When it comes to family, we know that there is nothing better and nothing more important. And when you and your family decide to go on a well-deserved vacation, being prepared to pack the kids and loved ones up efficiently and effectively is very important. Travel is hard enough as it is, with long waits, trying to keep everyone happy, and dealing with those crazy travel expenses; doing it with one, two, three, or even more children in tow can make it even harder. That's why we have brought you a list of ten travel hacks to keep your family happy while traveling, so you can make the best of your vacation this summer!
10 Don't Pack Carry Ons Per Person
When traveling, it is tempting to make sure that everyone has their own bags and carry ons, however, this can add excess baggage, maybe even bringing the cost of your trip up and it definitely makes for more to carry than necessary. The best solution to this problem is to pack according to category, rather than person. For example, instead of packing a carry on for each of your kids, pack one bag with electronics and one with snacks. That way, if you need something, you know exactly where it is.
9 Make Sure Everyone Is Comfy
Making sure that everyone is dressed comfortably is very important, especially if you have a long trip. When going from airport to airport, seeing your kids in their best dress shoes may not be that beneficiary. Have you ever just gotten your child dressed and they immediately start to complain that they are too warm or itchy? It's a pretty common dilemma. You can avoid that in the airport and on the plane by simply dressing them in something that they are very comfortable in. Maybe even go so far as to let them wear their favorite pajamas!
8 Bring Empty Water Bottles
It is a rookie mistake to buy water before you go through security, but sometimes it's hard to avoid, especially when you have a screaming toddler on your hip. The best way to get around the rules of pretty much every airport in the world is to simply bring an empty water bottle or sippy cup with you.
That way when you get through security, you don't have to worry about buying an almost four dollar bottle of water and losing it; you can just fill up your bottle with one of the many water fountains that most airports have nowadays.
7 Opt For a Backpack Rather Than Suitcase
When deciding what kind of carry on you want to bring on the plane with you, it may be hard to choose between a backpack, which is usually a little smaller, or a suitcase. The suitcase may be tempting since there is more room to pack some extra clothes or maybe even a few books, but the issue with that is the fact that it takes away an extra hand. When traveling with kids, you want to make sure that you have both hands available to either open their juice or just keep them near you with a safe handhold. A backpack will help you with that!
6 Pack Gum or Candy For Take Off
We've all felt that popping sensation in our ears at some point. During take off, you usually feel the pressurization of the cabin through your ears, as your eardrums block the flow of air just slightly. For adults, it stings a little and might even just be a bit annoying. Children have more sensitive ears, though, which makes the experience more painful. A good way to combat the problem is to bring some gum or candy for your kids to chew on while the plane takes off and lands.
5 Get Entertainment Ready The Night Before
It is important to have as much entertainment readily available to your kids as possible. This means charging iPads, tablets, games, and other toys so that as soon as they are buckled into the plane, they can start to do their own thing.
When planning on what to bring with you, it is a good idea to include some way to watch cartoons and their favorite TV shows. If you have Netflix, which most people do nowadays, you can download as many of their favorite shows onto any mobile or tablet device for a short amount of time (once watched the show 'expires' in about 48 hours).
Airports aren't really that kid friendly when it comes to food, which kind of sucks. To stay one step ahead, though, you can pack your own snacks! Some people mistake the TSA rules as no food and or drink, but really its only liquids. As long as your carry on doesn't have any liquids in it while going through security, you'll be all set to go. Packing things such as dry cereal, granola bars, and fruit snacks is a really good idea, especially when traveling with children.
3 Get Them Excited
Travel is annoying, inconvenient, and sometimes stressful for adults, but for kids, it should be an adventure. Planes might look big and scary, but remind them that it's safe and fun to travel by plane. Encourage them to look out the window as you take off and land. Show them the amazing views that come with travel. Whether you are traveling by plane, boat, or train, you should always remind them how fun travel can be, especially when you're going to Disneyland or even grandma's house.
2 Take Advantage of Airport Services
If you are traveling alone with your kids, it can be difficult to manage everything by yourself. Even with one child, making sure your tiny human has everything that they need to be happy, safe, and content can be quite the task, especially when going from gate to gate.
That's why you should take advantage of the escort service that most airlines have available. The service will provide you with extra help from airport employees and may even get you a ride to the next gate!
1 Bring Anti-Bacterial Wipes
What is something that every child is guaranteed to do? Put their fingers and hands all over their face and in their mouths just after touching every grimy surface in the airport--and there is a lot of them. So, when traveling, it is a very good idea to bring some kid-friendly, anti-bacterial wipes with you everywhere you go. Trying to avoid getting sick as a traveling adult is hard enough, but when it comes to children, their immune system isn't as strong as ours. That's why this is so important! Keep your little ones healthy.