Top 5 Tips for Traveling with Kids

With the holidays quickly approaching and lots of people traveling near and far to visit loved ones, I thought a Travel Tips post would be helpful. With that being said, I should disclose that I just flew with my twin 22 month olds AND my 7 pound maltepoo (and of course the hubs) to visit my parents today. What I can tell you, we are all still alive. However, traveling is so draining. Add little people (and a dog) to the mix and we are wiped out! I will be heading to bed directly after completing this post. Tomorrow is a new (non travel) day and I look forward to rest and relaxation on our visit . . . until we have to board that plane again and do it all over to get home. Maybe we should consider this vacation location as a permanent home. Mhmmm. Something to consider.

Top 5 Tips:

1. PREPARE. PREPARE. PREPARE. - I cannot stress this enough. Confirm all travel arrangements - flights, car rentals, accommodations, important addresses and numbers, etc. Plan for who will take care of your home, mail, pets, etc. at home while you are away. Pre-pay any bills you need to pay while you are away. Gather all family members identification documents. I always travel with copies of my kids birth certificates because they do not have ID yet. All of these little things will eliminate day of stresses that you do not need to be worrying about. Trust me your kids will be stress enough.

2. LISTS - I am a HUGE proponent of lists. I live by my lists. I have a master list just for traveling with sections for each family member. I just add the quantity needed for each item depending on how long we will be gone, if there is a washer and dryer, etc. Once the item is packed it is checked off the list. Takes the thought out of packing!

3. PLASTIC BAGS - Yes. I am serious. I use them for everything! The Ziploc bags in all sizes.
What I put in my bags:
- an extra outfit for each child
- snacks
- diapers, wipes, smell good potty bags, a diaper changing pad
- kid set of plate, fork, spoon, sippy cup, bib
- my wallet, cell phone, lip gloss (I usually don't carry on my purse. I just slip those items in my all purpose (by all purpose I mean kid purpose) travel bag.
- used or dirty clothes, dishes
- garbage, diapers
I always pack extra bags because you never know when you will need them. And once you start using them you will find tons of uses. It is so nice to have everything in your travel bag organized and neat is separate bags. And nothing gets messy when you have wet or dirty items.

4. KID ITEMS - Pack snacks. And when you think you have packed enough, pack more. You never know how long you will be sitting on the runway. Lots of Goldfish crackers could be necessary. Pack age appropriate items for your little ones. Today in our travel bags we had busy bags with stickers and a notebook (big hit), flashcards, a few small books, their favorite small blankets and the iPad.

5. SENSE of HUMOR - Do not forget this at home! Regardless of how much you plan, I promise you something unexpected and not ideal will happen. Expect it. Kids get tired traveling too. And they can sense your stress. Maybe your child will lay in the middle of the concourse because he wants to nap, or maybe your dog will spot another dog in the security line and bark uncontrollably, or maybe your child will wet through their entire outfit. All of those things happened to us today. My husband looked at us and said, "we are THAT family." And we were. But we laughed, pretended like we weren't being embarrassing and were thrilled when our plane landed. And even if it is awful, most likely you will never see those people again.

Happy Travels!

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