What We Learned On Our 19 Day Family Vacation – Travel Tips

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We just got back from a very long trip – 19 days  to be exact. We went to Miami, Key West and California. We drove to Miami, which is a 12 hour drive from Atlanta, including stops. We flew to California from Miami, which is a 5 1/2 hour flight. All with two kids. One of those kids being almost 1 year old. We are crazy, for sure!

Checking in to our flight to California

Checking in to our flight to California

Surprisingly though, traveling with kids wasn’t that bad. I mean – don’t get me wrong – we definitely had some bumps along the way. For instance, on our way back from California we were waiting to board our flight when Amelia had a nuclear meltdown for several minutes. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE was staring at us. You know they had to thinking “OMG, I hope that baby is not sitting next to me on the plane!” For a brief moment, I wanted to cry, but then I just started laughing because seriously…what could I do? I couldn’t reason with a 1 year old. I tried my best to console her until she quieted down, but besides that – there wasn’t anything I could do.

For the most part though, everything went pretty smoothly and we had a great time! The key was preparation! Below are a few things that we learned along the way. Hope they help your family travel easier this spring and summer!

Amelia on the plane with daddy

Amelia on the plane with daddy

Mom Tip General - 4

  • When flying with a baby, I recommend booking her a seat even if she is young enough to be a lap child (2 and under). We didn’t do this so that we could save money and ended up regretting it. Amelia was very squirmy on the flight and it would have definitely been a better flight if she’d had her own seat (sitting on a carseat, of course).  If you can’t book your baby a seat, then make sure that you are sitting next to someone you know as a buffer from other people who your baby will inevitably want to grab at LOL.
  • Snacks, snacks, snacks! Whether you are flying or traveling by car, be prepared with lots of snacks! I don’t know what it is about food, but it can buy you a few minutes of sanity almost every time.
  • Pack small toys that you can pull out throughout your flight or road trip. It’s a good idea to have a few new things that will be exciting and hold their attention for longer periods (look in clearance or dollar bins).
  • For older kids, pack a portable DVD player, movies, iPad, iPod or other electronic gaming device, books, coloring and sticker books, etc.
  • If traveling by plane, make sure to get to the airport early so that you can get checked-in, check your bags, go through security and get to your gate with plenty of time. This will lower your stress level and start your trip off on the right foot! You don’t want to be running in an airport with kids in tow.
  • If traveling by car, get on the road as early as possible. We like to leave at 4 or 5 am so that it’s still dark and the kids will sleep for the first few hours.
  • Be flexible, stay positive, and know that kids will be kids. There will likely be bumps (read: meltdowns) along the way, but it’s ok! Breathe!
Lucas opening his Disneyland goody bag on travel day

Lucas opening his Disneyland goody bag on travel day

 

 

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For additional parenting tips and tricks, make sure to visit Playtex Baby Mom Trust!

 

What are your family travel tips and tricks?

 

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Comments

  1. Those tips are great reminders! We’re heading out for not one but two very long road trips at the end of the summer with our three kids and I’m not sure we’re mentally prepared for it. For the second trip, I think we’re actually going to leave at like Midnight and drive through the night so the kids can sleep through half the drive to Florida.

    • Leaving in the middle of the night is a great idea! We have done that before and it’s so nice because there is no traffic to deal with, kids are asleep, it’s cooler at night, which is nice during the hot/humid summers, and it’s just so much more peaceful. Just make sure that your well rested before you leave!

  2. It sounds like you did really well with your kiddos on your trip. So what…one crying episode. I remember when we flew with Mica before he turned 2, he was on my lap going to Arizona. They wouldn’t let us go to the bathroom because there was so much turbulence. Mica had a diaper on even though he was mostly potty trained. He fell asleep, and peed all over my lap.

  3. Candace says:

    We always had great success using mandarin oranges on the planes with the under year old crowd; dole them out one at a time and before you know it, the plane is in the air or has landed. The little oranges are nice to suck and chew and healthier than many other snack choices.