Spring Break With Kids: Flying & Packing Tips
With Spring Break upon us, I wanted to share some tips for successfully surviving Spring Break with kids. I also wanted to share some of our flying & packing tips, because I’ve been getting so many messages from you guys over on Instagram! We’re in Florida visiting my parents this week, and it’s been so much fun to get away from everyday life. It’s funny how much you get stuck in your normal routine at home, and it’s nice to mix it up a bit.
Traveling with kids can totally be stressful. Just the thought of packing up a family of four, and flying on an airplane can send me into an anxiety tornado (not going to lie, I’m an anxious mama). But forcing myself out of my normal routine, and changing things up for the kids, is good for everyone in the family!
This was our second time flying with both kids. Security with kiddos is always interesting. Once we were past security we found out that we had a 1.5 hour delay. Getting told your flight is delayed when your traveling with kids down right SUCKS. All parents traveling with kids should be offered free cocktails and wine before & during the flight. We also had a almost 2.5 hour drive to my parents house after we landed at the airport (the kiddos were exhausted, and Emma was overtired (aka screaming most of the drive home). Needless to stay I was SO tired when we arrived at my parents house.
Although traveling with kids can be totally exhausting, there are some tips for flying and packing that we have implemented that have helped us a lot! I’m excited to share them with you today, and feel free to leave some of your tips for other mamas in the comments below!
1. START PLANNING & PACKING WAY AHEAD OF TIME
There is nothing more stressful than planning things out the day before you leave for your trip. We have an ongoing packing list that we use for just about every trip we take with the kids. It has the main things that we need, and then we just add to it for each new trip. This trip I didn’t get things packed into my suitcase until the night before we left, but I had everything planned out, washed, and ready so I could just add the stuff into my suitcase the day before we left. Most of the kids stuff we have to add last minute because they are still using it up until the time we leave (like their bedding, monitors, noise machines, etc)
2. CHEWING OR SWALLOWING ON THE WAY UP/DOWN
I always nurse Emma on the way up & on the way down to prevent pressure in her ears. One time she was sleeping during the descent and I didn’t wake her, and she was actually okay. It’s kind of a gamble. For Noah we always make sure he’s chewing/swallowing on the way up and down. Dylan always goes to the grocery store and get’s the most tasty looking blueberries. He washes them, and puts them back in the container. Then we put them in my backpack, and bring them on the flight. Noah loves blueberries. We also usually bring some pouches because he loves those. We’ve only had an issue where his ears hurt on the way down once before, so we started to teach him how to open & close his mouth really big to pop his ears.
3. ANTICIPATE THE SLEEPING SITUATION
Figure out where exactly they will be sleeping when on vacation. It’s best to have a plan for this even before you arrive. We didn’t get to my parents house until close to midnight during this trip, so knowing where and in what they were sleeping in was key. As soon as we arrived we got to work setting up their sleeping areas, and got them down right away. Noah is in love with his travel crib. I had no idea he would still be able to sleep in it, but he still fits in it perfectly. He’s been using it since he was a baby, and he loves how comfy it is. He calls it his “black bed” and actually looks forward to sleeping in it on vacation. I’m thinking he will have moved on to regular beds on our next trip, but this thing has lasted us so long, and we will be using it for Emma next. Emma sleeps in a dock a tot when traveling. I take the stuffing out, and pack just the cover. When I get to our destination I stuff it with towels around the edge, and then put a blanket underneath it for padding. Luckily she stays still while sleeping, and doesn’t roll to her stomach during the night so this works perfectly for us. She sleeps in our room so I can hear & see her at night.
4. PREPARE FOR A STRESS FREE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE
Arrive to the airport EARLY. We always get there 2 hours before our flight takes off. Going through security with kids can take awhile. One of our bins always gets checked because we bring snacks and water for Noah. If your little one is drinking milk or you have water for formula on the flight they will have to test the liquids. Sometimes you can be waiting for up to 20 minutes for someone to check your stuff before you can head to your gate. Make sure to have entertainment ready if it’s needed. Noah is usually really good on flights (he actually napped on the way to Florida, which was awesome!). But we like to have his favorite tv shows and movies downloaded to a phone or iPad. You can actually download Netflix or Amazon Prime shows to your device before you leave home.
5. TREAT YO SELF
We found out that we had a 1.5 hour delay after we got through security this time. I was immediately bummed. Ugh… all of that planning, and now the situation was completely out of my control. I immediately went to the nearby cafe and got a couple of cookies and a coffee. Noah loved the cookies, and I needed the coffee, lol. I also treated myself to a glass of wine on the flight. Emma was super chill just laying on my lap, and Noah was asleep so I was actually able to enjoy it (I felt so accomplished as a mom, LOL).
I hope that these tips help you if you’re planning an upcoming trip! Leave some of your tips in the comments for other mamas below!
XO & happy travels!