We can all agree that traveling is stressful. Whether it’s from fear of flying, the reasons why you’re traveling, getting you and your posse through security, or just for the mere fact that you are traveling period. But, traveling with child(ren) takes it to a whole notha level!
Can I get an Amen?!
And when you are the ones not traveling with children, it can be even more stressful when you see us approaching. I know and feel the thoughts that run through your head when you see us walking up: double stroller, an infant attached to each of our chests, car seats and bags. You have dueling emotions: from awe those are cute babes and they must have their hands full, to I sure hope they aren’t on my flight! And I get it! Oh man, do I get it. I was there not too terribly long ago myself. However, I don’t think I have ever or would ever outwardly act like those were my thoughts. But many can’t keep that stuff in for whatever reason.
So, I’m gonna break this down for those of us on each side of the coin, the child-free traveler and the ones with child(ren). It’s definitely not an extensive list of travel tips, but a few things I’ve learned from being on each side in a short amount of time.
Child-free travelers with babes or rugrats on your flight:
- Relax. You can’t change it, so embrace it, or at least don’t outwardly groan.
- Smile at the parents or adults caring for them-it goes a LONG way, and I can promise that they’ll try extra hard to keep all children under control (be a jerk, and you can pretty much expect your seat to get kicked).
- When the child(ren) starts breaking down, how bout offering to help out instead of plugging your ears and tossing dirty looks (yes, that’s happened to us by a grown adult man!)
- Offer to help carry some of the stuff, especially when it’s an adult by themselves with a little one(s).
- Extend grace. The parents are probably a nervous wreck about juggling it all while trying to keep their kids in check and from having major meltdowns. And try to remember what those days were like for you (if you have kids that is!)
To you traveling with child(ren) in tow:
- Spend the $85 to get TSA PRECHECK! It’s worth every cent, minute, and headache you’ll save yourself.
- Wear your child through security if you can.
- Push your car seat and stroller all the way down the jetway and gate check there. It’s a great way to carry bags and the babe can go back in the stroller once through security if need be.
- Travel as light as possible. Funny right, but seriously, try to bring only essentials with you on the plane. Just make sure an extra pair of clothes is part of it!
- Wear multipurpose clothing (aka an oversized cardigan or blanket scarf) that can be used to cover you and the babe when it gets cold/you’re nursing.
- Toss your schedule out the window-make sure you feed that child via a bottle or nursing during takeoff and landing to help their ears!
- If you have an older child-bring snacks and something to keep them entertained.
- Relax and breathe! Babies are gonna cry. They are babies. Don’t stress. Buy your neighbors an adult beverage or a set of headphones if they don’t drink! Or lend them yours. Even if they don’t accept, an offer can change the experience for all.
I would love to hear your tips and tricks for either side of this! Leave them in the comments below.