This post contains a sponsored inclusion of ALOHA Collection, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board.
Recently, my husband and I flew together without two toddlers in tow. No offense to our darling children, but by comparison, traveling just the two of us was as relaxing as a spa day. There was no security line stroller-wrangling, digging in my bag for another toy car, or wondering just how many more minutes until we landed. After years of having a tiny entourage 24/7, it took a solo trip for me to realize how hard it is to travel with kids.
The upcoming holiday events mean lots of travel for most families, so we gathered all the tried-and-true kid travel tips we could find. Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, these tips will (probably) get you to your destination without pulling out your hair. The number one tip? Organization is the key to success (and no breakdowns). Read on for five ways to set yourself up for holiday travel success.
Spend extra time packing (to save your sanity)
Organization is necessary when you’re wrangling an entire family’s worth of stuff, especially when those little people require so many things (how?!). Take the time to lay out everything you and your family will need for your trip and set aside all the travel necessities. Instead of just throwing everything else into a bag, use packing pouches and other travel gear that can simplify your life—like the travel bags from ALOHA Collection.
Our family doesn’t leave the house without our ALOHA Collection tote and pouches, whether we’re catching a flight or taking a road trip. Their totes fit absolutely anything and everything you could imagine two tiny people needing—snacks, toys, extra clothes—you name it. The pouches are perfect for separating kid items because they come in a wide range of sizes, colors, and patterns so you can designate a pouch for each family member. Once your belongings are zipped away in each pouch, they easily fit into your tote making packing (and finding your stuff in a pinch) so much easier.
Not only are ALOHA Collection bags extremely functional, but they’re also super stylish and easy to clean. We’ve all sacrificed bringing the cute bag while going out with kids because we know it’ll likely get stained. But no sacrifice is necessary with these bags since they can be wiped down or tossed in the laundry. Maximum organization for the kids, yet fashionable and mess-proof for mom—that’s a win-win. Shop now and save up to 40 percent on ALOHA Collection bags until December 5!
Distractions are key
The trick for happy kids while traveling? Give them something novel. It will keep their attention much longer than the toys or games they play with all the time. And it doesn’t have to be expensive – think stickers, a new book, or a rattle. Amazon and Target’s Bullseye Playground are goldmines for cheap toddler and kids toys.
Make a game plan (but know it will change)
Of all people, moms are aware that there’s no such thing as a “quick drive” with kids, and it will take twice as much time to get through the airport. If you’re taking a road trip, plan a few stops for food, bathroom breaks, and to stretch your legs. Take a look at your route to scout out rest stops that have clean bathrooms and restaurants your whole family will enjoy.
Heading to the airport? Ask for help from people around you. Let others go around you in the security line. Check most of your bags so you’re not lugging around one more thing—most of the time checked bags are cheaper than carry-ons depending on the airline. If the airports you’re traveling through have apps, download them so you can easily map the route to your gate. Once you find your gate, walk your toddler up and down the halls and show them all the “new” sights to hopefully wear them out before the flight. And if all else fails, those screen rules go out the window during trips.
Avoid hangry situations with all the snacks
Have you ever seen a baby or toddler (or your husband) when they’re hungry? It’s not a pretty situation. Avoid that with your entire being. If you have a baby who drinks formula, make sure you have the powder ready to go. Be sure to take it out at security because they’ll likely do additional tests. Traveling with a toddler or a big kid? Pack reusable water bottles and an insulated container full of single-serve snacks. If you need anything on the road, Starbucks always stocks organic pouches and most airport and gas stations have healthy-ish options like milk, trail mix, and fruit.
And remember – give yourself some grace
If you need a moment for yourself, distract your kids, put on your earbuds, and listen to your favorite song. Tell your partner you need a moment and take a lap around the airport. Indulge in that cookie. You’ll be back to your routine soon enough—enjoy the holiday now.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of ALOHA Collection, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.