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Cheat Sheet for Traveling with Kids

Remember when traveling used to be fun? As a kid all of the preparation of packing your bag and getting on that airplane was almost just as fun as the Magical Kingdom and the beautiful Floridian beaches. As a parent the world gets flipped upside down- but that’s ok! Here are some helpful tips to get you through dreaded traveling day of your vacation.

The Packing

Every time you embark on a new airplane you are given the classic instructions to, in the case of an emergency, help your children place their oxygen masks on before your own. The same is the case for packing. The kids’ bags always get packed first. Make a checklist and ensure that every child has the same items and then stow away the backpacks where they can’t touch them and take anything out.

Also make it fun and always have their bags be carry on. The airport may be a drag for you, but it’s still the highlight of your kid’s year and carrying their own bag makes it all the more real for them. Plus now you don’t have to pay for a bag and no waiting for 20 minutes after the plane has landed to retrieve the bags.

The Airport

In my opinion parents make a bigger deal about the airport than they need to.

No, you don’t have everything under your control so you can’t pull over on the side of the road whenever your kid needs to pee or when you need to yell at them without looking like a maniac.

Yes, you’re in public so that’s more embarrassment when your 2-year-old throws a tantrum, but it also means more distractions and we all know from personal experience that boredom is one of the primary factors for mischievous, unwanted behavior. Now instead of your 6-year-old chewing your ear off with 100 obscure questions in the car, he’s asking them to the unfortunate, but polite gentleman in the neighboring seat.

You have the priceless advantage of the social pressure placed on everyone else to offer a helping hand. Cause honestly no one wants to listen to a screaming baby on a plane so they’ll either sit as far away as possible from you or right next to you in which case they’ll be holding baby bottles, toy soldiers, and answering your sons’ questions.

Everything in between

Your primary job as a parent during a family trip is provider of food. It is the answer to almost all of your woes. Children already have a much higher metabolism than adults so they’re eating every few hours. Pre-emptive move on your part is to have those pretzels and juice a hand reach away at all times.

Vacation time

And finally now is your time to relax. Set up station on your beautiful Floridian beach and follow this list of very specific instructions to care for your children: Feed, lather in sunscreen, repeat. And then after a week of relaxation reread this article for your trip home.