Let's face it, traveling with kids can be stressful and exhausting. Quite frankly, it can suck! In this blog, we try to encourage you to take that trip with some tips to help make traveling with your kids stress-free. So, are you thinking about the gorgeous beaches and scenic national parks, but the thought of your little ones playing up totally freaks you out.
Most parents have similar stories of their children's tantrums whilst traveling. When that happens, it changes the mood of everyone. Let's lessen the chances of that from happening with these 5 awesome yet easy-to-follow ways to make flying with kids stress-free.
Table of Contents
Ask about your kids' interests
Ticking the bucket list of places you want to go is a typical scenario for most travelers. The view, checked! The food, checked! The distance, checked! Then, pack the luggage and head to airline points.
The question is, do those places offer activities that cater to your children's interests?
When planning your trip, select destinations with your children in mind and choose what you want to do with your entire family first. Do you want to spend time on cruise ships? watch colorful fish and corals through scuba diving? or go to parks and have a family picnic? The list goes on and on. What matters most is everyone enjoys the activities and keeps everyone happy on vacation.
In terms of interest, how old your kids are also matters. A 2-year-old child may have different hobbies and likes from an 8-year-old. As parents, you need to know what makes them happy and keeps them interested.
Here are a few things about children's interests in general:
0 to 2 years old:
They are the easiest to travel with. You just need to make sure that you create a comfortable environment for them and follow their daily routine.
2 to 4 years old:
They are fun-seekers. They love to engage in different sights around them. So, the destination must be interesting for them to explore and spark their curiosity. Open spaces like theme parks or any local parks are a great avenue for them to run around and burn off that excess toddler energy.
You can even meet some parents of other families in the park whom you can ask for a piece of advice on what to do best with toddlers: from the places they love, activities they do, street food they shouldn't eat, or local food that is best for kids.
5 to 12 years old:
They love to get involved in planning for the family travel. They can participate in searching for a new destination, hotel room amenities, or anything of their interest. You will be surprised at what your little ones come up with.
Activities are great, so provide them with various choices on your family vacation. For instance, when you go to the beach, they can do snorkeling, fishing, or building sandcastles. When you go to zoos or national parks, they can take photos, or feed the animals.
Kids in this age bracket will also enjoy the activities more especially if they are part of the decision-making. It makes them feel more excited to try out things they have planned.
Make a packing list for your family trip
Let’s face it, it's not easy to prepare for family travel. You need to prepare all the things your children need for the entire trip aside from your own bags. There are many boxes to tick on the checklist of items, including your kids' must-haves like their favorite toy, book, blanket, or gadgets. To make your whole family at ease, write a list of items you need to bring, especially if it is your first trip with your troops.
In general, kids need the following items on the upcoming trip:
Pants, shorts or skirts (It depends on the activities and the destination)
Underwear (you need to bring more than is required)
Jackets or sweatshirts
Sweaters or a jacket, if needed
Hats (for sunny days)
Bathers (for beach and pool destination)
Sneakers or sports shoes
Slippers or sandals
All you need to do is double-check the following common items or travel gear you need to put in your carry-on bag or checked luggage. Traveling with kids is not easy but when you plan ahead, it will make your family travel stress-free.
Here are some specific ideas you may consider in your packing list. They are divided into different age brackets to make it easier for you to identify what you should not need to forget.
0 to 2 years old:
This age range needs a lot of attention. As parents, you need to gear up yourself. Perhaps you are thinking about their clothes, essentials, car seats, and baby carriers and strollers to name a few. It might come to your mind the idea of having more than two hands to carry everything when you are traveling with kids. If only you can have a baby stroller and luggage in one to lessen your burden, why not? You can definitely grab one and have a stress-free family trip.
Here are the things you can include in your list:
Diaper and cream
Plastic bags (for those oops moments)
Milk (breastmilk or formula)
2 to 4 years old:
This age range also needs a lot of attention. They need a comfortable environment for them to stay happy and occupied. It's challenging to travel with kids at this age. They are bundles of energy. If they are not doing something fun, they tend to stand and run around.
Here are the things you may consider bringing with you in your carry-on bag:
Diaper, cream, and changing pads (if they are still used)
Extra set of clothes
5 to 12 years old:
Flying with older kids is much easier than traveling with toddlers. For one, you don't need to bring diapers and pads with you and they can carry their own bag. Remember, getting them involved in choosing their things will make them feel more invested and excited for the destination that they will conquer. Older kids would have started to build their likes and interests, so guide them towards their interests and see them shine. Here are the things you can have for them:
Tumbler for water or their favorite drinks
Jacket or sweater
Favorite pillow or blanket for long-haul flights
Family members should know what they need to bring and what are the things allowed by the airport security. Spending time packing according to needs will result in more enjoyable family trips.
Know your kids' schedules
The two most important factors to take into account when traveling with kids are food and rest. With a full tummy kids sleep better and with enough rest, they are happier.
When you are flying with kids, make sure to consider their sleep schedules. Check the time zone difference from your place of origin to your destination. Young and old, jet lag can affect anyone traveling across numerous time zones in a short period of time. Your body's internal clock (circadian rhythms) tells you when to stay awake and when to go to sleep.
If you are with infants, secure a bassinet by booking it in advance. Flight attendants will be more than happy to assist you to your specific seats and ensure the bassinet is set up correctly. Please keep in mind that during taxis, take-offs, and landings the bassinet will be stowed away. Small kids need to have enough sleep, too. They may also experience jet lag after their flight. Hopping from one time zone to another in a connecting flight makes them feel dizzy. So, if you are up to the next trip, refuel their energy by having enough rest.
One major reason infants and young kids get grumpy are that they are hungry. Infants will cry to express this feeling. It's a good idea to bring enough milk supply (breastmilk or formula) or baby food and have it ready to go. With a full tummy, it aids, and it's easier for them to fall asleep. When you travel with kids aged 3 and above, remember to pack their favorite snacks as this will help them settle into their long and or short trips.
Choose the best airline for family travel
There are various factors that travelers look for in an airline. In general, a safe and hassle-free flight is what everyone wants. Good amenities and friendly flight attendants will make a great trip memorable. Let's look into what needs to be taken into consideration when traveling with children.
Price and Convenience
Traveling with family members can be considered to be a luxury. People find ways to make family travel exciting yet pocket-friendly. Finding low-cost airlines is one of the first things on the budget list together with flying times. If you are traveling with three kids, child discounts are a good deal. There are seat sales and promos offered by some airlines so ensure you hunt around.
Apart from price, convenience during the flight should be put into consideration. What's the use of a cheap flight that is unreliable with poor customer service? If you are traveling with kids, getting to your destination with ease is a major part of it as the journey can make or break your mood for the whole vacation.
As parents, it is more convenient to check in online, especially if you have young toddlers. A travel stroller is a must to help you get from A to B around the airport and to your destination. It not only makes for a more seamless journey but helps with your sanity by reducing the need to carry your child, especially in unforeseen circumstances such as long delays and rushing to your gate. However, carrying a standard stroller with your luggage and small children can also be a hassle.
How can we make traveling with kids stress-free? Getting a stroller luggage carry-on in one would make a great difference! Your luggage will serve as your baby carrier at the same time. It fits the plane's overhead bin so you don't need to worry about getting separated from your bag, stroller, and your baby. Have your belongings and your child safe by your side as you zoom through the airport the hero.
Keep your kids entertained
Staying confined in the same place for extended periods of time is no fun; kids need activities to keep them occupied. Making sure that your child has something to do during the trip will give you time to rest and recuperate.
For infants, since they love to sleep during the flight, a cozy place to sleep like a soft blanket and sheets will make them feel relaxed. When they wake up, you can grab their colorful rattles, squeeze toys, large rings, textured balls, or soft dolls for them to hold, shake, or suck on.
If they love listening to stories, you can also bring audiobooks; lullabies, and song recordings. Manipulative toys such as hanging pictures in which they can identify the colors and shapes would also be entertaining for them.
Children aged 2 to 5 years old love to grab things with their hands. Coloring kits provided by an airline would also be a fun activity for them, so be sure to ask the flight attendants if the airline provides such activites.
For older children, watching new movies or educational videos of their interest is an effective way to spend their time during the flight. They can download their favorite movies in advance or hunt from the movie library offered by the airline. They can also play their favorite games, read eBooks, write journals, and listen to favorite music. All making the trip much more enjoyable.
Making kids happy is a joy to every parent's heart. Giving genuine happiness to the family is priceless. The time spent with them is so precious that whenever you are with them, you want to make the most out of it. Seeing your children draw smiles on their faces will erase all the stressful days at work and in business.
Discover the world together and share your waves of laughter. Have a memorable stress-free family vacation. Learn more about how to make road trips fun and follow this family traveler guide for your next family getaway.
Stay well, be well and enjoy the ride.
The TernX Family