Between both of us at LTC, we do quite a bit of traveling throughout the year. Since I just returned from a trip to the Cayman Islands and the USA and Ash is about to go on a month long trip to the USA, we thought now would be the perfect time to share some travel things that we are Smitten With (Survival Guide Edition)!
Traveling with the whole family is....let's just face it, miserable. Being on a 10 hour flight and trying to entertain my (very active) 2 year old is not my idea of a good time. I think back to my pre kid days when I was annoyed with how long a flight was, how cramped the seats were, how I had nothing to do but read, how they weren't showing enough of the movies I had been wanting to see, and blah blah blah, and I kinda want to kick her in the shin...hard. These days, traveling is all about surviving and keeping the tears to a minimum (my toddler's as well as my own).
We have done a ton of flying with our son, and thankfully I have always had my husband with me to tag team, but man is it still hard! Each stage comes with its own difficulties but once they are mobile and NOT interested in sitting, listening, sleeping, or being at all cooperative...man, you have to have a few tricks up your sleeve! Take it from me, a mama who first flew half way around the world with her son who was just 3 months old, and has flown with him countless times since, you will survive!
1. Headphones for kids: These are great! Oliver is still not too sure about them but definitely for an older child, these would work out wonderfully. They have a volume limit so they can't be turned up too high and hurt your child's ears, and they're also super comfy.
2. Survival Treats: Perfect for take off and landing to help those little ears pop and stay ouchie free. Treats are also good in warding off oncoming meltdowns!
3. Baby Carrier: We have never brought a stroller with us while traveling, our Ergo Baby has always been our life saver! About 90% of the time you can wear your child through security without any problems! I always put Oliver in there while boarding so that he can't get away and also so that my hands are free. The Ergo was a major sanity savor on our last flight just a few days ago as Oliver was going nuts to the extreme, so I put him in the carrier and walked up and down the isles with him until he fell asleep! Usually, as soon as our plane has landed I also put him back in the carrier so we can handle all of our carry ons and get off the plane, stress free. I seriously can't tell you enough, just how much that thing has saved our sanity!
4. An iPad or some other sort of handheld device: Load that baby up with movies and fun apps for the kids!
5. A backpack: One with lots of pockets and compartments are the best. One pocket for toys, another for diapers and wipes, one for extra clothing, another for snacks, one for your personal items and wallet...you get the idea.
6. Never before seen toys: Load up on quite a few brand new toys for them to play with on the plane. My son is all things car obsessed, so I loaded up on brand new Hot Wheels for him to marvel at on each new flight.
7. Comfy plane attire for you, mama!: I'm obsessed with these polka dot leggings by Lauren Conrad! They're way cute and super comfy.
8. Lavender Essential Oil: It's calming and lovely. Rub some of this on the back of all of your necks as well as on your temples. Put a drop in your hands and inhale with your hand cupped over your mouth and nose. It's safe for children and great for the whole family!
9. Warm and comfy slipper socks for everyone!: Keeping your bulky shoes on can be uncomfortable for you and your child. But also, cold feet are the worst! Get comfy with a nice pair of socks or slipper socks for the flight. May reduce the force of impact on the seat in front of your non stop kicking child.... eh, probably not.
10. Sticker books: These are great! Get many of them.
11. Somewhat healthy snacks: Don't be too big of a stickler on this. Goldfish Crackers and M&M's are also great but sometimes having something that can act as a meal replacement is also a good idea. When the plane food tastes like dog snot... it's nice to have a backup plan. for you as well as the kids.
12. Make up bag: It's important to have a little bit of you space in all of your packed luggage. Get a cute bag like this one for all of your travel needs. Emergency chap-stick, blush, headphones, gum, secret chocolate, a flask (kidding not kidding) whatever you want and need!
There you have it! My little guide to surviving traveling with the whole family! I hope you're as smitten with these little tips as I am! What are your go to survival methods to traveling with your whole family? We would love to hear about them in the comments!