I know, I know. You are wondering how to do it all. Well, I may not have all the answers, but I do have the answer for how to travel with kids like a boss!
I have several travel tips that will make people compliment you on how well you handle the stress of travel with kids in tow instead of telling urban legends of “that family on the airplane.”
First, pack light, but don’t skimp on what really matters. Diapers. It is hell to find diapers when you need them. Plan on taking at least a two day extra supply with you. Throw in an extra pack of the quilted wet wipes while you are at it, even if you don’t have to change diapers, you will appreciate the convenience of clean hands anywhere and wiping down airplane trays. Leave out things like toys. The kids can live without them and they take up a TON of room. I did allow my kids to each put a toy or two in their carry on like lovey’s and coloring books/crayons. Not the full set of Castle Greyskull and action figures. Yes, I just dated myself. Oh, and make them carry their own toys. Obviously, it makes sense to keep an eye on their favorite irreplaceable lovey, but who cares if they lose a crayon or $2 coloring book? If it got you through one flight, it was worth it.
Speaking of airplanes, let’s just call airplanes what they really are, flying boxes of germs. I won’t get into one without slathering on my Thieves essential oil rollerball on my wrists and spraying my Thieves Spray all over my and my family’s seats. If you aren’t familiar with Thieves Essential Oil yet, you should be. Check it out here. If you like what you see, buy it directly from Young Living here. I should mention, if you sign up for a kit to check out all of Young Living’s oils, you get it 24% off. It’s a sweet deal. Learn more here.
Back to traveling like a boss. Pack snacks. Whether your kids are two or 15, they get hungry and start to act like animals. And buying the snacks on the airplane or airport is like highway robbery! Bring things that range from healthy to sweet or salty treat to avoid spending your college savings on a pre-packed, overpriced snack pack. My kids don’t ever get gummy candy unless it comes from someone else. Guess who the coolest mom on the plane was last time? That’s right, this one! This also applies to traveling with husbands.
Psych yourself up for a long day when you travel with kids. That way, when the unexpected hassles of traveling inevitably happen, you can roll with it. I also carry a secret weapon with me. Stress Away. It is another essential oil blend that I smell and apply to my body and helps me keep my head calm when I want to throw things. Learn more about Stress Away here. Even my kids know it helps me. My oldest actually starts chanting “Stress away, Mom” when it is obvious that I need a little relief from the situation at hand. This has proved invaluable when stuck in the flying box of germs in the sky with 4 kids and too many people getting into my personal space.
My next tip is to bring extra cash when you travel with kids. No matter how prepared you think you are, someone is going to need something so random that you could have never predicted it. Here’s where the cash comes in handy! You can just get what you need and move on without the blink of an eye. Again, this may require another dose of the Stress Away, but if you travel like a boss, it’s already in your arsenal.
If you are traveling with a stroller, did you know you can gate check it? And, you can usually go through an expedited or handicap accessible security line. There is no charge for gate checking your stroller (or carseat for that matter) and it helps you tote all your carry on bags through the airplane as it works just like the luggage carts. This past trip was our first time without the big double jogging stroller with us and, on one hand it was very liberating, but on the other, it took us twice as long to wait in security lines without it and I had to carry around a two year old along with her carry on and my purse and carry on. I did feel justified in not working out while on vacation since I had such a great upper body workout whenever we went out. I still think of it as a win.
This brings me to my next travel tip with kids. Buy good luggage. Since we didn’t have our stroller with us, and some of the walkways throughout the terminal can be upwards of a ten mile hike (ok, so maybe not ten miles, but with kids it felt like it), carrying your precious two year old can work for part of it, but unless you are half incredible hulk, you will never make it the whole way there and, as predicted, they won’t want to walk. We came up with a genius solution: My carry on bag. We had our two year old sit on it and I pulled it as it had a telescoping handle and two wheels. We got several people laughing at us, but she thought it was the best ride ever and saved my arms from total destruction. This wouldn’t have worked with a cheap-o bag from a discount box store. Make sure you mark your (more than likely black or navy) luggage so that it stands out on the luggage carousel too. We did this with gaudy ribbons tied to it in obvious locations. This was also a fun project with our kids choosing what colors and patterns they wanted on their respective bags.
My last, and possibly most important tip on how to travel with kids like a boss is to enjoy an adult beverage. Now, I do not condone getting stupid and thinking that is ok when you are with your children (or ever for that matter!), however, you are on vacation and having one adult beverage to get you in vacation mode is a wonderful addition and helped me relax and enjoy this concentrated time traveling.
Now that you know how to travel with kids like a boss, get out there and try it! Traveling with your kids give them invaluable life lessons in how to get around, learn about the world first hand and give you special time with your kids that cements your relationships for the years to come. You will never regret the time you put into your kids. Boss up and travel on, my friend!