It’s holiday travel time. Long lines, delayed flights, car rides…. sounds fun, right? Now picture all this with a child. While I personally don’t have a child, I have been blessed with the opportunity to sit next to a child on EVERY flight I’ve ever taken…. EVER. I’ve been told it is because I have the patience to be kicked, punched, and occasionally spit up on. While I’m not so sure about that, I do know that it has given me many tips to share about traveling with little ones.
- Pack extra everything. In addition to extra comfy clothes, diapers, snacks, and pacifiers, make sure YOU have an extra shirt as well. Nothing is worse than having spit-up on you for hours.
- Pick your seat ahead of time! Make sure to sit as close to the front as possible. I first learned this tip from a mother traveling and then saw the tip on Parents.com. Not only does it tend to be quieter, you get off first, but it also tends to be less bumpy.
- Many websites will tell you to pack an “I’m sorry” bag for others around you on the plane. That is a sweet idea…. but air travel is expensive and not everyone can swing the money or time to create personalized apology bags. I’ve received a “sorry” bag before and sure it was nice, but it is also nice when a parent simply sincerely apologies when their child kicks me in the face or closes my computer while I’m working. So no need to make a bag, but be prepared to apologize if your little one is physically disruptive. One thing I do beg, please never apologies for your little one crying…. they’re babies…. they cry…. everyone can get over it.
- Same goes for toddlers and preschoolers as it does infants, make sure you pack extra everything. However, you can pack them their own travel bag. Perfect for plane, train, or automobile. Nothing is more exciting to a child than their own personal bag. Fill it with crayons, stickers, paper, snacks, little odds to keep them entertained. The average attention span for a little one is about 15 minutes. Try to pack enough for the majority of the ride. An hour car ride; about four things. A three-hour flight; 10-12 things.
- Snacks. Yes. Lots of them. Not messy.
- If you are driving, make sure to plan stops ahead of time. Look at the route and make sure you have stop every 45 minutes to an hour. These breaks will be used for bathrooms and just to get the wiggles out. I know it may be pain but you will be grateful.
Travel safe and happy holidays,