Making Summer Travel Easy with Kids (well, as easy as it can be)!
Summer is the ultimate time to take a family vacation. If you are like most parents though, the thought of traveling with kids sounds more stressful than relaxing. Dealing with fussy and whiny babies on the airplane isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea, and neither is dragging loads of luggage through the airport.
As someone who has done it more than enough times, I’d say the discomforts and inconveniences are no match for the fantastic time you will have in new places, the adventures, and the new memories. After all, you have less than 18 summers to do this with them, so make the most of it.
With these tips for making summer time travel with kids easier, you will feel more confident as you get out of the door.
1. Pack light
Trust us on this, the less you pack, the better. Whether you are traveling by plane or cruising in your car, nothing makes things more complicated than bags and bags of luggage. You can always do laundry in the middle of the trip or buy new stuff when you get there. As a rule, try to pack at most two suitcases that are easy to carry or drag through the airport. This is two or three days’ worth of clothes, and you can wash them as you go.
2. Pack a small backpack for the kids
While children should not have their own suitcases, try to pack a small backpack with their special items. The items on the bag are strictly for entertaining and keeping them busy during the trip. Include a pencil case, Lego pieces, coloring book, tablet, and maybe one stuffed animal.
3. Always have an umbrella stroller and car seat
If you have kids between 3 months and 3 years, a lightweight foldable stroller is a must-have. In the heat of summer, a stroller will serve as a good place for the baby to take a nap or rest when the rest of the family is taking walks. It’s also an excellent place for the parents to hang a diaper bag or store water and snacks. A car seat will also provide a safe place for the child to sit or lie down during the trip.
4. Pack a carry travel bag
As you pack the suitcases, make sure also to pack a carry-on bag, so you don’t need to dig through the luggage during the trip. In the bag, put some baby wipes, refillable water bottles, snacks, and of course diapers. A change of clothes for you and the baby will also come in handy when someone spills juice on you or throws up all over you.
5. Relax the rules
Traveling with children is as stressful for them as it is for you. Relaxing the rules a bit can make things much less stressful for everyone. They may not drink artificial juice at home or spend 5+ hours in front of the screen, but one day of doing so won’t kill them. By allowing them to do stuff they don’t usually do, they will be too busy to fuss and too excited to whine.
The secret to making summer travel easy with kids is planning ahead and giving yourself plenty of time to maneuver through everything on the big day. If it takes you one hour two get through the airport alone, give yourself two when you have kids.