You see it, that side eye that everyone else at the gate gives you as you stroll up with your young kids. No one wants to sit next to you, heck you aren’t even sure you want to either. Traveling with kids can be a huge ball of stress and during the holidays, it’s ten times worse. Over the years and over two dozen flights with my kids I have fine tuned the art of mostly stress-free flights, how to pack a great carry-on and which battles to pick along the way. Below are my holiday travel must haves for traveling with babies, toddlers, and kids.
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1. Baby Carrier – We used the Ergo Baby Carrier more than any other carrier and traveling solo was a cinch with this. It’s equally rad for trips to the bus stop with a 3-year-old who is certain her legs no longer work. The other thing is that sometimes when children are in new places they get anxious, being in the carrier can be all they need. I know that was true for my youngest!
2.Stuff to keep them busy! If they are old enough let them pack their own carry-on, if not fill it with fun toys or try a kit like Kiwi Crate, my kids love the craft that ours came with, but you can search through the shop and find Single Kiwi Crates that your kids would love. Or set up a Monthly Subscription and pack one with you.
3. Stuff to read. A stack of paperbacks for little ones, and a full Kindle for older ones! I love it when my son reads to my daughter like he was doing in this photo! Another tip is to take books to trade with friends and family once we arrive so that my kids get new books, but we aren’t adding to the overall luggage weight.
4. Label everything. EVERYTHING. Sippy cups ( also a must have), strollers, your kids’ carry-ons! I have yet to use a label that works better than Mabel’s Labels! They sent me labels when my daughter was born, and we are still using them, practically every kid coat in our house has one of these adorable labels in them.
5. Comfy clothes they can sleep in but if your inlaws surprise you with a dinner out as soon as you land they don’t look like they were just on a flight for 4 hours! Our favorites are Hanna Andersson and Tea Collection .
6. Motrin, Gum, lollipops, or chewy candies. If your kids are like mine, landing can be painful. Giving them something to chew, suck or in my daughter’s case over the counter pain meds can be the only way to land without tears.
7. Great kid earphones! For us, this means earphones that my kids want to wear. We got these kid ones at Target, but I have seen them in other big box stores too. Plug them in and listen to the in-flight entertainment, a movie on your own tablet or an audio book!
8. Snacks. Our go to snacks are zbars, fruit leather, and Trader Joe’s cheesy crackers. Take whatever will help you keep your kids from getting hangry ( hungry + angry) sometimes kids are so excited about the trip they don’t eat, and you don’t notice until you are already in the middle of meltdown city.
9. A sense of humor and an extra helping of patience. It feels like everyone is watching you but most aren’t, and the people who get on the plane and give you the stink eye before you even board has already decided your kid is terrible. Don’t waste your energy trying to wow them with how wonderful your kids are just having fun and ignore them.
What is your MUST have item for holiday travel? Tell me about it here or on my Facebook Page!