Traveling with Little Ones

In the spirit of kicking off my summer of travel, the first thing that came to mind was a time one of my best friends and her husband were prepping to take their first flight with a little one in tow, and she called me for some advice on how to do this with as little stress as possible. So, this week’s tip is for those parents with young children who want to get out of the house but don’t want to lose their minds while doing it! I have TONS tips I can share, but here are three to get you started.

Tip 1: Pad the schedule like CRAZY.
Whether you’re going on a road trip or getting on a plane, add LOTS of extra time to the plan. If you have kids, you know that life is unpredictable, and you need to plan for potty stops, food stops, and distractions, tantrums… the list is endless! If you’re used to getting to the airport just before boarding, add an extra hour at least. Your brain will thank you as you go through that security line. If you’re driving, plan on a potential stop every couple hours. If you don’t like having extra dead time, keep a backup plan ready in case you have extra time to spare in the end (plan to grab a snack, or do an activity)! But the extra time can save you a ton of anxiety and stress.

Tip 2: Pack only the essentials!
When you go on trips with the family, only pack what you absolutely need. Having to carry a ton of luggage through an airport or stock-piling your entire house into your car isn’t worth it especially when you have to keep an eye on children. If you can purchase things at your destination, save yourself the hassle of packing it. You can always find laundromats and grocery stores on your trip if you need them (that is, unless you’re going into the deep wilderness…that’s a different story). Less is more in this case.

Tip 3: Leverage those electronic gadgets!
I may get some judgments here for what I’m about to say, but so be it. Of course we don’t want our kids on electronics ALL day every day, but when it comes to traveling, you might want to give yourself a break here. Especially with little kids and trying to travel light, let’s be honest; you can pack a LOT of great stuff on something like an iPad that is educational, and use that to entertain your children so that you can focus on making sure you get everyone safely from point A to point B. So give yourself permission to ease up on the electronics rules for a few hours, and let them play. You can obviously also bring some books and other on-the-go activities, but if the excess baggage is going to overwhelm you, it’s not worth it.

(P.S. There will be more talk about this in an upcoming event I’m putting together that launches in August. Stay tuned! If you know anyone who might want to know more about this topic, have them sign up for my mailing list so they can join you in being the FIRST to know about it!)

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The Cheerful Mind