Okay so traveling with kids- the terrifying- not so terrifying journey. I started traveling with our son Kaimana at 3 weeks old. That was a little earlier than I had wished but my Koukla (grandmother) was close to the end so we made the journey from California back to Idaho one last time to see her before she passed. I do not regret for one moment that Kaimana and her got to meet for the first time before she left us just a few weeks later.
And here we are just a few weeks into age three and Kaimana has reached ALMOST 100+ flights.
I have listed my top 6 tips for traveling with children in no particular order. I am no expert, these are solely things that have worked for me. I do get asked all the time things I do, what I pack, how I do it by myself, all the questions, so I hope I can help some of you mamas & or papas out.
- Start them young. Just like anything else you do if it becomes part of the ordinary or routine kids adapt super quick. I am not saying everyone needs to travel + fly with their kids at 3 weeks but you can't be afraid to never do it or you will be that parent on the flight or at dinner with a 5 year old screaming the entire way or laying on the floor throwing a fit.
- Always be prepared. Whether you are on a road trip, flight, at a professional game, concert, or even just outing to eat you must always be prepared. If it seems like too much stuff, you still probably don't have enough. And you will still probably forget the one thing you need but having lots of options is key. Diapers, wipes, extra pair of clothes, toys, snacks, blankets, wipes, hand sanitizer, lotion, medicines, sunscreen, etc.
- Don't change your life and living just because you have a baby. I 100% feel that every child is different, and every parent requires their own rules, schedules, agendas, etc. but I never ONCE changed my schedule or gave up things I needed to do just because of that. Kaimana went wherever I needed to go. If it was nap time and he fell asleep in the car he fell asleep in the car, if it was nap time and I wanted to go to target- he slept in the stroller. There was NO we have to be home at this time and this time because its when he naps. I just wasn't that mom. Kai can still to this day sleep anywhere. I can transfer him in and out of car to home or store, he can sleep at my husbands NFL games if they land at nap time, he's been like that since he was a baby. But again thats just because thats all he knows. If you only let your kid sleep in a crib, at home, at the same time. Thats the only place they will sleep. And if that works for you great but if you plan to sleep anywhere else relatives, hotels, etc just know its going to be rough.
- Even if it's just you and your baby, YOU CAN DO IT! I get asked so many times about just specifially airport travel with Kaimana so I'm just going to touch on that. Out of the 90+ flights we are currently at, Michael (my husband) has been on maybe 15 with us. Its always been just Kai and myself and I promise you, you CAN all do it. So here is what you need to do: Bring the stroller, always bring the damn stroller. I check the carseat with my baggage and ALL airlines let you check a carseat for free. I bring either a backpack or diaper bag when he was smaller my purse and the stroller. Bring a baby carrier or wrap for when they are smaller and stuff that diaper back or backpack full of everything you need. Medicine (travel size), bottles, refillable water bottles, wipes, sanitizers, ALL the snacks, blankets, extra clothes, toys, books, stuffed animals, anything you feel that will keep them entertained. Your purse should just have what you can live with because carrying all the baby stuff, plus the baby, plus a heavy purse is just no good. Wallet, magazine or book, sunglasses, snack for yourself, light sweater, chapstick, lysol spray for everything, etc. You run into bumps along the way (delays, shitty airline service, and those things just out of our control) almost all airlines let you gate check it so you can bring it with you all the way to boarding. I DO NOT, and I REPEAT WILL NOT ever fly American Airlines or Allegiant in my life with or without child. My go to airlines are Delta, Alaska, and Southwest (in no particular order). I never bought a seat for Kaimana until I had to at age 2. But I always went up to the gate before boarding and asked if the flight was full and if it wasn't if they could change my seat so I could have extra room for the baby. 95% of the time its no problem.
- Schedule your traveling with what works best for you. Don't schedule a flight at 6 am knowing you have to be there at 4 am with baby and find a ride and blah blah blah. Just don't. Don't stress it doesn't help anything if you are flustered and nervous and in a bad mood. Your child senses all of those things and it just makes it hard for everyone. Just try to be as happy and pleasant as you can to everyone.
- Eating out. This is something we have never had a problem with, but again we started taking Kai out to eat with us ever since he was first born. When you first have a baby at most you can stay in is like 5 days, at least thats how I was and I had to get out of the house. Fresh air for you and your kids does a body good and noise and business of stores or restaurants actually can help you in the long run if your kids don't have to be in complete silence. Do whatever you feel comfortable with for sure and good luck!