME FACE AND ACTING SKILLS***We experienced turbulence on the flight and even though my blood rushed to my stomach and my knees were shaking, my son will tell you his favorite part of entire trip was “the plane ride, it was fun and bumpy,” for him. I just about passed out, but I kept my game face and made it fun for my kid.
Plane Ride Don’ts
- Don’t let your kids kick the seats in front of them. I am a mom and I still find it annoying.
- Don’t let your kid push every button in sight. My son managed to call the stewardess from our seat and inside the restroom. (Can you say embarrassing?)
- Don’t let the little ones dangle their legs or feet facing the aisle (my toddler almost lost his every time the cart rolled down the aisle)
- Don’t assume your kid is not going to bump the tray in front of you and drop your drink, snack, book, etc.
- Don’t let your kids hide under the seats (especially when seat belt sign is lit). My two-year old thought it was funny, but I wasn’t amused.
- Don’t hang out on the plane long enough that the cleaning crew starts cleaning as sees the mess your kids left for them.
City Touring/ Hotel Do’s
- Bring a stroller for the non-walking kids (my husband and I now have Chuck Norris arms thanks to my 20 lbs boy). It does not count as a carry on and there is no additional cost.
- Bring snacks and drinks. You don’t want to be waiting in line for ten minutes starving, only to realize they only take cash, you’ve been standing in the wrong line or your kid just announced he has to go pee.
- Carry emergency diapers for your potty trained toddler (it may be a while for you to find a public restroom). Remind him that it is only an emergency and quickly reassure him that he is still a “big boy”.
- Let the kids play (Refer to my post “Toddlers can teach us about Contentment”) It doesn’t matter to them where they are at, or what iconic monument you just to a picture of them with, they want to play.
- Unplug the phone to let your kid make “pretend” long distance calls in hotel.
- Bring bathtub floor non slip stickies My kids looked like they were on a slip and slide in the bathtub. Very dangerous for a toddler just learning to stand.
City Touring/Hotel Don’ts
- Don’t get so distracted site seeing that you lose site of your own kid. Seriously, it only takes seconds to lose them.
- Don’t let your kids hug the guy holding the “Free Hugs” sign.
- Don’t let kids touch the instruments of the corner street musicians. They don’t think it’s cute that your kid is fascinated by it.
- Don’t let your kids crawl in the hallways of hotel. My crawler made his way to the neighbor’s leftovers on the tray left in the hall.
- Don’t let your kid walk ahead of you when approaching an elevator. Yes, he can walk into to one that is about to close two seconds too soon for you to get on yourself.
- Don’t let your kids go to town with elevator buttons (especially when there are others on board and you just sent them on a detour)
- Don’t let kids call front desk and start making demands. Even if they are holding the phone backwards at it looks amusing to you.
I am sure my lists will grow or shorten as we continue to travel with kids. This was yet another learing experience in this journey called parenting. Please share with me your suggestions and warnings of traveling with kids. We’ll be taking a trip this week and would really appreciate them. If you know someone who can benefit from this list go ahead and share it with them.
HAVE A FABULOUS WEEK!
- Is it OK to change your baby *there*? (timesunion.com)
- Travel Tips from a VERY Frequent Flyer (groundskeeper.mlblogs.com)
- Five Tips For Fearful Fliers (businessinsider.com)