Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house, we go. Traveling this season?

Traveling with kids can be an amazing experience for them, for you, and the entire family. Traveling offers us the opportunity to share the world with our children. It opens our minds, expands our points of view, and allows us to experience life in different ways. 

However, traveling with kids can be a little, let’s say…challenging. It doesn’t matter if your kids are younger or older; each age and stage have its own rewards and opportunities for growth and learning. Traveling with babies and toddlers is quite hard but seeing the world through their eyes is like no other. It is freeing when your kids can manage their own suitcases and stuff, but there are still things that come up as we navigate the world together.

Do Your Research

Explore where you are going so you can set up expectations…for your family (and yourself). You want to research the place you are going. Don’t know where you want to go? 

Check out Marcie in Mommyland’s Top 23 Kid Friendly Travel Destinations for 2023 here. This may give you some ideas. However, if you already know where you are going, start collecting as much information as possible. What is there for kids? What are the most famous areas where you are going? Check Pinterest, YouTube, and more. Create a Pinterest board, save notes on your phone, or even print it out for a folder. 

Planes, trains, and automobiles…how can you get to where you are going? You can explore what works for your trip and what works for your family. Sometimes a road trip is what you need…sometimes a plane is the only way to go…if your trip is big enough, you may need to utilize a lot of different modes of transportation. Once you figure it out, you also want to start researching traveling with children. 

Here is the most current information from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) about traveling with children. The TSA has recently modified some of the rules about traveling with children under 12. These rules include how and what you pack. Standard TSA screening procedures apply if your child is 13 or older. 

Get Prepared

You did the research. Now what?! Before your trip, you want to get prepared. Take those notes and your folder. Then start getting ready for your trip. Here are some Travel Hacks for Families with Young Kids to get you ready. 

Some things you will need to buy to get prepared. Busy bags, gum, lollipops, activity folders, hand sanitizer, etc. If you are flying on a plane, check out these Top Activities for Kids on a Plane that You Will Want to Have! If you are doing a road trip, then check out The BEST Ideas, Activities + Hacks For Road Trips With Kids here.

One way that you can prepare is by making a checklist. You can make a personalized one on Canva, or Parents.com has a checklist to help you be prepared for traveling with kids. Find the checklist here.

Pack ahead and be as organized as you possibly can before you leave. Oh, and ALWAYS always have a change of clothes for each of your family members with you. In your carry-on, in your personal bag…be sure to have a full change of clothes to be prepared for the unexpected. And pack snacks…for your two year or your 17-year-old…have food on you. You will thank yourself later.

Be Flexible 

Yes, have an itinerary. Yes, have plans, but also be able to go with the flow. The unexpected will happen. It is better to have a good attitude about the situations that will arise. Sometimes that will be hard. Sometimes you will be crying over delayed flights, missing rental cars, disappointing rooms, or a myriad of other things. You hopefully laugh about it later, but if you go in with a sense of humor and an understanding that sometimes those hard moments will be some of our favorite memories. Plus, we are modeling how to handle disappointments for our kids. It is best if we can show them how to pivot. 

Have Fun

No matter if everything goes great or if there are hard things to overcome, the focus with your family should be to have fun. These are the memories you are making of your family. These are the stories your children will tell their children. You never really know you are in the good ol’ days when you are in them, but these are it. So take the trip, explore the road less traveled, and enjoy your kids (even when it is hard and you have baggage).