Traveling with kids can seem daunting! I've traveled dozens of times with my kids (solo and with my hubby) over the past few years and have compiled my top 10 tips for a successful trip!
- SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS - It seems obvious, but I can't tell you how important having a variety of snacks is when traveling with littles. I love this snack carrier because it doesn't take up too much room and allows me to bring 4 different snacks in 1 container! I try and bring a few treats I know my kids love as well as a few new things they've never had before so they get excited about something new! I've also thought about buying one of these bead organizers and filling it with snacks but I'm a little nervous my 1-year-old will just dump it so it might be better for slightly older kiddos.
- Don't Board Early - All airlines have family boarding these days but I'm a firm believer in waiting to board until the end. In my opinion, the less time on the plane, the better when flying with kids. If we have a carry-on we're worried about fitting in the bins or if we're flying Southwest and need to make sure we all get seats together, then I do board during family boarding and pray that we take off on time!
- Wear a Backpack - Again, seems like a no-brainer but I used a shoulder-strap diaper bag my first solo flight with my son when he was 8-weeks-old and instantly regretted it. Having your hands free when traveling is so necessary when flying with kids. Make sure whatever one you choose has plenty of space and pockets for easy organizing. Both Kyle and I are big fans of the Fawn Design diaper bags (added perk - the company was started by a mom sewing them out of her home and now you can find her bags in Nordstrom...love a mom success story)! I've had my bag for over 3 years now and it still looks great!
- Pack Surprises or New Toys - For my first solo flight with 2 kids under 3, I wrapped a few mini Paw Patrol characters in fun wrapping paper for my son to open every 20-30 minutes on the flight. He loved the excitement of opening the little presents and had a blast playing with the little figurines! We also gifted him this awesome Thomas the Train mini train carrier and mini trains on our first flight as a family of 4. It turned out to be a lifesaver because our flight was delayed for 2 hours and he happily played with them the entire time! The case fits perfectly in his backpack and we now take it to restaurants and festivals to keep him entertained! This little magnatab is a fave for both of my kiddos for travel and dining out!
- Pack Extra Clothes for Yourself - After being puked on by Gavin when he was 2-years-old as we were pulling up to the airport (that was a nice $150 surcharge in the cab), I now always pack a spare shirt in my carryon or backpack. Kids are unbelievably messy and it's nice to know you can quickly swap tops if necessary!
- Check Your Car Seat - I know a lot of people prefer to bring their car seat on board but we like checking it in a car seat bag when we check the rest of our bags. I'm a big believer in being able to move freely through the airport so ditching the car seat is huge for me! Car seats and strollers don't count towards your checked bag limit so I always throw some extra stuff in the car seat bag if our checked bags are overweight!
- Bring a Stroller - I like to travel with my umbrella stroller when I fly. I can put my 3-year-old in it if we're rushing and wear my daughter. We recently replaced our umbrella stroller with this amazing lightweight stroller and we LOVE it. It has one-hand fold, a bar instead of handles, a decent-sized under-carriage, and it is super lightweight. At under $150 it's a must-have.
- Pack Extra Wet Ones - I'm far from a germaphobe but even I get grossed out on planes. I pack a few extra packs on Wet Ones (I buy them in the travel pack size in bulk on Amazon) and wipe everything my kids will be touching and then cover the tray table with one of these Disposable Table Covers for easy snack distribution.
- Download Movies on Netflix - Once again, another no brainer that slipped my mind the first time I traveled with my son as a toddler. I now make sure to download a bunch of shows and movies he might like and a few I know he loves. Now that he's a little older I also download a few new games on my phone and his tablet. You can never be too prepared with new material for the littles to check out on long flights! We use these headphones for our kids and they have worked out great. We also just got our daughter a Fire Tablet and so far it seems to be a good buy. It has a 2-year warranty which is amazing when you're talking about anything kids are using!
- Pack Small Trash Bags - There is nothing worse than having dirty napkins and chewed up snacks floating around your diaper bag so I always make sure to have extra little diaper trash bags in my bag. They're also great for holding soiled clothes too which we all know seems to happen a lot when traveling with kids!
We hope these tips can make your next trip a little easier! Be sure to pack your fave State of Play Kids layer for those chilly airplanes!
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