I have spent many, many hours travelling with small people. Mostly in cars and on planes and often as a solo parent. Many families are travelling for the first time in a long time again this summer – a great occasion to collect my top tips for travel.
I also polled some moms that flew earlier in the year about covid-concerns. The biggest feedback was to plan for snafus. Cancelled flights, test results that don’t arrive in time to catch the flight, etc. all this ads to stress levels but you can prepare a bit by having extra food, clothing, diapers, chargers, masks, medicine, formula, etc.
The time spent thinking about and planning for travel is not wasted. Have a safe trip and remember to enjoy it when you get there!
No Buttons, No Zippers
Think through all aspects of your travel. Will you be on your own with a baby, using an airplane lavatory?
Wear clothes you can manipulate one-handed while holding a baby and possibly a toddler in a tiny space. Yoga pants, anyone?
Food, Glorious Food
Pack small portions of favorite snacks & foods in baggies. For you and the kids.
Hungry people are grumpy people but this is something within your control. Take more than you think you’ll need – baggage claim can take a long time, too…
This is not the time for experiments or new things. Think: low sugar, non-sticky, non spilling.
Keep kids entertained with small gifts – individually wrapped (e.g. in newspaper). One for every 30-60min of flight time.
Wrap favorite small toys (hide them a few weeks before the trip) and a few new things. Nothing with little parts to loose.
For older kids (4-6) make a chart with spaces for every 30min (a 6 hour flight will have 12 spots) and give them a new self-inking stamp.
They can mark off travel time this way. Include a map and mark progress too as you get closer to your destination.
Pack a Change of Clothes for Everyone
Take a fresh shirt for everyone travelling – yourself included.
Fresh undies and a zip-bag for the wet ones can be helpful for little ones, too.
And wet-wipes. Lots of them.
Stickers, Paper & Pens
Stickers keep kids busy. Pack fresh sheets of stickers for each child. They’re easy, versatile, no mess & removeable.
Also paper & good coloured pencils or non-staining pens. Preferably with caps that can’t get lost.
Double the Time
Estimate how long it will take you to get from A to B (e.g. from check-in to gate). Then double the time.
Always go to the bathroom & change diapers before boarding the plane. Use the disabled bathrooms – they’re so much bigger.
Do you have anything to add? Please share in the comments.
Photo credit: Rosie Steggles on Unsplash