While travelling with kids may not seem simple, it can be a pain-free, rewarding experience!
After dozens of cross-country and international trips, I’m here to tell ya: although there may be ups-and-downs, the whole fam will enjoy a smooth ride if you follow these thoroughly tested, kid-approved tips.
You’re welcome! :)
~ 7 Survival Skills for Travelling with Tots ~
When travelling with kiddos, keep these travel tips in mind. You’ll not only survive, but may even enjoy your trip!
1. Fly, don’t drive when a trip is 200+ miles, particularly when travelling in Asia, North America, South America or Africa. Flying is faster, easier, safer, and typically not much more expensive. The benefits faroutweigh the costs. When travelling in Europe, buy a Eurail pass! Eurail has smooth, fast, punctual train transport at reasonable prices.
2. International Airfare for children ages 0-2 costs 10% of a full adult fare to the destination. Of course, the day your child turns 3, you must pay full fare. So strap on the carrier and travel as much as possible with your little bumpkin for those 729 FREE days while it’s cheapest! Typically, you must purchase the ticket in person (sometimes day-of) at an airport or travel agent and show proof of your child’s age.
3. Pack your favorite portable or disposable toys and activities. Don’t pack too much. One small backpack per child is plenty. Trust me.
Favorite activities for ages 4+:
books/magazines, stickers, coloring books and colored pencils, travel Etch-a-Sketch, travel games, and of course, an iPad – click on these links for great apps, videos and websites.
Click on the links below for favorite kid’s magazines.
Rand McNally Are We There Yet? activity book
National Geographic Kids (age 6+) and National Geographic Little Kids (age 3-6)
Highlights Hello™ (age 0-2) | High Five™ (age 2-6) | Highlights for Kids™ (age 6-12)
Sports Illustrated for Kids
Time for Kids
Ranger Rick and Ranger Rick Jr. (formerly Your Big Backyard)
4. Pack favorite snacks, drinks and your own sip cups/portable water bottles. When travelling by air, keep all food and beverage items together in one place, so it’s easier to grab them when you’re bogged down with your fam’s gear. If questioned by TSA, you simply hold out the bag and explain your child has special food needs (thus avoiding paying exorbitant prices for airline junk food).
Click on the links below for suggestions on best leak-proof beverage containers:
leak-proof sippy cups, Contigo water bottles and Contigo kid’s water bottles, CamelBak kid’s water bottles
Credits: BabyGizmo.com, Contigo, CamelBak
5. Take 2 days’ worth of disposable diapers/wipes/underpants/outfits/plastic grocery bags. With travel these days, be prepared to be held up or laid over. Accidents are NBD (No Big Deal) when you’re prepared.
6. Visit my 7 savvy traveler tips post for what to pack to assure the smoothest possible travel experience.
7. Don your child(ren) in easy-to-find clothing or accessories for busy, harried travel times and transitions. In Cambodia, I purchased sweet sing-song hippie bells and clipped them onto a safety pin which I then fastened to the back of our 18-month-old’s clothes daily. If she tried to wander while I was engaged with people, I’d hear her try to bolt and could reach out and catch her. This trick avoids lots of stress!
Song du Jour: Jamming (Live) by Bob Marley