Traveling with kids differs for everyone. But however you put it or plan it out it is not an easy task. I’ve come to the conclusion, 9 years and 4 kids later, that it basically comes down to luck and money. Not what you wanted to hear right? Luck if you have a well tempered little one (s). Luck if you happen to get the right ticket agent who will hook you up. Luck if the flight is not full and you can stretch out over a couple of seats. Luck if you have no delays or hiccups. Money, you ask? Well, money, can buy you lots of things, like extra seats, traveling nannies or flying private, which of course would be the ultimate easiest way to travel with kids. Yes, I know very far fetched but I’m just speaking the truth. You drive your car right up to the plane. Load anything and everything you want on the plane. You can stretch and roam about and eat catered food. Your kids can even talk to the pilots and see what goes on in the cockpit. Then the nice pilots land the plane. Open the door and viola your car awaits you and you’re off. And this pretty much would explain how Brand and Angelina can travel the world with 6 kids often and easily (that and add in a couple of nannies + an entire staff). Ok, now back to reality.
I’m a planner, and thus I plan, very strategically, on how to make travel as easy as possible. Of course, it doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes it goes way worse than expected + surprisingly sometimes it goes better. None the less, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way:
01/ Technology. Load those iPads / iPods up and let them roll. Be sure to bring earphones that work with small little ears (ones that you wear like a headband and cover the entire ear have worked best for us).
02 / Snacks . Bring lots of snacks + then some. Whatever it takes, yes, even candy (suckers last a long time).
03 /Change of Clothes. I forgot a change of clothes once (duh) and of course LB had an explosion. Thank God it was summer time + a short flight. He ended up wearing a slightly stained white onsie.
04 / Pain Reliever. I don’t know if people still give there kids a little “something” when flying, but I always bring a little Tylenol for sensitive ears (do you?). Gum is also a great idea for take off and landings.
05 / Coloring / Craft . Ok, you know you want to bring something like this. Go ahead and do it. I recommend Crayola Color Wonder coloring books + markers (no mess). However, prepared to pull the iPad back out after 3.4 minutes.
06/ Bottles. If you are still nursing or bottle feeding, bring enough milk (or plan to nurse) for take off and landing and extra for in between. The swallowing helps babies ears when you are climbing in altitude.
07 / Buy an Extra Seat. Here is where money and luck comes in. If money is not an issue, by all means, buy an extra seat for your baby. You might not have the best luck and may end up squished between two people with baby screaming on your lap.
Although traveling with children can be hard and, yes, very tiresome. In the end, it is worth it. Hours of pain for days of fun. And lets not forget, memories that last a lifetime. Yes, even those travel nightmares end up being some of the funniest memories and most told stories.
What about you dear reader, do you have any tried and true traveling tips? Or any hilarious traveling with children stories? Do tell!
ps- We did have a lovely vacation. Mostly just hanging out at the pool, soaking in the sunshine, eating great food, a little shopping + some horse back riding. A few more pictures here.