Do you often travel with small children? Going on your first trip? We have done several international flights with three small children and a baby. We’ve made plenty of mistakes but we have learned a lot (although we still don’t know it all and probably never will). It gets easier as they get bigger, but it is never fun. We hate the overnight trips and multiple plane changes. But, ultimately, the trip is usually worth it. This is our list of must-haves for any trip:
- Electronics – usually we are not a fan of kids and electronics. On a long trip, we quickly change our tune. Load up a kindle with educational apps or mind-numbing movies. Whatever it takes to get you where you want to go.
- Snacks – food options are often sketchy, late, or non-existent. Pack lots of snacks to get you through meals and moments of crankiness. We pack M&M’s and Starbursts because they can be handed out slowly and take time and concentration for the little ones.
- Change of clothes – this might seem obvious, but don’t forget a change of clothes for each adult. Nothing worse than getting thrown-up on, spit on, or spilled on at the beginning of a long trip.
- Sippy Cups – I suggest that you bring these for everyone, adults included. Well, a water bottle might be more appropriate for those over age 7, but bumps, elbows, and spills happen. Save yourself a headache and make sure everyone has a top on their beverage.
- Color Wonder, Mosaic Coloring Books, Mandela Books, etc. – Even I love a good Mandela to color! These books can be tossed at any time, won’t make a huge mess, and can entertain kids of all ages!
- Play dough – make plates, bowls, animals, machines, and cities. Another disposable craft that can entertain lots of kids for hours. Use the cutlery that comes with your meal to work on your shapes, stick everything to the pull-down tray, and toss in the trash when you are done.
- Bendi-stix – these are one of our favorites. Kids can play with them for hours and even adults sitting in near-by seats will ask for a stick to bend!
- Books (preferably on an electronic device so you don’t have to carry them!) – get older kids something entertaining and with a racing plot so they won’t be able to put the book down!
- Comic Books – our kids love Archie comic books, even the little ones love to look at the pictures. You can tear off and throw away the sections that are already consumed and toss everything in the trash on your way out the door.
- Travel chess and other travel games – any board game with magnets will entertain older kids. Take the opportunity of hours together to teach your kids chess! Bring along a book that explains strategies and then challenge your seat-mates!
Have you traveled a lot with children? What are your must-haves for a trip?
In our next post we’ll share our top five travel tips for flying long distances with children.