6 Tips for Traveling With Young Kids 

 April 15, 2022

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Source: parentmap.com

Perhaps you’ve had a nightmare experience traveling with young kids. Well, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right plan, everyone can have a great time – parents included!

6 Travel Tips for Families With Young Kids

Traveling with young kids is certainly a unique experience, but it doesn’t have to be something you dread. You can prepare everyone ahead of time and increase the chances of having a safe and enjoyable experience.

Here are several tips, backed by years of travel with young kids:

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Source: gannett-cdn.com

1. Book the Right Flight

Flying can be a bit of a jarring experience for a young child who has never been on an airplane. Some kids will love it while others will be very nervous. Either way, you should set yourself up for success by choosing the right flight.

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“Good preparation starts before you even book the flight. And you must pay extra attention to two things – the schedule of the flight and the seats you pick,” travel blogger Alex Miller writes. “You want to ensure the flight schedule works around your young one’s daily routine and, of course, that you’re all seated together.”

Typically, early morning flights are best. Not only do these flights tend to be less crowded, but there’s also typically a much lower chance of a delay. Your kids will also be tired and less likely to have unrestrained energy like they might have later in the day.

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If possible, try to book the row of seats near the emergency exit or in between first class and business class. This gives you extra floor room, which can allow little ones to stand up and move around when the fasten seatbelt sign isn’t on.

However, whatever you do, avoid booking a first class ticket. While folks in business class will be patient with your loud kids, those spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a ticket in first class will probably not be happy.

Save your first class money for a flight without your kids. Everyone will be better for it!

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Source: Shutterstock.com

2. Build Anticipation

Do your best to build excitement and anticipation for the trip so that kids are excited about traveling. You can do this by talking a lot about the trip, watching movies or shows about the destination, or even by teaching them about airplanes and how they work.

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This is also a great opportunity to buy your child their very own luggage. Visit the Kiddietotes.com website for unique scooter luggage. It’s luggage that doubles as a roller backpack and a scooter, which makes for great fun when walking around the terminal. 

3. Set Expectations

In addition to building anticipation, you also want to set expectations. Give them very clear instructions on what you expect out of them. Your rules will be different based on your own children, ages, and unique family dynamic, but here are some examples:

  • Never walk away from the family when in the airport
  • No screaming or shouting on the airplane
  • Tablets only come out when we sit down on the airplane
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You can also give them an idea of what to expect. For example, try to frame how long the flight will be in terms they can understand. And if they have specific questions about the airplane or travel experience, try to give straightforward answers. This will reduce their nervousness. 

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Source: Shutterstock

4. Bring Fun Activities

It’s one thing to have a bored, fidgety child at home. It’s another thing to have a rambunctious child on a flight. This is not a road you want to travel. Do your best to avoid a situation like this by bringing fun activities along. Ideally, these are simple activities and toys that your child has never played with.

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Pro Tip: Before your trip, head to the dollar store and you’ll be amazed by what you can find. Avoid things that have lots of small parts or that create messes. Instead, buy things that will keep them busy without creating more headaches for you.

If you have toddlers, you might even find it best to shop the kitchen or household supplies aisles. Things like spatulas, tape measures, and cups can be big hits for curious little ones!

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5. Pack the Right Supplies

In addition to having a few fun activities up your sleeve, we recommend packing a small bag with a few basic supplies that may come in handy. You know your kids better than anyone, but this might include diapers, wet wipes, snacks, sanitizers, crayons and paper, water, and comfort items like pacifiers or blankets.

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Make sure this bag is accessible and organized. (The last thing you want to do is go fishing for supplies.) Things like crayons should be put in their own plastic bag for optimal organization. Likewise, put diapers, wet wipes, diaper rash cream, and hand sanitizer in the same gallon-size bag. Then, when you need to do a diaper change, you can just grab this bag out of the larger bag and you’ll have everything you need. 

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Source: travel.usnews.com

6. Make Friends With Those Around You

If you’re going on a long flight, do your best to make friends with those around you. This helps build some goodwill in case your children have their “moments” later on. You’ll find that most travelers – particularly those who have children – are very understanding when parents are polite.

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One way to make friends is to bring adult snacks, gum, mints, magazines, and anything else that you can offer to your fellow travelers as unofficial bribes. If you prove yourself to be a kind and caring person, people are much more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt if there’s a temper tantrum.

Putting it All Together

If you’re smart about planning and know which “buttons” to push and which triggers to avoid, it’s much more likely that your travel experience with kiddos will be enjoyable. While these tips are a good starting point, they aren’t the only travel hacks out there. Which ones would you add to the list?

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