If there was any aspect of our upcoming trip that completely terrified me and my husband it was the idea of our three crazy children cooped up in an airplane with no exit plan. Tears, arms flailing, blood curdling screaming, oh I could picture all the heart warming scenarios. And in the presence of a 100 strangers staring at us? Ah yes, that sounded awesome! With this picture in my mind I went into complete research mode asking seasoned parent travelers how they survived the air travel and created some Tips for Traveling with Kids. With a little preparation in the days before our trip we had relatively calm, and dare I say enjoyable?, plane flight.
TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH KIDS: HOW TO PACK
When traveling with young children accidents are inevitable; peed pants, apple juice down the shirt, throw up, all possibilities are on the table. Using gallon sized plastic storage bags I create a full set of clothes for each child for every day we will be on vacation. Each bag contain a shirt, shorts/pants, underwear/diaper and socks. The outside of the bags have the child’s name and corresponding day of the week. For the plain ride I packed a carry on bag with 2 sets of these plastic bags for each child. When Quinn freaked out after a slight amount of turbulence caused his apple juice to dump in his lap all I had to do was reach into my carry on, pull out his plastic bag and quickly change him. Crisis averted. Added bonus of this plastic bag system is that my husband can get my kids quickly dressed without them looking like clowns plus our suitcase stays nice and tidy.
Snacks and toys were the other crucial part to our successful trip. Here are some of the items I packed in our carry on. I kept them a secret until we were in the airplane and then brought them out on a need basis. AKA: when my kids started to show signs of meltdown, surprise!, a new toy or treat would magically appear.
TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH KIDS: WHAT TO BUY
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Unlike most bars full of additives and hard to read ingredients LARABARs have 3-5 ingredients. The peanut butter cookie bar has dates, peanuts and salt. That’s it! When traveling, these are my go-to snacks for me and my kids.
Crayola Mini Coloring Pages
These were the biggest hit of the trip! Each coloring page kit comes with a set of mini markers and 80 small coloring sheets. The book-like carrying case is a super cute design. We had three different sets- Toy Story, Mickey Mouse and Cars.
Small Toy Figurines
My kids love dramatic play. We purchased a large selection of small Sesame Street and Toy Story figurines. I was amazed at how long these kept their attention. They happily made up stories and marched them along their seat back trays.
Maxell Safe Soundz Headphones
Our children were delighted to have their very own TV screens on the airplane. While the airline did provide earphones they were not exactly kid-friendly. These headphones were comfortable and have a volume control feature so little ears don’t get hurt. Added bonus: my kids were so excited to watch a show that I actually had time to watch a REAL adult show too!
Crayola Mini Twistable Crayons
No need to sharpen, no fear of tears from broken crayons, these twistable crayons are the perfect traveling companion for little artists. The set comes with 24. I saved money by splitting up the set and putting 8 crayons in a small snack sized plastic baggie. Each child also received a small note pad.
While I am a huge fan of homemade playdough these little containers of Play-Doh were the perfect addition to our carry on bag. I had no trouble getting them through airport security. When we needed a change of pace during the flight the Play-Doh was perfect for little fidgety hands.
I am amazed by how well this trip went! Sure there were the occasional tears and freakouts (afterall, they are kids), but as soon as the sun hit our faces and our toes felt the sand all was forgotten.