Thursday, May 17, 2012

GUEST POST: Traveling With Children

Hey everyone! Hope you all are still having a good week! Like I mentioned yesterday I am having some of my lovely swaps take over my blog while we are on vacation. Kristy shared with us yesterday some toddler packing tips. So today Kristina is going to share some tips on traveling long distances with her children.

Please stop by and say hello!

Hi there! I'm honored to be sharing over here today. I'm Kristina, wife to an amazing hubby and mama to three kiddos, 6, 3, and 1. You can find me blogging over at From City Corporate to Suburb Mama. Josie asked me to share about my experiences traveling with small children. So here are a couple guidelines we use when we travel long distances with the kiddos.

My husband's family is from Peru, so we try to visit at least once a year. Back when we just had one kiddo, we actually managed to get back there 2x a year and we quickly developed a plan of action and strategy for traveling with little kids.

The first thing I would recommend is getting to the airport early enough to make sure you can be one of the first to check in. This ensures that you can ask for the front row seats and not get stuck all the way in the back or as sometimes can happen, get split up. We've done both, We've gotten there early and gotten great seats and we've also gotten there late, and been split up. The latter is no fun! And thankfully, as was our case, people on the airplane are happy to move if it means you can sit together as a family and also that they don't have to sit right next to a child the entire trip! :) 

Don't be afraid to ask for special accommodations. You are traveling with a child(ren) and they will usually do their best to make your flight as comfortable as possible. 

Make friends on the plane. I've always found that if you board the plane with a smile on your face and lots of "please" and "thank yous" coming out of your mouth, you'll have a much easier time of it if/when your child decides to "lose" it later on in the trip. Let's face it, happy babies are so adorable and irresistible. If you can "charm" the people around you with your kiddos before the flight takes off and get on friendly terms with those sitting around you and the flight attendants  before the missed nap causes a meltdown, they will be much more understanding and helpful if/when that happens.  

Bring lots of fun new treasures! If your child doesn't have a fun backpack that fits nicely on their back that they love to wear, I highly recommend getting one before your trip! You can then stock this little backpack with some new treasures they can discover on the trip! (Just don't make it too heavy or you'll end up carrying it!) I usually raid the $1 section at Target from some new fun things they can play with or try. It's cheap and they usually have some great things in that section. Put a couple new things in that backpack for them. They will love carrying it around and opening it up and discovering all those new little trinkets. Then, stock your carry-on with a few more so that there is always something else to surprise them with. If you make traveling fun, the experience will be so much more positive for everyone! 

Don't forget snacks! When traveling internationally these days, most of the time, you are are provided with  a meal and beverages and sometimes even snacks, but when traveling nationally, most of the airlines are now charging you for your meals. Let's face it, airline food isn't always the most amazing food and even if it is free, most of the time, kids aren't going to want to eat it. Make sure you bring things that are easy to carry. I always have a good supply of granola bars (pick their favorite ones!), and fruit snacks and other easy-to-carry food items. My kiddos always seem to be starving on trips, so having a good supply of food with you with help avoid hunger meltdowns! 

Traveling with younger children can feel scary. I know we've done it a dozen times and yet I still feel nervous about what could happen, each time we gear up for another trip. Making sure you're prepared already gets your trip off to a good start. Don't be afraid to ask for help! Most people are more than happy to lend a hand when they see your hands full with bags and kids! And most of all, cover your bases. Prepare for the worst so that you're ready if it does happen and then sit back and enjoy your trip, because kids are much more resilient and flexible than we sometimes give them credit for and you might just find that they pass out for a nice long nap the entire flight! 

Happy travels! :)

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