Traveling with kids can be really tough. Everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much, and many parents find themselves wondering why they bothered to spend so much on a vacation that can easily become super hectic. Safety can also be a big concern to parents who are newer to travel. Airports are crowded and it’s easy to lose a child while you’re trying to check in. However, if you’re prepared and know how to deal with any situation while traveling with children, it can be a much smoother process than you may think.

Some parents, especially travel bloggers, actually travel the world full-time with their children! Not only do they have to be incredibly efficient with planning and time-management, but they have to teach their children how to behave during travel. The upside is that the children get some really incredible cultural experiences that they simply wouldn’t get otherwise. Luckily for many (novice traveler) parents, there are only a few big things to remember that you should avoid doing at all costs (if you want a smooth, fun trip!) as well as a few that are essential.

Check out these top 15 things you should never do when traveling with a child and 5 you should!

20 20. (Don't!) Plan a Flight Late at Night: Tired Kids = Big Tantrums

It’s no secret that children tend to do better in the mornings. Many kids are up by 6am, even if their parents tend to be later risers, and are full of energy and excitement. As the day goes on, kids tend to become drained of energy. An overtired child is not one you’d want to travel with! For most shorter flights, it’s best to book early in the morning (if possible) or at least around midday. The one is exception is overnight flights: if you want your child to sleep, having a takeoff time of around 9pm may be perfect for everyone.

19 19. (Don't!) Forget Diapers: Be Prepared for Any Accident

Even if your child is completely potty-trained, never forget to bring along a few extra pull-ups. Travel causes everyone to feel differently, and can actually mess up a kid’s stomach (at worst) or just cause an accident due to nervousness. If you’re in the airport, on the plane, in the car, or even checking into your hotel, bathrooms aren’t as readily available as they are at home. Additionally, kids may have trouble sleeping through the night without an accident since they’re in a very unfamiliar environment. Pack a few diapers: it’s better to be safe than sorry.

18 18. (Don't!) Lose Your Composure: Your Kids Feed Off You

Traveling can be stressful by itself, never mind traveling with your children! Walk around any airport and you’ll see some seriously frazzled parents. You might be running late, lose your luggage, hear your child complain one too many times, or have trouble getting through security. Whatever the reason, losing your composure will only make matters far worse. Children read adults’ body language and moods and will act accordingly.

If you can stay calm in any situation, your child will be more likely to do the same. This goes for any part of travel, whether it’s during the flight or activities in your destination city.

17 17. (Don't!) Forget to Bring Something Fun: Take the Entertainment With You

Kids can’t just stop moving and be quiet when you tell them, and if they go too long without some sort of fun stimulation, you can guarantee that you’ll have a tantrum on your hands. Many parents choose to bring some sort of electronic game on an airplane, train, or car ride, such as an iPad. If you bring child-sized headphones and download movies or shows ahead of time, you may keep your child entertained for the whole journey. Other good options include coloring books, music, small toys, or even your own smartphone. Make sure you plan ahead as you probably won’t have any WiFi up in the air!

16 16. (Don't!) Leave Layers at Home: Plan for All Temperatures

It might be hot outside, but during travel, temperatures can vary quite a bit. As you take off, your body temperature will begin to cool down. The air is cold when you’re up 30,000 feet, but the airport itself may be hot. Expert travel parents recommend bringing a wide variety of layers for your child, starting with a simple t-shirt and working up to sweatshirts or fleeces.

Try to bring things that your child can easily get into or out of by himself or herself, to minimize work. Additionally, always remember to bring a few extra pieces in case of spillage.

15 15. (Don't!) Choose Lace-Up Shoes: Make Shoes Hassle Free

Sure, your child’s shoes may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re going through security you’ll definitely regret picking out a pair of lace up sneakers. Kids usually have to take off their shoes as well (depending on their age) and getting them back on is no easy task, especially when you’re in the middle of a large crowd and have to rush to grab your things. A pair of slip-on shoes with socks is your best bet for getting your child through security smoothly. You’ll thank yourself during the rest of the trip as kids tend to take off their shoes every time they sit down for an extended period.

14 14. (Don't!) Book a Fancy Hotel Room: Save it for Your Own Trip

Sure, you might have the points to make a fancier, more expensive hotel room seem reasonable, but what you’re not thinking about is the fact that spending a lot on a nice hotel room is often a waste with children. Firstly, they tend not to appreciate the quality of the linens or extra amenities, and will most likely destroy a few things. You won’t get to truly enjoy the room because you’ll be worried about your child.

Depending on the location, you may be better off saving those points or extra money until a child-free vacation when you can truly enjoy being in the lap of luxury.

13 13. (Don't!) Forget a Stroller: The Biggest Mistake You Can Make

Many parents somehow forget to bring a stroller or choose not to. This typically results in them renting a bad airport stroller that the kids don’t like and that probably costs way too much. You’re better off bringing your own, or purchasing a smaller, travel stroller if yours is too bulky. The best strollers to travel with are lean but sturdy, and you can keep a lot of your things in them without causing yourself a huge amount of extra hassle. If you have more than one child or a child who is too heavy to carry but too little to walk the whole way, you’re much better off investing in a great stroller that will last quite a few trips.

12 12. (Don't!) Book Layovers to Save Money: Think of the Extra Time Involved

It seems like an easy way to save money. A layover isn’t that bad, right? Maybe not if you’re traveling with a group of adults, but with children, layovers can be a nightmare. You’ll end up running through the airport, desperately trying to find your terminal before the flight takes off without you. Sure, your kids will get to stretch their legs, but the actual travel time will be almost doubled.

If you have a short (under 5 hours or so) flight, you’re better off biting the bullet and booking a non-stop. The one exception is super long flights, which may be better off broken into two.

11 11. (Don't!) Overbook the Daytime Activities: Everyone Needs Relaxation Time

While planning for your trip, you may have the urge to book a ton of activities at your destination so that you can experience everything. This seems like a great idea at the time, but it’s a trap if you’re traveling with children. Kids will love the first one or two activities. After that, they burn out quickly and it will end up being a huge waste of money. You’ll feel like you have to go to these activities just because you planned them, while all your children want to do is have some chill-out time.

Plan for a midday rest, whether that’s a nap or simply relaxing for a few hours, then you can get out there and experience more of your destination.

10 10. (Don't!) Have a Lot of Deadlines: Things With Kids Move Slowly

It might seem overly simple, but avoid deadlines at all costs when traveling with children! From a too-short layover to a check-in deadline, you’re sure miss it when you have your kids with you. Any number of things can go wrong. Even when traveling with just adults, deadlines are tough; with kids, they’re near impossible. Always give yourself a bigger buffer than you think you’ll need. While it may result in you being a little too early to some activities, that’s better than missing your connecting flight all-together!

Travel experts say that this is one of the most recommended tips when traveling with children.

9 9. (Don't!) Plan a Big Event For the Night Before You Depart: Overstimulation is Never Good

Let’s say you have something the night before your trip, such as a graduation or birthday party. You may think that it will be fine - everyone will just be a bit tired the next day. What you don’t realize is that you may be setting your trip up to fail. The kids will be overstimulated and overtired, which means that you’ll have quite a few tantrums on your hands.

Your best bet is to plan absolutely nothing around your travel departure so that your children are fresh-faced, bright-eyed, and ready to go. At the very least, book a midday flight if you do have an event so that you don’t have to wake up super early the morning of your departure.

8 8. (Don't!) Pack Too Much: Be Frugal in Packing

It's easy to overpack if you're traveling by yourself, and it's unfortunately even easier if you're traveling with your whole family. Realistically, overpacking will only make things much, much harder when you're traveling with kids. Especially when you're packing your own suitcase, bring only the essentials. If you have very young children, see if you can fit their stuff in with your own, or share with your significant other if you're traveling together.

Less stuff will be way easier, especially when it comes time to head to the baggage claim! It'll be just one less thing to worry about during a very chaotic time.

7 7. (Don't!) Bring Your Kids on an Adult Vacation: It's Not Fun For Anyone

Some parents hate traveling without their kids, and this makes sense. You spend so much time with your children, how could you not miss them when you're apart? Oftentimes these same parents bring their kids along on vacations that are more suited to adults, but travel experts say that this is a mistake. These vacations are often very costly, but your child won't enjoy any of the activities very much.

Unless you can find an adult-suited trip that's extremely budget friendly, you're better off looking for a babysitter or putting the money towards a trip that everyone will enjoy equally.

6 6. (Don't!) Forget to Check for Family Deals: You Might Miss Out On Huge Savings

Many hotels and resorts offer family deals where your kids can eat and sometimes even stay for free! Passes to activities have similar deals. Sometimes Disney and Universal actually lets all of your children into the park for free. Other times you can see a free show, cut to the front of the line, or enjoy a complimentary ice cream daily. Whatever the deal is, it's worth it to ask.

These rates are also very common at all-inclusive resorts and can end up saving you a lot of money. The best time to ask is before you even book as once you've already put a deposit down, the hotel or attraction has no reason to offer you a deal.

5 5. (Do!) Bring Gum: Everyone Loves it and it's Functional

What kid doesn’t love gum? It’s sugary, flavored, and lasts for a while. Another perk that kids might not realize it how much it helps their ears on the plane. Children have incredibly sensitive ears and will experience “ear-popping” a lot more than you will as an adult. It’s a good idea to bring along quite a lot of gum - many expert travel parents will bring a pack of gum per child, per flight!

Children as young as 18 months can chew gum and grasp the concept of not swallowing it. If you’re worried, look for an all-natural gum that won’t have any negative effects if accidentally swallowed.

4 4. (Do!) Book a Place With a Pool: The Highlight of the Trip

It isn’t a secret to anyone that kids love pools. Think back to when you were a child and were going on vacation. What was the best part of the trip? Most likely you thought it was the hotel pool. It seems like an easy thing to skip out on, especially if booking a different place for accommodations will save you $50, but seriously: the pool matters. Your child will only need an hour a day swimming but will be incredibly satisfied with the trip if they’re able to spend some time in the water.

Most hotels (and even some apartments or AirBnBs) have pools available, so this is an easy one to find that will make a world of difference to your child.

3 3. (Do!) Check into Your Flight Online: Save Time and Energy

The airport itself is a massive hassle. There’s tons of people and things going on, and it’s easy to lose your child. To make things easier, check into your flight ahead of time online and do everything you can possibly do before arriving at the airport. Print your tickets out after check-in (or have them readily available on your phone) and print luggage tags if you’re able. Once you arrive, your best bet will be to check your luggage at the outdoor stands. They’re typically much quieter and faster than indoors, and you’ll be able to move seamlessly through since you’ve already checked-in!

2 2. (Do!) Explain the Events to Your Child: Be on the Same Page

You might take everything that happens for granted, but don’t forget that a lot of these experiences are brand new to your child and they actually have no idea what’s going on. Why are you talking to the person at the counter about your seat? When you’re done with the conversation, sit down and explain it to them. If your child is excessively whiny or attention-seeking at any given time, look to your own actions: have you been telling them what’s going on or are they feeling completely clueless?

You and your child will have a much better trip if you’re able to be on the same page.

1 1. (Do!) Consider an All-Inclusive Resort: The Ultimate Child's Paradise

The best part of all-inclusive resorts is that everyone loves them. The adults get to sip on a yummy drink and tan by the pool, while the children get to order their own food, play in one of the many pools (many all-inclusive resorts have over 10 different pools!), and engage in some of the many kid-friendly activities offered.

All-inclusive resorts are huge, so older children will love having some freedom to explore and eat what they want. You get to know what the cost is upfront and your children get to have constant stimulation during the trip. It really is a win-win.