Parent Travels

September 21, 2017

 

 

Let me start by saying that I am not a Mom. I do not have any pets, not even a fish. That is part of the reason why I’m free to travel without any restrictions. Every time I see parents traveling alone with their kids, I say to myself, “How Sway?” I think traveling for anyone can be overwhelming, especially if it is not something that you do often, but being able to travel with kids is an art.

 

I interviewed my friends who are parents (single dads, single moms, and married couples) to get some insight. I would have never thought of the tips and tricks that they provided, but all are worth mentioning. I’ve had a few parents tell me they want to travel, but can’t because they have kids. This post is for you.

 

  1. Ensure Time Is on Your Side

  2. Fun-tivities

  3. Preparation Is Key!

  4. Full Bellies

  5. Do Not Apologize for Being a Great Parent

  6. Helpful Hints

 

Ensure Time Is on Your Side

 

Ensure that time is on your side! You know when you receive the airline email notification telling you to be there two hours before. Well, it is a good idea for you to plan to do that. Personally, when I see that email I ignore it, and most times, I get through with a breeze, but parents shouldn’t take that risk lol. One of my mommy friends @joyjoyjoy_.  said that it’s crucial for her to keep her hands free. “Check your bags, keep your child.” Joy ensures that she gets to the airport with plenty of time to check her bags and any additional items to get through security, take any necessary bathroom breaks, and have time to settle in the gate departure area before the getting on the plane.

 

Fun-tivities

  

Are you not entertained!? That’s a question that you don’t want to have to ask your kids while traveling. Fun-tivities are a requirement from all the parents I interviewed. My mommy friend @khes_xo  mentioned that the excitement of being on an airplane quickly wears off for her kids and ultimately turns into restlessness. Make sure you have things for your kids to do to kill time. Need a list? According to @joyjoyjoy_. these items will put your kids on Do Not Disturb:

 

  • Coloring book with crayons

  • Sticker books

  • Tablet (including: games, music, their favorite TV shows and movies)

  • Headphones

  • Favorite stuffed animal or toy

 

If your child is old enough it’s even a good idea for them to have their own personal backpack so that they can carry their toys themselves.

 

 

 

Preparation Is Key!

 

Growing up my mom would always say “It’s better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.” All the parents agreed that you must be ready for anything and that preparation is key. You probably can’t prevent an accident, but if one occurs it good to know that you’re ready for it. According to @khes_xo you should be the Jack Bauer of traveling with toddlers:

  • An extra outfit  

  • Extra diapers/undies 

  • Extra baggies for trash you accumulate 

  • Hand sanitizer! You can never have enough when you’re dealing with kids.

  • Extra eating utensils so you don't have to try to find any.   

I understand that it may be a lot to carry, so instead of carrying a big purse, consider a cross-body wallet and a backpack. Cross-body wallets are also great if you choose to travel with an infant carrier. Consolidation is important because you cannot hold everything. You want your hands to be free at all times, if possible. Let’s say you’re traveling with a stroller, a great thing to purchase is a large bag hook or a Mommy Hook. @joyjoyjoy_. said it’s one of the best tools she has used in the past while traveling with her kid because it gave her more hands. She also mentioned that they’re only $6 at the grocery store. Pictured below is an example of a Mommy Hook.

 

Attempt to travel without interrupting your kid’s nap or sleeping schedule. Look for flights with departure times in the early morning, red eye flights (overnight or late flights), or flights around nap times. Schedule travel time around your kid’s schedules or be prepared to make up for it later.

 

Full Bellies

 

Aside from being rested, make sure your kids have full tummies and extra snacks. Airport food is expensive af! A bottle of water is $3 or more. A basic deli sandwich is $10 or more. Eliminating the need to feed your kids a full meal while in the airport is a big help. Feed them before you get there, but have their snacks ready. Whether your child is nursing or you have a walking toddler, being able to feed them on demand is important. A little something to suck on during take-off can help with their ears popping so something to sip on is also imperative. If you have an infant and your child is nursing, have a cover ready to sooth whining immediately. According to TSA, formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers are permitted in reasonable quantities through the security checkpoint. Remove these items from your carry-on bag to have them separately screened from the rest of your belongings. @khes_xo keeps sippy cups full of water or diluted juice and about 10 extra straws on hand. 

 

TSA has a page on their site dedicated to traveling with children.

 

Do Not Apologize for Being a Great Parent

 

Overall, when you’re traveling with your kid try not to get overwhelmed. If you’re the parent with the screaming kid, then oh well. Just worry about getting there safely. Words of advice from @khes_xo “Give yourself a break & flick anyone off who gives you dirty looks once they see your kids on board. They should've flown in their private jet instead of economy with us simpletons. Kids will be kids & know that you're doing the best you can.” Do not apologize for being a great parent.

 

 

Helpful Hints

Check out these other helpful hints.

  • Point of contact in the city you’re arriving to.

  • Going somewhere for an extending period? Ship things instead of packing them with you.

  • Are you a single parent? Travel with other single parents.

  • Wear comfortable clothing.

  • A big cup of OJ before and after flying to help avoid getting sick.

If you have any helpful hints that you think should be added feel free to comment or email them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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