So most of you know that we are big travelers. Kid #1 and I were always on a plane when he was little and as I got more and more pregnant with #2, I started to worry about how I would travel with 2 kids. There just seemed to be so much more stuff to think about, so many more bags, strollers, things to be forgotten. Another person to be responsible for. Not to mention that the lack of sleep makes me a total space cadet. But, I would not be deterred. Because for me, traveling is a necessity, like breathing, or getting my hair done… and if I couldn’t get on an airplane because I was afraid of another small human? Hrm. No comment.
So here’s a few travel hacks for traveling with kids…
1) Take a deep breath
You think I’m kidding? This is serious stuff people. You might want to take a yoga class or something to get prepared for all of the deep breathing you’ll need to do on this flight. Traveling with kids is no joke.
2) Do ya like lists?
Start making lists. I spend days ahead of the big day making lists for each member of the family. Things are obviously easier when I travel to my parents house, who have duplicates of a lot of the things we have at home, but if you’re not going somewhere like that? Think of EVERYTHING you might possibly need and write it down. Get nitty gritty and write down the things you would NEVER forget. Because trust me, you will forget them. Repeat after me, traveling with kids is NO JOKE.
3) You are only one person, not a pack animal.
Now re-read those lists and start crossing things out. No matter where you’re going, you can’t take everything. And if you’re going on the airplane without someone to help you, you really can’t take everything. Think of ways to streamline, or things that can serve two functions. You may not want to bring a stroller, but even if you don’t use it to carry the kids, it makes an excellent bag carrier. Just saying.
4) Time to take a walk
Mentally walk yourself through the whole process. Go from the car in the parking lot, through security, up to the gate and on to the airplane. How are you going to get on the bus with all of your crap and two kids? What will happen when you go through security? Do you need to check a carseat/stroller/a 100 pound bag? If you walk yourself through the process, you can mentally prepare yourself for how it’s going to go and perhaps think of things you wouldn’t, like dumping out that sippy cup of water before the TSA agent starts yelling at you.
5) Be Prepared
Let’s be honest. Airplane travel can be a crapshoot. You need to be prepared for ANY scenario that the two small humans can throw at you… not to mention the weather, AND the airline. Because the minute you don’t, you’ll find yourself with a blowout on the plane, with no change of clothes. Or you’ll have a flight delay of a few hours and a nap-deprived toddler screaming like you’re killing him. Not that I know from experience or anything. So make those lists and think of what you’ll do if the shit literally hits the fan.
6) Screw Everybody
Most security lines have a family line… I suggest you use it. Because then when you are being screened for the 9th time, your youngest is screaming, TSA is ripping through your bag in front of everyone and that asshat behind you keeps giving you a dirty look? Let him. This is not the time to be overly concerned with the people around you. If you are taking a long time? So be it. If you are a discombobulated mess and the person behind you is rolling his eyes? Eff him. If your child is wiping his nose on someone else’s sleeve? Whatever. You are in survival mode. Hopefully you will be as prepared as possible, but if it starts to go to hell? The last thing you need to be concerned about is that asshole making exaggerated sighs behind you. Or you could always hand him a screaming baby while you take your shoes off.
7) Don’t Panic
Remember number 1? Deep breathing? Use it. Because even with all of the planning, something may go wrong. Your flight may be delayed or cancelled. Getting through security could be a nightmare akin to the 7th circle of hell. Your child could be that kid on the plane. But just remember, this too shall pass. And if you need to buy drinks for the people around you? Go ahead and get them hammered.
And have a few yourself… your kids aren’t going anywhere for at least a few more hours.
Do you have questions about traveling with kids? Feel free to email me at ashley(at) its-fitting (dot) com. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have!!