1. What you carry on a flight with small children makes a difference. Pack backpacks with the right stuff, and flying is a snap.
2. Using a one-week packing list helps me to be sure I don’t over pack or leave anything behind.
3. And on that note about packing, pack to make unpacking easy. I like to pack clothes on hangers so all I have to do is pop everything out of the suitcase and into the right closet.
4. Making your way through security checkpoints can be a breeze, if you know what to expect.
5. When your luggage is misplaced, ask for a toiletry kit. The airline might forget to offer one to you.
6. Solve the ear pressure problem by nursing or offering a bottle, lollipop, gum or other snacks at takeoff and landing.
7. Don’t be afraid to plan an outing based on only one child’s interest. See if you can plan an activity for each child that way rather than planning 4 activities everyone will only mildly enjoy.
8. Club Med family villages offer fantastic amenities for families. I thought that Club Med was only for singles or adults. How wrong I was! Use their site to enter your youngest child’s age to find the right destinations for your family world-wide. We have been blown away by the childcare, access to baby-friendly food and in-room amenities, as well as all the family and adult activities.
9. Use the concierge! Hotel concierges are not just there for business travelers, they can be a huge help for planning activities, suggesting restaurants, ssecuring tickets to shows and much more. One concierge in France even served as my translator in ordering kid-friendly food from room service.
10. You don’t only have to go to traditionally kid-oriented destinations to have a blast with your kids. There is always something fun to do with your family just about anywhere you go. (And stashing a deck of cards and a few coloring and puzzle books can make boring adult stuff more fun.)
11. Keep your eyes open and be ready to make changes. I am still pumped that we saw a billboard advertising the Jello Museum last month. What a cool detour we took!
12.Yes, all of the extra bags and planning can be a hassle. But it totally pays off when you find a note in the hotel room from your son (who hates to write) like the one I featured above.
And, my bonus thing learned for today: Sometimes traveling to DisneyWorld without the kids is fun, too. Like this time I got to sleep in Cinderella’s Castle...
Miss any days? Here are all 12 Days of Christmas Travel Tips on MomsTravelTales:
- Day 1: One pep talk about family travel
- Day 2: The two best ways to manage a time zone change
- Day 3: Three reasons to consider a hotel staycation in December
- Day 4: Four ways to minimize stress on travel days
- Day 5: Five ways to be a gracious overnight houseguest
- Day 6: Six ideas for pampering overnight guests
- Day 7: Seven people to tip when traveling (and how much)
- Day 8: Eight tips for international travel
- Day 9: Nine secrets for a great hotel stay with kids
- Day 10: Ten tips for a better flight with kids
- Day 11: Eleven tried and true ways to beat boredom while waiting
- Day 12: Twelve things I’ve learned about travel with kids
Want to know more than just travel?
- Christmas Homeschool Fun: 1+1+1=1
- Christmas Decorations: Songbird
- Tips for a Healthy Holiday: The Thrifty Mama
- Saving Money: Surviving the Stores
- Christmas Recipes: Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures
- Christmas Family Fun: Life as Mom
- Homemade Christmas Gifts: The Happy Housewife