traveling with kids

Traveling with Kids – 10 Tips to Help You Survive Your Summer Getaway

In case you haven’t noticed by now, having kids can make even the simplest of tasks a major production. Now that summer is almost here it’s time to start thinking about that much-anticipated vacation. Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are my top 10 tips for traveling with kids to survive your getaway with your sanity (mostly) intact.

10 Tips for Traveling with Kids

      1. Pack Snacks. It sounds obvious, but it can be easy to overlook. This is probably the one time where over-packing is a good thing. While a rest-stop may have your child’s favorite snack, it’s not a chance I would be willing to take. If you’re flying you know the prices beyond the checkpoint are a *tad* inflated.
        Pro Tip: If you’re traveling in a confined space (train, airplane, etc) opt for nut-free snacks, even if your child doesn’t have food allergies. Always wipe down their hands after snacking. Traveling with kids who have food allergies can be daunting and this small step won’t go unappreciated by others.
      2. Know Travel Regulations Regarding Infant Food. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has very accommodating regulations for children’s food and drinks. TSA allows breast milk, formula, and even juice are in “reasonable quantities.” They are not subjected to the 3.4oz-fit-in-a-quart-size-bag regulation like other liquids. Notify the TSA agent that you have one of these liquids (or baby food) and take it out of your carry on. TSA regulations can be found here.
        Pro Tip: You do not need to be traveling with your child in order to bring breast milk on the plane
      3. Bring your Carseat. Don’t check it. While airlines will allow you to gate-check your child’s car seat, they cannot guarantee what will happen to the seat while in cargo. The Federal Aviation Administration strongly urges parents to restrain their children in an FAA approved seat during air travel. Not only will your child be safe in the event of turbulence, but they won’t be walking (or crawling) around a dirty airplane or getting underfoot of crew members. The FAA regulations can be found here.
      4. Activities. Generally speaking, an occupied child is a happy child. Screen time for children is a hot-button topic. All I’m going to say on the matter is if you bring an electronic device for your child, make sure it is fully charged and you have headphones. For good old-fashion entertainment when traveling with kids, I like WikkiStix and the License Plate Game. The best part is you don’t have to worry about a battery dying!
      5. Babywear Through the Airport. Wearing your child in the airport will make the process much smoother. You won’t have to worry about your child running off or crawling around the airport. The TSA agent may ask you to remove your child child from the carrier during screening.
      6. Nurse or Offer a Bottle or Pacifier During Take Off and Landing. Sucking helps equalize pressure, making your baby less uncomfortable due to changes in air pressure. If your child has sensitive ears or an ear infection, consult with your physician about safely flying and how you can make your child more comfortable.
      7. Divide Diapers and Wipes Between Checked Bags. Include at least a day and a half’s worth of diapers in your carry on. If the FAA loses your luggage this will buy you time before you have to head to the convenience store.
      8. Divide Clothing Between Bags. You only lose your luggage once before you realize it’s a good idea to carry on your toilet trees and a change of clothing. It’s also not a bad idea to put an outfit for your travel companion in your checked bag (and vice versa), just in case.
      9. traveling with kidsPack Extra Pacifiers. If your little one loves his pacifier, pack #allthepacifiers. If one drops at home it’s not a big deal. But if it drops in the airport or on the plane or train you’re going to have a problem. I also really like these bibs for traveling to keep pacifiers safe from the ground.
      10. Relax! It (probably) won’t be as bad as you’re anticipating. And if it is? Well, take solace in knowing that you won’t have to see your flight-mates ever again!


Additional Reading

Survive the Holidays – Tips for Dealing with Unsolicited Parenting Advice

C is for Car Seats



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