Traveling With Kids
Today I have the honor of having K.C. Proctor guest post on Abraham Chronicles. He’s family man who has a unique passion for blogging, social media, photography, and good tastin’ BBQ. Oh, he’s also been accused of starting Ninja Wars. KC blogs at SomeWiseGuy and tweets @ThatGuyKC. Be sure to show him some love in the comments!
I’m not what you would call a world traveler.
I’ve never visited a foreign country (if you live in Seattle then Canada doesn’t count) and I don’t even have a passport. GASP!
That being said I have flown a fair amount around the U.S. for a 28 year old and have at least had a layover in almost every single one of the 50 states.
However, this past weekend I entered a new domain.
Traveling with children.
Thanks to a generous gift from Nanny (a.k.a. my mom) we had the opportunity to visit my extended family in New Jersey and take a day trip to New York City (the pizza alone was worth it). While I was excited for LK & the kids to meet my aunts, uncles and cousins for the first time, I was more than a little concerned about how 4 year old EJ would do on her first airplane ride.
4 Essentials for Traveling with kids
Overall we had a great trip by keeping these tips in mind.
It’s always first, right? Regardless of where you’re going or the reason for the trip, getting everyone to the destination and back home in one piece is the ultimate goal. In the airport or crowded places make sure Mom & Dad have a firm grip on each kid. If you have more kids than collective hands (5+) the create a chain with the oldest on the end. Also, have kids wear bright colored shirts so they stand out.
Have you ever tried to keep a toddler (or any kid for that matter) occupied for more than 30 minutes? How’d that go? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Try a non-stop 5 hour flight cramped on a metal tube 30,000 feet in the air with a needy kid on either side. Books, dolls, coloring, toys, daddy’s iPhone, or even an in flight movie. Whatever it takes to entertain them is worth the preservation of your sanity.
Free (non-alcoholic) drinks are provided on the plane. Kids get hungry at weird times, don’t realize they’re hungry or will say they need sustenance at the most inopportune times. Pack some granola bars, fruit snacks, cookies, crackers or basically whatever will be semi-resistant to crushing and not take up a lot of space in your carry-on. Added bonus of packing some grub beforehand, you don’t blow their college fund on two Snickers and a bag of beef jerky at the gate.
What’s a trip across the country without a trinket to remember it by? Right, lame. Here’s the kicker though. Let them pick it. As parents we’re inclined to persuade a kid to pick something representative of the trip. Guess what? The kids don’t care. Each of our kids have a funny looking bouncy ball from visiting the Jersey shore (no, we did not see Snooki) and they’re happy. Mission accomplished.