It’s time to pack our bags and head out on some fun family adventures this summer! While you’ve got all the clothing essentials covered, swimsuits at the ready, and the perfect walking shoes for playing tourist, keeping the kids happy as you’re en route to your destination is a high priority. I’ve taken my kids on long road trips and cross-country flights, so I understand just how stressful travel with little ones can be.
Here are some of my best tips for getting to your destination and home again not much the worse for wear.
Pack a go-bag – Even if you’re on a short drive or flight, you just never know what might come up. Pack a separate backpack with a change of clothes and underwear, extra diapers, and travel toiletries, just in case of an issue. This is especially handy if you have to deal with an unexpected overnight stop or if your luggage is lost or delayed.
Don’t forget chargers – My kids can run the battery out of a phone or tablet in record time and we don’t always have access to a plug or enough outlets for all devices. Backup chargers can save the day!
Keep a list of game ideas to pass the time – Sometimes it just isn’t convenient to use electronics or to pull out coloring books and other toys. Have a go-to list of games that you can play, like the variations of Alphabet Game, I Spy, or Twenty Questions. On our last long drive to Disney, we did a Disney character version of the alphabet game. Now THAT was a fun challenge!
Make sure to bring extra snacks and drinks – When driving, you just never know when you’ll hit a traffic jam and be stuck in the car on the highway for an extended period of time. If you have smaller children, you may also want to keep a container with a lid for highway potty emergencies. Sounds gross, but you’ll be glad you did if you happen to need it! On flights, bring easy snacks and pick up an extra bottle of water for everyone after you pass security, just in case of being stuck on the tarmac.
Have a “plan b” – Research alternate routes in case of unexpected travel issues. If your route involves stops at various attractions on the way to your destination, come up with a rainy day backup plan just in case of bad weather that might keep you indoors (or in the car, as the case may be).
Always be prepared. – Flight delays, cancellations, car trouble, illnesses – it seems like every vacation has some kind of hiccup that derails plans. Make sure that you have all the medications, diapers, wipes, snacks, and entertainment that you may need in your car bag or carryon. There’s nothing worse than having things in checked bags when you’re in flight or packed in the trunk, requiring a stop to pull everything out.
What are your best tips for making travel with your kids a little easier?