Flying alone or with other adults is easy. You only need to watch out for yourself. You will only need to keep your essential documents like your passport, boarding passes, and other valuables safe. Traveling with your children is an entirely different ball game. Depending on their age, keeping your kids in check when traveling is a very challenging feat—especially for long international flights with stopovers.
Just thinking about it probably has you second-guessing if it is a good idea to bring your children on your next vacation, right? Well, don’t worry, these tips and tricks might help you from the online flight booking process until you reach your destination—and back!
Just Go for It!
Let’s say you have everything planned. You already have the tickets, you already packed your things, you have your itinerary ready, you have the budget for everything else, and your family is all set for the trip—do not postpone or hesitate if you feel like your kids are not ready yet.
Your kids will never be ready to travel unless you go for it. It isn’t going to be easy, especially if you have multiple kids that are toddlers. Toddlers are probably the most challenging age to bring on travels. Infants are pretty easy because all you need to prepare for is feeding, carrying, changing diapers, and all they do is sleep most of the trip.
Toddlers can walk. They are curious, and they will go and explore the airport or terminal if they get the chance—so make sure you keep an eye on them. Older kids are probably the easiest to travel with, but it is better if they are somewhat already experienced—so make sure you start them young and just go for it!
If it is your first trip and plane ride with your kids, you can start small, like planning your first ski trip with your kids before jumping into international flights.
Be Ready for the Worst
The key to a stressful and successful trip with your kids is to have everything planned out early. You must always plan and assume the worst, but don’t draw it in by thinking about it too much. Just make sure you are ready for the worse.
It’s kind of like wearing a helmet when riding a bike—you are not waiting for anything terrible to happen, but you are just ready for it.
Plan for Kid-Friendly Destinations
Unlike adults, kids have different expectations when going on vacation. If you are planning a vacation with your kids, make sure the destinations are kid-friendly and something that gets them excited. Going on a safari, a waterpark, a ski trip, amusement parks, and other fun things get kids more excited. And they might even behave during the journey, knowing that you will go to have so much fun!
It is always a good idea to pack light on any trip, and bring only the essentials. Traveling with too much luggage is not a good idea, especially if you have kids. If it’s possible, just bring a carry-on, especially for domestic trips. If it isn’t possible, one or two checked-in luggage is enough for two adults and three children.
Pack the necessary clothes, depending on the length of the trip. For infants, you will need all the carry-on space for their milk bottles, diapers, and other baby essentials. Some destinations have laundry services, so you don’t really need to pack too many clothes.
Some families even travel with puppies and other pets, and it is wise to pack light for any type of trip—especially when the entire family is going.
Choose Between a Stroller, Carriage, or Sling
Sometimes, strollers are better for the convenience, but they are very bulky compared to a sling or carriage. Choosing between them is pretty straightforward. If you have a toddler who can walk on their own, you’re not even going to need any of these. However, if you are traveling with an infant, a stroller is excellent for short trips with limited air and land travel.
If you are traveling to backpacking destinations like Europe or Thailand—a sling might be easier to carry if your baby is light enough.
Chose the Best Seats in the House
When traveling by air, make sure you check-in early or request seats in advance. Bulkhead seats have more extensive legroom if you are traveling with infants. If you are traveling with toddlers, they would appreciate a seat by the window. And if you are a big family, make sure you book tickets with the same booking, so the airlines will put your seats together even before checking in the flight.
In this case, ticket classes matter because airlines usually prioritize higher ticket classes regarding seating arrangements, especially if you are on a full flight with connecting flights. If you are on a budget, the best way to get the best seats is to check in your flights early and be one of the first people in line.
Should I Travel with Kids?
Traveling with kids is not easy, but it is definitely fun—especially when you see their faces light up when they ride a plane or go on a road trip for the first time. It might be very challenging, but the tips and tricks above will definitely help you get through every hurdle.