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Traveling with kids can feel daunting, especially for parents venturing into the unknown with their little ones. As seasoned travelers who embarked on adventures with our daughter from as early as 6 months old, we understand the fear and overwhelm that can accompany family travel. However, our experiences have taught us that it doesn’t have to be a daunting, stressful ordeal. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of travel tips to make your journey traveling with kids less intimidating and more enjoyable. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first family adventure, these tips will help you navigate the joys and challenges of travel with kids with confidence and ease.

Family travel blogger beauty and the bump shares travel tips for traveling with kids. Her daughter reading an airplane safety flyer.

Regarding family travel, it’s crucial to recognize that different ages call for different strategies to ensure a smooth journey. Traveling with kids, especially infants and toddlers, involves meticulous planning around their feeding and sleep schedules. As they age, packing essentials like snacks, tablets, headphones, coloring books, and educational activities becomes essential to keep them engaged and entertained. By tailoring your preparations to suit your children’s ages, you can minimize stress and maximize enjoyment throughout your travels.

Things to do Before Booking the Trip

When flying, there are things you can do ahead of time to reduce the stressors of traveling with kids. These things include:

Research airlines to identify those that are kid-friendly.

For international flights, these include JetBlue, SouthWest, Etihad, and Emirates. I have had the best experience with Etihad and their inflight nannies. Similarly, Emirates offers onboard toys, entertainment, and even kid-friendly meals.

Research airlines to identify those that are kid-friendly.

Book a flight that coincides with smaller kid’s bedtimes.

Red-eye flights are great for this very reason. The cabin lights are dimmed, which encourages sleep. Hopefully, this will mean the baby or kid will be asleep for a good portion of the flight.

Book seats at the back of the plane

When booking your plane seats, opt for those located at the back of the aircraft. They provide convenient proximity to the restroom, which is a strategic seating choice that ensures easier access for quick bathroom breaks during the flight, especially when traveling with kids.

TRaveling with kids Get the kid a window seat so that they are able to see the take-off and landing, as well as the clouds.

Get travel insurance

When securing travel insurance, ensure it includes coverage for escorted travel in case you or your child require hospitalization during your trip. This precautionary measure provides peace of mind and safeguards against unforeseen medical emergencies, especially when traveling with kids.

Things to do After Booking the Trip

Have a plan to get through airport security easily.

Do a mock run-through of checking in, going through airport security, and what boarding the plane is like with your kids. It should be a fun “game” for them, and when done a few times, they will know what to do when the big day comes.

Build enough time into your schedule for accidents, meltdowns, food, and just making your way to the gate. The worst thing is a rushed kid and a stressed parent. Make sure you add enough time to your schedule so you’re not rushing to the gate with kids, bags, and a stroller in tow.

Research rules specific to the airlines regarding luggage, carry-on items, liquids (baby formula), etc. Save this information to have later.

Research airports with play spaces.

Look for kid-friendly airports when traveling
This is the play space at London Heathrow.

Prepare little “peace offerings” for passengers in front of you or the same row. This can help lighten the mood a little if your little one gets cranky or disruptive during the flight. Heck, my husband and I have even purchased drinks for people due to other people’s kids tormenting them.

Download your kid’s favorite shows or movies to your tablet. These days, most streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime Anytime, Hulu, etc., allow you to download full series of shows.

Travel Tip: Things to do at the Airport

Have the TSA website available (What can I Bring?) that shows the items you can to bring. It is also a good idea to bookmark a similar page of allowable items specifically for the airline on which you’re flying. If you breastfeed you can bring ice packs. If you bottlefeed, you can bring formula and water if you’re using powdered formula.

Traveling with kids can be easier with a baby carrier
I wore my daughter for three years… EVERYWHERE.

Gate check the stroller. I wore my daughter for the most part, but the stroller helped with keeping things like her diaper bag or my carry-on bag from weighing me down while I wore my daughter in my ergo baby carrier. Plus, it is much easier to fold up the stroller if you have the baby strapped to you than trying to hold your baby in your hand.

Whatever you do, do not check your child’s car seat in with the luggage. The seat can become damaged or lost, rendering it useless.

Permit your kids to expend their energy before and in between flights. You can do this by having them jump/hop to the gate instead of walking. Have a tickle “fight”. You can also find an unoccupied gate or empty row of seats and play musical chairs.

What to Pack in Your Carry-on When Traveling With Kids

Only pack the essentials in your carry-on. Essential items include:

  • Snacks
  • Milk/Formula
  • Water
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Favorite toy and/or game
  • Tablet or other activity
  • Kid-friendly Headphones – My daughter uses BuddyPhones
  • Change of clothes for mom and baby
  • Sanitizer
  • Blanket
  • Plastic bags for soiled clothes
  • Disposable toilet seat covers for kids

Kid-friendly headphones are a must when traveling with kids. They can watch their favorites shows on the plane's entertainment system or on their tablets.

Keep your bag with you and not in the overhead to minimize getting up and interrupting your fellow passengers.

Not So Funny Story: There was a time when I was traveling with my family from New York to London, and a larger family was onboard. With the kids kicking the back of my seat, and the parents constantly getting up to go in their bags stored in the overhead bin, and then having a bag fall on my head, I was THROUGH! I have a kid, so I usually understand, but this was over the top.

So please DO NOT be that family.


For newly potty-trained kids, bring a few pull-ups for those just-in-case moments. You never know when you end up stuck on the tarmac and can’t reach the restroom. You can have the kids wear the pull-up for the flight but still be a big boy/girl by putting their underwear over it.

Once kids are old enough, get them involved. Let them help you pack. Also, children love having their own little backpacks or suitcases. It makes them feel like a bigger kid.

Miscellaneous Travel Tips When Traveling with Kids

Dress both your kids and yourself as comfortably as possible. Put them on layers so that if they get hot, you can just remove something.

Traveling with kids dress kids in layers

Dress your smaller kids in clothes you wouldn’t mind them getting dirty or having to leave behind if necessary.

Parents, try getting enough rest before the trip and stay hydrated. You will need that extra help and patience with your kids and others.

Lastly, be kind to yourself. I promise you are doing a better job than you think.

What are some things you do to prepare yourself for traveling with kids?

To help you, I have put together this list of travel tips to help your experience traveling with kids less stressful and scary. #travelwithkids #tipsfortravelingwithkids #familytravel #travel


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