Today, the girls and I are heading to Charleston, SC to visit my mom. I haven’t been back since my dad passed away, so I’m anticipating a big rush of feelings. But, I’m going to enjoy having a little extra time with my family and finding some peace at the beach.
When Edith was born, I lived on the west coast, which meant lots of traveling to see my east coast family. Sometimes Aaron came with me, other times he didn’t. Edith has always been a pretty easy kid to travel with, though I cannot say the same for Lilah, which has made things a little easier. However, there have been things that worked for one girl, that didn’t for the other and it has definitely kept me on my toes and forced me to get pretty creative. Along the way I have picked up some pretty good tips for flying with little ones and, while they may not work for everyone, I hope it helps!
- This book is great! It’s full of coloring pages, stickers, look and find activities…I always pick up some version of this before we go on a new flight. It keeps Edie busy forever. Best for ages 3 and up.
- Hand Sanitizer. I’m not a germaphobe, living in New York City helped me get over that one pretty quick! But, I make sure to use sanitizer when we are traveling. There is nothing worse than flying 6 hours across the country to wind up spending your whole vacation inside and sick.
- My favorite wipes. I use them to wipe down the seats, clean hands and mouths after snack time, pick up spills, you name it. You can never have enough wipes.
- The iPad and a great travel case. As soon as Edie turned 2, this changed everything. Now, at almost 4 years old, I would go on a 12 hour flight and feel pretty confident that we would do great. I load it up with her favorite shows and apps – you definitely want something they are already familiar with so you don’t have to teach them how to use it the entire flight.
- A button-up shirt. Anytime I travel, I wear this chambray top with a t-shirt and tank top on underneath. I know it sounds a little neurotic, but there was a flight where Edie puked all over me, her, and her backup clothes. Now if that were to happen, I could give her the t-shirt I had on underneath and I could wear the tank top. Boom! Layering for the win!
- An extra outfit for each of the girls, because throw-up/blowouts/spills/potty accidents happen and they happen often.
- I absolutely love these travel sized paint books. The pen uses water and the pages are this type of cardboard that dry really quickly and turn color as soon as the water touches them. The kiddos love it and you can get several varieties to keep them entertained awhile. Plus, they aren’t that bag so they don’t take up a lot of valuable real estate in your diaper bag.
- Speaking of diaper bags…I don’t bring one, I just use a backpack. It keeps my hands free to hold my boarding pass and Edie’s hand and I can use it my entire vacation while still looking stylish. I love this one, this one, and this one.
- The best travel accessory for those little ones still in diapers. It keeps everything organized and I can grab everything I need in a single pouch.
- Washi Tape! This is great. It takes up the smallest amount of space in my bag and provides endless entertainment. We stick it on the trays to make a racetrack or a maze for our Calico Critters or we make letters and practice tracing. Plus the girls love to peel it off at the end and it leaves no mess behind!
And a few bonus tips for traveling with kids:
+ Don’t forget an Ergo! I never bring a stroller with me and it is pretty much the only reliable way to make sure I don’t lose track of my two crazy toddlers in a large International airport. Plus, it almost guarantees Lilah will sleep at some point. I also recommend and Ergo because one time I wore my ring sling and they made me take her out of the carrier at security (while she was asleep and it woke her up!) because of the metal ring. So, soft carriers are a must!
+ Remember all of those extra outfits I was talking about? We carry these for the dirty outfits to keep everything else in our diaper bag clean. The bags also have a very neutral scent so they aren’t overwhelming.
+ Snacks! I pre-pack snacks ahead of time because I think it is hard to find healthy and filling snacks at the airport stands. My go-to’s are freeze dried mangos, apples with lemon, grapes, and veggie straws. I love flying Jet Blue because they also have a decent snack offering for free!
+ Pick a time that works for you, even if it is a little more expensive. With Edie, she would fall asleep any time any where so we often took red-eyes from coast to coast. With Lilah, she is too picky about how she sleeps that we prefer to leave in the afternoon. That way, we can go to the park first thing in the morning to get a lot of energy out and then head to the airport around nap time.
+ Breathe. There have been flights that both girls slept most of them time and were perfect angels and there were the times when they screamed bloody murder for 3 hours and puked 14 times all over all of us. But at the end of the day, it is only a few hours and you can do anything for a few hours. You will never see these people again so if you’re doing your best and everything is still going wrong, try and laugh it off. It’ll be a good story some other day.
I’d love to know any of your favorite tips and tricks you use for flying with the kiddos! Leave them in the comments : )
(PS- Guys, I’m trying out a new feature! You can now click on the number icons in the photo to go directly to that product’s page. Hope it makes it easier for you!)