Discovering new places, experiencing different cultures, unwinding, relaxing or just taking in some fun in the sun. Traveling is a adventure of a lifetime. While traveling sounds amazing, all of the details that go into the planning can be overwhelming. Travel planning can seem exiting for some and stressful for others. Traveling with kids regardless of their age can add to the stress. Providing a child the perfect amount of entertainment, comfort, and meals can either allow for a smooth ride or create a moment of chaos.
As a mother traveling with two tween boys and a teenage daughter that can be a challenge even at their age. While you may think it is a lot easier to travel with a tween then an infant. There are some challenges that come with the territory. To some that may sound easy. But the reality is that at the “I need to know” stage they want answers and have demands. How long is the flight, is there wifi, and where’s my seat are just the first round of questions they begin with.
Here are some helpful tips that help me with traveling with my tween boys and teenage girls.
Inflight Packing and Preparation:
- Depending on the age of the child, have each child bring a backpack filled with items that will keep them distracted such as soft toys (nothing that can make loud noise), coloring books, crossword puzzles, reading books, playing cards, or small puzzles.
- Have the child bring an extra sweater or blanket, just incase they get cold on the plane.
- Depending on the duration of the flight and the hour that you are traveling have the child bring a small pillow or a travel pillow. This will allow them to nap and feel rested when they arrive at their destination.
- Have the child dress comfortably. I grew up in a home where my parents for some reason wanted me to be dressed to impress when traveling. I can remember looking adorable but I was far from comfortable. Comfort is key. The two rules in my home for my children are to wear loose fitting clothes and socks are a must have to keep your feet warm.
- Have the child select some comforting snacks to place in their bags. Even though the airlines provide snacks, they might not have a great selection that will make the children happy.
- Have the kids keep a pack of wipes, kleenex, and hand sanitizer in their bags for any sticky situations.
- If your child has an electronic that they will be bringing on board, make sure they are charged and always have handy an extra backup battery charger.
- Almost every airline offers inflight movies, make sure your child has handy a pair of headphones with a traditional plug. I recently had an experience with my son where his headphones did not work with the traditional plug and I was forced to purchase a pair from the airlines.
- I always provide the kids a few pieces of gum that will help them battle the ear popping that they might have with the take-off and landing of the plane.
- Selecting the seating arrangement when purchasing your flights are ideal to make sure that everyone is sitting next to each other. Sometimes this isn’t possible depending on where you book your flights. Contact the airlines and try to arrange the seating prior to the arrival of the airport.
- When checking into your flight, double check the seat arrangements and any special requests.
- While waiting for the flight, make sure everyone uses the restroom.
- Don’t sit, remain active while waiting for your flight. I always have my children walk around and window shop. This will allow them to burn off any energy that have and prepare them to be sitting for a while.
- Communicate, I am a strong believer that if you have a small talk with the kids explaining the flight information. If possible selecting where and who they want to sit next to during the flight. Will help ease the tension and anxiety.