As soon as I posted my instagram stories about traveling to Seattle with my little ones, so many of you guys asked for tips on flying and traveling with children. This was the first time I traveled alone with two children but Liam and I traveled by ourselves multiple times. I’ve learned a couple of tips from my mistakes and successes that I’m going to share today. I’m no expert in traveling with kids by any means but I believe that these tips will help!
TIPS ON FLYING WITH CHILDREN:
1) Plan your flight around nap time
Liam has probably been on 20+ flights and he has been asleep for 90% of them. I usually try to find super early or late flights so they can be asleep majority of the time. If you have a baby under 1, wearing them in a wrap or sling really helps with putting them to bed. It did for me at least. Chloe slept the entire flight because she was in a sling. It also makes it easier in the airport because your hands will be free.
2) Show up at the airport 2 hours early
All airlines already recommend being at the airport 2 hours early but if you’re anything like me, you probably showed up an hour before having kids. If you’re traveling with children, I highly recommend showing up 2 or more hours before your flight. Getting through security is rough and you never know what’s going to happen. Give you and your family time to use the bathroom and grab snacks before your flight. It’s so stressful to run to your gate, so show up early.
3)Keep your children entertained
Now that Liam is older and doesn’t take naps, I knew I had to keep him entertained. I didn’t want to pack a ton of toys because I already had to carry so much. I packed 2/3 of his favorite action figure toys and downloaded a few movies and puzzle games on his iPad. If your family doesn’t use an iPad, here is an amazing blog post on toy ideas for the airplane.
4)Don’t get frustrated when your children cry or get fussy
Babies and children have a strong sense of how we feel. If we are trusted or angry, it rubs off on them. If your child cries or screams on the airplane, it’s OKAY! Attempt to calm down your child the best that you can. If someone is going to complain about your crying babies, tell them they can go buy a first class ticket next time. At the same time, be considerate. A flight probably isn’t the best time to let your child “cry it out”.
TIPS ON TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN: 1) Share your time Whenever I’m traveling with my children, I make sure that I’m also making plans for things that they enjoy as well. (This is if you have toddlers, babies usually just sit and chill in their strollers, lol). Liam absolutely loves going to the park or the museum. We went to the park every single day that we were in Seattle. The last day we only did activities for Liam. We went to the zoo, aquarium, and the park. He doesn’t have fun going out to cute brunch spot or shopping so I make sure he’s enjoying the trip as well. He’s usually in a good mood or behaves well when he’s looking forward to an activity that he loves.
2) Try to stick to a schedule Even though we were on vacation, I tried my best to stick to our usually schedule; food schedule, nap time, ect. Obviously, things aren’t gong to be exactly like they are at home. I think the sleeping schedule was the most important. It worked best for us to be back at the hotel before 7:30 pm to get them ready for bed. Once night we were out late and both the kids were getting grump and tired…it was not pretty.
3)Pace yourself and the children If your babies aren’t use to being on the go and going around the city all day, take it slow. Liam is use to being out and about all day so doing 5 things in one day was completely normal for him. If your children are more comfortable with doing 1 or 2 activities per day at home, try to stick to that routine. It’s not worth taking a trip to that thing you’ve been dying to see for years with a crying/upset child.
4) Have fun and be present Traveling can sometimes be stressful with being out of the norm. I try my best to soak in everything during my trip. I’m horrible at being on my phone all day but in Seattle, I was mostly on my phone at night. My phone actually told me I was down by about 40% on my usage! Being there with my children and Michelle was so fun and memorable. It was by far one of my favorite trips ever!
I hope my tips have been informative. Again, I’m no expert in traveling with children. We did have our stressful, crazy, and crying moments. I continue to learn everyday about I can be the “perfect” parent.