Traveling with Kiddos…Part 2

Over the holidays, I wrote a post about traveling with kids. Well, we recently traveled again, and I’m back with more tips. We’ve been on 7 round-trip flights with just Nate, and now we’ve done two round trip flights with both kids, and I’ve learned a lot from this. We’ve had our share of horrific meltdowns, but overall, it hasn’t been as tough as I thought it would be.

Here’s my addition to my previous list…

  • Really talk it up. Flights leave at crazy times. On several occasions we’ve had to wake Nate up super early, way before normal. Nothing is worse than starting a trip with a screaming toddler. Talk up how exciting the airport is, how much fun it is to eat an overpriced Egg McMuffin at 5am in the terminal. Make them look forward to it and hide any negativity you might have about it.
  • Pack bribes. This is horrible parenting. Horrible. I know. But in some situations, ones you don’t encounter in everyday life, like say, making a 3 year old sit still for 4.5 hours in a row (especially when said 3 year old spends NONE of that time asleep!!) you need incentives, shall we say. Gummy bears, Dum-Dums, and Tootsie Rolls, when used in moderation, can save you…big time. Especially true if they’re a very infrequent treat in normal life.
  • Think about the weather at the destination. You know what’s not fun? Overtired, whining kids in hot sweatpants and hoodies waiting at baggage claim in a topical climate. If where you’re headed is much hotter or colder, dress them (and you!) in layers.
  • For potty trained kids, talk about the “fun, tiny potty on the airplane” ahead of time. When my oldest was newly potty trained, he feared unpredictable potties. Loud flushes, the automatic flush, extra-giant seats…the same went for the weird, tiny potties on airplanes. Talk about how awesome and fun they are before the trip to avoid escorting a screaming, red-faced child out of the airplane bathroom.
  • Let things go if they don’t really matter. You asked the flight attendant for ginger ale in your sippy cup at 6am? Fine. Whatever. You ripped up your SkyMall? Shove the pieces into that little air sickness bag and move on. Now is not the time for being overly strict. The kids are probably a little stressed, you’re probably a little stressed, and the other non-parent passengers probably want to sleep without hearing a kid whining. Be firm on things like staying in your seat, not kicking the seat in front of you, not screaming, etc. Let the other stuff go, just for the duration of the flight (i.e., when other people are trapped there with your kiddos!!).

Any other tips?? I’d love to hear them!! 🙂 Happy travels, everyone!

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