Life - April 12, 2023

Tips for Traveling With Kids

brighton butler tips for traveling with kids

It wasn’t until I traveled with my own kids that I really understood the fear parents have of traveling with children. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been on many flights with screaming children, but there’s something truly terrifying when it’s your OWN KIDS doing the screaming.

We’ve traveled a few times now with the kids, and I feel like I’ve picked up on a few tricks to help keep them entertained (or at least somewhat quiet) during the flight. But I decided to take to IG Stories to ask y’all what your best tips were for traveling with young kids.

Honestly, I’m so glad I did because you gave SO MANY good ideas that I’m definitely stealing for our next trip. I will also say that I’ve found the best time to fly with kids is between 3 and 9 months before they’re mobile.

After 9 months, it’s game over. They’re crawling all over the place until around 2 or 3 years old. Four is *just* now getting to an age where I think we’d feel comfortable putting him back on a plane. But I’ll for sure be revisiting this list the next time we do!

Tips for Traveling With Kids

fly nonstop

This was a tip that several of you shared and it makes total sense — why complicate things with a layover when you can get it all done in one flight? Even if it makes for a longer flight, it’s better than breaking up nap times and dragging out the travel even further.

Take the first flight of the day

Before I had kids, I’d never dream of taking the first flight of the day (sleep > getting up early, always). But once you have kids, you’re up early anyway, so you might as well start the travel then! Plus, you’re less likely to hit that chaotic time when kids hit their nap time but can’t fall asleep so they just get cranky.

build in a free reset day after you come home

THIS WAS BRILLIANT! I never do this, but I think I’m going to start. We usually get home from our trips on a Sunday night then Monday is horrible. But I think we’ll either start coming home on Saturday or take Monday as a reset day.

buy a few new toys for the flight

I did this with Four the last time we traveled and it was a game-changer. There’s something about new toys that keep kids distracted for way longer than their old toys would. Some of the top recs from y’all were sticker books, magic markers, and (of course) an iPad. I’ll link everything below!

board last with your toddler

Also a great idea. In my single days, I always liked to board early so I could choose my seat, but with kids, it’s actually easier to board last so they can run around until the last second. You can totally have another adult in your traveling party board early to snag seats. Another person suggested you shouldn’t check your stroller at the gate until you know you’re boarding.

lower expectations

I mean this is like the ultimate piece of advice IMO. If you have any expectations about how your flight will go, throw them out the window. Also, communicate with your kids about what’s going to happen so they’re not surprised by anything. I also loved the idea that someone suggested putting your child in an overnight diaper so you don’t have to change them so much.

book the minute suites at DFW for a nap/nursing

Okay… did NOT know this existed?? It looks like you can get one for less than $50 for an hour, which is perfect if your flight is delayed or you just get to the airport super early. I’m also seeing that all suites feature television, Netflix, wifi, etc. This is beyond genius. THANK YOU to whoever suggested this!

stick to nap schedules even when traveling through time zones

I’ve always wondered if it’s best to adjust nap schedules to start adapting your baby to the new time zone or to stick with their normal routine. One person recommended that you stick to the typical nap routine to make travel easier, then adapt once you’re at your new location. I’ll link a few things below that were recommended to help babies and toddlers sleep on a flight and during your trip!

bring allll the snacks

I remember seeing Stia (of Bishop & Holland) talk about how she makes little personalized snack boxes for her boys when they travel. Such a good idea. Not only does it give them something to eat, but having the snacks divided up into small sections takes longer to grab and keeps kids busy for longer. You can add popcorn, gummies, pretzels, or even tiny toys into these little boxes.

bottle or drink when taking off to pop their ears

Whenever we take off, I like to chew gum to help my ears pop. Obviously, you can’t give gum to a baby, but you can totally give them a bottle or sippy cup to help their ears pop during takeoff!

stay positive and flexible! they feed off your energy

This. I’ve definitely found that when I am stressed or anxious, my kids start to act differently. It isn’t necessarily easy to keep cool when you’re in the middle of a stressful situation mid-flight, but by staying calm, you can help your kids do the same. Easier said than done, I know – but worth trying!

A couple of other random things recommended were going to for baby gear rentals when you get to your destination. Oh, and several of you said you now bring a change of clothes for baby and you when on a flight thanks to me (just trust, I learned this the hard way lol).

things to bring when traveling with kids

brighton butler tips for traveling with kids