If you love to travel, you know how different it can be traveling alone compared to traveling with kids. While it takes more planning and more patience to travel with kids, it can definitely be done. Here are a few tips to make things go smoothly:
1. Leave extra time in between plans. You never know what could happen when it comes to kids, and whatever it is, it’ll probably set you back on time, so make sure you’re early and allow some wiggle room.
2. Always have snacks. Whether your child is hungry or just throwing a tantrum, snacks will always help to calm them down.
3. When heading to the airport, make sure everyone is wearing shoes that are easy to get on and off. It will make going through security much easier.
4. Be prepared with family games. Games can come in handy in a number of situations, from waiting in the airport to a long car ride to killing time during your flight and more.
5. Pack lots of clean-up accessories. From hand sanitizer to wipes to stain remover pens and more, you’ll likely need everything you pack, so pack a lot of it.
6. Conduct an initial bag count of all of your family’s luggage, then use that count everywhere you go to make sure no one leaves behind a bag.
7. If the airport has a play area, take advantage of it. You’ll be glad you did.
8. Pack an extra pair of clothing for yourself and each child in your carry-on. This way, if there’s a major spill or someone vomits, no one will have to sit in messy clothes.
9. Print out copies of your reservations and your itineraries. Though you can access nearly everything from your phone, it’s always good to be prepared.
10. Bring several forms of entertainment to keep the kids kids busy on the plane or in the car. Try coloring books, magazines, mp3 players, tablets, books, and more.
11. Wait to check your stroller. Most airports will allow you to check your stroller at the gate, so you can use it all the way up until you board.
12. To make mornings easier, pack each outfit in a separate ziplock bag. This way, you can just grab a bag and use it.
13. Wherever you go (hotels, restaurants, etc.), check to see if they have a children’s discount or a family deal. This could save you some money.
14. If you’re traveling with more than one adult, try giving each other small breaks from the children to help keep your focus (and sanity).
15. Be patient. There’s a good chance something will go wrong on your trip, so just learn to be patient and go with the flow.
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