Travelling (air travel in particular) can test your patience, your relationships and your sanity! At the best of times, long flights are uncomfortable and exhausting. Add kids into the mix and flying home for the holidays is suddenly akin to scaling Mount Everest barefoot.
We’ve all been there, so we thought instead of nervously anticipating the misery of holiday air travel with family in tow; we’d compile a list of 6 ‘life hacks’ for travelling with kids.
1. Build in extra time
When travelling with kids, every task seems to expand. That’s why building in extra time where you’ll need it to account for toilet runs, snack breaks and exploring is crucial!
One sanity saving tip we love is renting a stroller at the airport to make the transition from security to the boarding that much smoother.
Most airports offer this service for free to families travelling with kids. Just ask!
Another alternative to the stroller is the baby backpack. This option allows your naturally curious baby to feel part of the action as they take in the sights and sounds of the airport from the safety of your shoulders.
2. Like A Boy Scout, Always Be Prepared
Emergency diaper change required? Hungry toddler? Expired Passport? No need to panic if you’re prepared! Learning to anticipate a variety of possible scenarios is a skill parents acquire quickly after a little one is born. This kind of forethought can help control travel stress levels before they skyrocket by ensuring some basics are covered.
Checking travel document expiry dates a few months before your departure, packing an emergency carry on diaper change bag and portioning out travel snacks are all crucial to the pre-travel prep.
3. Be A‘Seat Guru’
Leaving seat assignments up to chance on a long flight can be like playing Russian roulette. One way to make sure you’re making the best out of the situation is to select your seat before you check in.
Using a site like seat guru, you can enter your flight details and up will pop information about the row and seat you’ve been assigned. This hack is a must-do for parents traveling with infants as some bulkhead seating actually offers bassinets for infants! Win!
4. Pack Like A Pro
Packing a carry on is hard enough to do just for yourself. Figuring out what the in-flight essentials will be for a toddler means quadrupling the effort. The best advice we’ve heard so far is making sure to pack not only a change of clothes for your kids but one for you as well! That way, if the cookies toss, you and your little one will have fresh clean clothes to change into after the clean up.
5. Keep The Good Times Rolling
There was a time when ‘eye spy’ was the height of travel entertainment. But, thanks to tablets and smartphones, children’s travel entertainment has evolved dramatically. One great way to keep your child engaged and entertained is through e-learning games and videos.
We absolutely LOVE this plane hack that keeps an iPhone or another small device suspended for your child in their seat!
6. Pause and Enjoy
Amidst all the chaos of preparing yourself and your family for a trip, it’s easy to forget why you’re undertaking this marathon to being with. Taking a moment to stop and enjoy the experience of travelling together and to remember why it is you’re embarking on the journey as a family is crucial.
While the process can be stressful, it’s also an opportunity to spend some uninterrupted time with your kids away from the siren call of work emails and conference calls.
Have travel tips of your own? We’d love to hear them!