Things to Pack When Traveling with Children

Traveling is one of the single most liberating and fulfilling things that you can do with your time, but traveling with children presents a whole host of obstacles that you need to take into consideration. When you’re traveling with adults, in most cases everyone is able to fend for themselves, but bringing your children into the picture means you’re responsible for both your own wellbeing as well as theirs. Make things easier for yourself and your family by packing these essentials every time you’re traveling with your children.

  • Infants/Toddlers
    • Formula/breast pumps
      • Unlike adults on vacation, gas station snacks and fast food just won’t cut it when it comes to feeding your baby. Babies need to eat, and they need to eat often, so you need to be prepared for trips that are going to take longer than an hour or two.
    • Diapers
      • You need to stop regularly for bathroom breaks when traveling, and your toddler does, too. That’s why it’s super important to remember to bring extra diapers along with you when you’re on the go; think if you were stuck on an airport runway for several hours stuck sitting in a dirty diaper!
    • Pacifiers
      • Babies can be fussy, so make life easier for yourself and everyone around you by bringing a pacifier and a spare with you whenever you travel. They’re small and easy to transport, and they can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
  • Children
    • Books
      • If your children are budding bookworms, reading is a great way to keep them occupied and content during long trips. In preparation for your journey, take them to the bookstore and have them pick out a few books that interest them and save them for the trip.
    • Spare clothing
      • Parents, it’s no secret that kids can get dirty, so stay ahead of the mess by being prepared with an extra set of clothing. This is especially applicable if you’re traveling for multiple days; make sure you have enough spare outfits that your child will have clothing for the whole trip.
  • Everyone
    • Pillows/blankets
      • Whether you’re traveling by train, plane, bus, or car, if you’re not the one navigating you can sit back and relax, so make sure you’re packed for it! Bring your children’s favorite pillows and blankets for them to nap with on the journey to help pass the time.

5 Holiday Travel Tips

If the holidays are synonymous with anything other than spending time with relatives, it’s the travel required to to physically get to said loved ones. Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year’s, save yourself some stress and get prepared with these holiday travel tips for a relaxing break.

 

1. Avoid the busiest travel days.

A huge way you can cut down on the stress of holiday traveling is by avoiding the busiest travel days — that is, the day or days when most people are in transit for a specific holiday. For Thanksgiving, the busiest day to travel is November 25th, December 2rd is the busiest travel day for Christmas, and December 30th is the most popular travel day for New Year’s festivities. On the flip side, the best days to travel for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are November 30th, December 27th, and January 1st, respectively. If your plans are flexible, you can also consider flying on the actual holidays since most people don’t travel on the holiday itself.

 

2. Get your tickets early.

While the ‘3:00pm on a Tuesday two weeks before your flight’ rule works for most of the year as the cheapest time to buy tickets, when it comes to holiday travel, there’s no better way to save yourself some money than by booking your flight early. Some airlines even offer to compensate you if you buy your ticket early and the price later drops.

 

3. Don’t fly midday.

For less congested flights, try booking your flight either really early or really late in the day. Look at it this way: you don’t want to be traveling during the times that everyone else wants to be traveling. While traveling midday might be convenient scheduling wise, if you want to avoid crowds — and a higher chance of delays — book your flights for early morning or late at night when there are less people and a lesser chance that your flight will be pushed back.

 

4. Have everything ready the night before.

Aside from your toothbrush and whatever else you need to get ready in the morning, have everything you need to take with you packed and ready to go the night before you depart. There’s nothing worse than the panic you feel when you’re running late and can’t find your phone/wallet/keys, so by having everything you need all together can help cut down on last-minute stress. You’ll also want to make sure you have a full tank of gas (or at least plenty to get you to the airport) the night before to limit the amount of stops you need to make in the morning when you set out.

 

5. Take some deep breaths.

Even if you travel on one of the less busy days, traveling during such a popular time of year is bound to come with some setbacks and obstacles. Keep reminding yourself that ‘you can’t control the situation, you can only control how you respond’ to keep your head and stay calm under frustrating and inconvenient circumstances.