What are some travel hacks for a family traveling together?
- Share space in each other's luggage and carry on:
Be sure to place a change of clothes for each person in each piece of luggage. That way, if one suitcase is lost or delayed, everyone has a change of clothes.
When traveling with my husband and kids, I put some of my liquid items in their liquids bag. My son, who was eleven, really had no need for bringing many liquids on the plane, so he carried everyone's little bottles of hand sanitizer.
- Be organized
There is nothing worse than getting to the airport or your destination and realizing that you have forgotten something important. Make lists and check them off!
- Talk to your children about appropriate behavior in airports and on planes. I had to ensure that my son know not to make jokes about weapons or bombs, and even to not make "finger guns." I made sure that my children were aware that the people in the seats in front, behind and around them would be easily disturbed, and could feel every kick of the seat. I instructed my son especially, who was a bit hyperactive at the time, that he would not be able to get up and move around whenever he felt like it, and that there would be lines to the toilet, and sometimes he would not be able to leave his seat.
- Bring distractions
For small children, bring a familiar toy and a new toy. Crayons and coloring books are always a winner, provided that you don't let your child color on things that shouldn't be colored on. (I have witnessed children coloring on the tray tables, parents oblivious)
If your children use electronic devices PLEASE BRING HEADPHONES! There is nothing more irritating to other passengers than hearing constant noises from your child's game or movie.
- Prepare your children for airport security procedures
Ensure that they are dressed appropriately, and ensure that they know they will have to have their favorite teddy bear or "lovey" placed on the belt and screened.
- Plan for regular bathroom stops and meals/snacks
Children tend to whine and fuss when they are bored or hungry. Packing a snack and stating that they can have their snack when, for example, they are at the gate waiting for the next plane gives them something to look forward to and limits. I personally packed a small snack for my kids to have for each leg of a long day of travel.
At designated bathroom times, insist that every member of the group use the facilities, even if they don't think they have to. I have been in that situation when my three year old insisted that he didn't have to go, but a half hour later when taking off, it was a "potty emergency." I had more success telling my children that it was the airline's rules that everyone had to go potty before getting on the plane.
Here are a couple of tips for flying with a newborn and small kids:
- Bring a small pillow to help with feeding during the flight.
- Try to get a window seat so your baby can have a little more wiggle room.
- Change your baby's diaper 10 minutes before getting on the airplane so you have ample time to get at flying altitude (where you can get out of your seat) before your child needs to be changed again.
- Pack items that will keep your children entertained and stimulated, like coloring books and light up toys.
- Pack extra snacks to keep their hunger at bay during a long flight.
- Make sure to have hand sanitizer on your person at all times, as airports and airplanes are filled with bacteria and germs.
Check out this article, 9 Tips For Flying With Small Kids | BiggieTips, for more tips on how to travel with small kids and this article, 10 Tips for Flying with a Newborn | BiggieTips for flying with newborns.
I hope this answer helps!