Wisdom Wednesday

Traveling with Kiddos…Part 2

Over the holidays, I wrote a post about traveling with kids. Well, we recently traveled again, and I’m back with more tips. We’ve been on 7 round-trip flights with just Nate, and now we’ve done two round trip flights with both kids, and I’ve learned a lot from this. We’ve had our share of horrific meltdowns, but overall, it hasn’t been as tough as I thought it would be.

Here’s my addition to my previous list…

  • Really talk it up. Flights leave at crazy times. On several occasions we’ve had to wake Nate up super early, way before normal. Nothing is worse than starting a trip with a screaming toddler. Talk up how exciting the airport is, how much fun it is to eat an overpriced Egg McMuffin at 5am in the terminal. Make them look forward to it and hide any negativity you might have about it.
  • Pack bribes. This is horrible parenting. Horrible. I know. But in some situations, ones you don’t encounter in everyday life, like say, making a 3 year old sit still for 4.5 hours in a row (especially when said 3 year old spends NONE of that time asleep!!) you need incentives, shall we say. Gummy bears, Dum-Dums, and Tootsie Rolls, when used in moderation, can save you…big time. Especially true if they’re a very infrequent treat in normal life.
  • Think about the weather at the destination. You know what’s not fun? Overtired, whining kids in hot sweatpants and hoodies waiting at baggage claim in a topical climate. If where you’re headed is much hotter or colder, dress them (and you!) in layers.
  • For potty trained kids, talk about the “fun, tiny potty on the airplane” ahead of time. When my oldest was newly potty trained, he feared unpredictable potties. Loud flushes, the automatic flush, extra-giant seats…the same went for the weird, tiny potties on airplanes. Talk about how awesome and fun they are before the trip to avoid escorting a screaming, red-faced child out of the airplane bathroom.
  • Let things go if they don’t really matter. You asked the flight attendant for ginger ale in your sippy cup at 6am? Fine. Whatever. You ripped up your SkyMall? Shove the pieces into that little air sickness bag and move on. Now is not the time for being overly strict. The kids are probably a little stressed, you’re probably a little stressed, and the other non-parent passengers probably want to sleep without hearing a kid whining. Be firm on things like staying in your seat, not kicking the seat in front of you, not screaming, etc. Let the other stuff go, just for the duration of the flight (i.e., when other people are trapped there with your kiddos!!).

Any other tips?? I’d love to hear them!! 🙂 Happy travels, everyone!

4 thoughts on “Wisdom Wednesday

  1. What GREAT tips (though I have NOTHING against bribing and I think we should stop labeling it as horrible…everyone gets what they want and that’s a GOOD thing! 😉 ).

    One of our favorite airplane past-times are those gel-gems that you can stick on windows ~ my boys have always had the most fun with those!

  2. Great tips! I’ve flown with my twins (who are now 13 months old) on 4 trips in the past year. Next month we are about to fly with them again. I was never nervous about it when they were babies, but now that they are toddlers I’m going to have to get a few good tricks up my sleeve to keep them entertained!


  3. When traveling with kids in the car, the best advice is to be the drive! let the poor parent in the passenger seat (okay, typically the mom) handle all fo the entertainment, bartering, bribing, clean-up, etc.

  4. On our flight to Italy over the summer I wrapped up 20 little gifts for them to open at those times when we needed a distraction. Crayons, stickers, books, beanie babies, candies. Thy loved opening them and it bought us sn other hour our so of peace. It also helped to reinforce that these things were somehow more special than a regular day (ie. Candy) so as not to be expected all the times we want them to be quiet!

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