As a mother, there are several times when fear and anxiety instantly creep up and come out of nowhere. One of those times is the mention of traveling with kids. The horror stories we have read on the internet or heard from friends coupled with the what-ifs nearly paralyze us into turning down these much-needed opportunities. Mommas, snap out of it.
I still remember the first airplane trip I took with my first born. It was right before going back to work from maternity leave so she was probably 10 weeks old. Now let me confess when it comes to mothering I lack all necessary experience. Like she was the first baby I willingly held, changed a diaper (but not until days after she was born, thank you C-section nurses and hubs), fed, etc. You get the picture. Lack of experience means you need to rely on intuition and street smarts. So while packing our carryon bags I knew to include drink coupons for all the surrounding passengers that would have to hear my first-time traveler scream for 3 hours.
Well, 3 hours in and not a peep. All those drink tickets were mine! It was at that moment that I decided to let go of the what-ifs of traveling with kids and instead think of the best ways to minimalize the drama that may or may not happen.
Ever since my kids were old enough to carry their own backpack, I started putting together a little travel bag of essentials. This has become an activity I enjoy as much as making an Easter basket or wrapping birthday presents. The anticipation of the opening makes me so excited and hard to fall asleep the night before the trip. Not kidding. With my girls being 3 and 5 I am still able to pack their bags and the car while keeping our next destination a secret until those early morning wake up calls where we throw clothes on them and buckle them in their seatbelts before they even realize whats going on. Here is a great example of how we do travel mornings.
The kids backpacks are something they have come to love as well. They aren’t allowed to be opened until we get on the plane. This minimizes the chance of boredom.
TIPS TO TRAVEL WITH KIDS
What Goes In Travel Bag
This was a travel bag for our trip to Miami to visit the Museum of Ice Cream. It also worked out perfectly that Targets Dollar Spot had lots of ice cream goodies. That is typically my first stop since I’m probably already at Target. I also love Amazon if I dont feel like putting pants on for the day. I try to buy things that come in sets so I can divide between the girls or save for a later trip too. Yes I have gift closet for this kind of stuff.
- Coloring Books, Activity Books, Sticker Books
- Paint with Water Books
- Slime or Play Doh
- Tablet with preloaded games
- L.O.L Surprise Dolls or Pets (recommend steering clear of confetti pop version)
- Magnetic Take and Play Games
- Card Games
- Hand puppets than can double as dolls
If you are super lazy (or efficient, all about how you perceive it) you can also buy The Bag by Fun on the Fly because according to Google their ability to market this means I stole this idea from them.
Traveling isn’t necessarily the best time to play sanctimommy so my way of thinking is let them have the fun stuff if it means we all travel in peace. I take a little bit of what we have laying around and make individiual bags for everyone so there is no need to fight or share.
- Apple sauce or fruit squeeze pouches double as both food and thirst quenchers when you are almost through security yet the Sahara Desert has moved into their mouths.
- Pretzels or their favorite salty snack
- Nuts or Trailmix
- Their fave candy. Gummy bears or suckers help with their ears as long as age appropriate.
- Cheese Sticks
- Lara Bars