International Travel Tips for Kids
- June 15, 2016
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hello everyone. So for the third year in a row, we’ve ventured off to Europe for a good part of our summer to visit family and friends in Spain and France. Although I am so fortunate to be able to do this, I have to admit that I do find leaving our comfort zone stressful. I began preparing in April (not kidding) and was packing down to the last minute. Today’s video shows you some glimpses from our plane trip, which went fairly smoothly although no one got too much sleep.
I’ve filmed videos before with tips for flying with babies and kids. I do have to say that for me, plane travel with kids gets easier each time. To me, travel with kids requires preparation and advance calculating, not leaving things to spontaneity as you might do on a couples trip. So with all that being said, here are 5 of my latest plane travel tips for long flights or international flights:
- Figure out your meal plan. Whether this means bringing sandwiches or eating a meal in the airport, make sure you have enough food for your kids. Many kids simply won’t eat airplane food, and you don’t want your kid being hungry when you need to get them to sleep. Hungry also means temperamental in my family, so to avoid fits and tantrums, aim for a full stomach.
- Restrict sugar. On a recent flight, I offered my two youngest a big huge milk shake from Shake Shack. Not a good idea. The got totally worked up and cried more than usual.
- Relax your rules. We have a TV free zone in our house during the week, and even on weekends I restrict TV and video games, but when on a plane, all those rules get thrown by the wayside. This is about survival, people, and survival equals anything that makes mom or dad’s life easier. So bring on the movies, games, or TV shows. Anything to keep them quiet and calm. That being said, on our flight I allowed the kids one movie and then tried to get them to bed. Why? Having them sleep even 3-4 hours is a heck of a lot better than just one hour in terms of the next day and jet lag, because it’s easier to get them on the new schedule when they’re not collapsing the day after a flight from an all-nighter.
- Get comfy. Bring anything you might need for a more comfortable journey, especially for night flights. If you can fit a bigger softer pillow, do so. Bring sleep masks, your nose-strip, I mean it — anything you or the kids need to add an extra few minutes of sleep.
- Global Entry. Try enrolling in a program called Global Entry which allows for shorter lines at security and fewer precautions, i.e. like removing your laptop from your bag and your shoes. This saved us a lot of time.
So that’s it for my most recent set of tips. Make sure to keep checking in for more videos on our summer plus our regular how-to baby, toddler and kid fare.
Thanks so much for following!