So... I'm not a mom. I will be someday, but I am an aunt and a teacher. So let's just say, I might not have my own kids, but I have experience with kiddos!
One thing I have taken from my few years teaching is you must have several tricks up your sleeve and be on your "A" game to keep kids occupied and happy. The main thing is to be organized and teach your kids how to be a good traveler. Many people stop going places when they have kids because it's too hard, but I promise, kids can learn to be excellent travelers!
I have taken my niece several places in the car and on a plane and considering how she can be stubborn minded, it all was a piece of cake.
First, last October we flew to Texas to see my sister. She was 7 years old and never been on an airplane. Here are a few tips I recommend when traveling with a child in the air:
1.) Always arrive early to your gate so you have time to prepare your child for the flight. We always use the restroom and grab a snack before we fly. We like watching the planes land and take flight while we wait for ours. There is nothing more frightening then running through the airport about to miss your flight with a child by your side.
2.) Dress your child in COMFY clothes and always pack an extra change of clothes in your carry on no matter how old they are. Emma was 7 years old we she flew and was obviously potty trained for years but she got motion sickness on take off and when we were descending. She threw up in a jacket she had on and luckily we had an extra shirt she could change into. Also, have your child wear shoes that are easy to get on and off. Emma wore velcro tennis shoes that are easy for her to get on and off. When going through security, the last thing you want is try to get difficult shoes on your child. A few times we went through the easy security and because she was a child we didn't have to take off her shoes. That was perfect.
3.) If your child is old enough to carry a small backpack, put all their goodies in it. We had a change of clothes, snacks, iPad, coloring sheets, books, trinket toys, you name it in Emma's bag. She liked being responsible for her own belongings and it was easier than putting her stuff with mine.
5.) Have a meeting point just in case your child gets lost. NEVER leave your child anywhere, but if for some reason, make sure they know your name and where you are going so they can tell someone. Emma was right by our side the entire time, but with crowds, you never know what could happen.
I just know you'll love flying with kids with my easy tips! You CAN love traveling with your kids! I promise!
Traveling in a CAR
Emma and I have been lots of places in the car. The longest we have traveled in the car was about 9 hours when she was really little. We have also gone to the beach, driven solo to Raleigh and 1-2 hour trips here and there. Here are a few tips for car traveling.
This picture was taken when we were waiting on my dad to get back in the car. The car was NOT moving... I just had to share this picture because she was soooo cute!
Car traveling is easier than airplane because you're not relying on other people for your transportation, you just drive.
1.) Same with airplanes. Try to leave 30 minutes early to give you plenty of time to arrive at your destination.
2.) Have planned stops. When traveling to Raleigh, I always stop at the same gas station to get gas and go to the restroom. We always pack our own snacks, but I did let Emma get a cute little Coke on our way back through because she was a good traveler. With kids it is sooo hard not to stop every hour so that is why you have planned stops. It is way easier to be patient when you know there will be another stop soon.
3.) Pack plenty of snacks, DVD player, iPad, iPod, paper, crayons, pens, etc. Being prepared beats listening to "are we there yet", or "I'm bored" Play games while they are riding, sing songs, etc. Car time is the best bonding time. I taught Emma how to spell her name and her when her birthday was just by talking to her EVERYDAY in the car after school!
4.) Dress your child in comfy clothes and pack a blanket and pillow if you are going for more than an hour each way. I mean do you want to wear uncomfortable clothes when your traveling? Me either. Emma wears flip flops or slide ons so when we stop, she just slips them on. It's always nice to feel comfy while riding.
5.) Travel at night. This is great because you can travel while the kids are sleeping and make minimal stops. The only downside of this is being tired when you arrive at your destination and the kids are wide awake!
This is three year old Emma in her car seat! A safe baby is a happy girlie!
Don't you just want to take your kids with you somewhere now?
Well there you have it folks. I hope you enjoyed my travel tips!
What helps you get to your destination?
I hope this spring and summer you stay safe and enjoy your travels!