Writing

Helpful Tips for Traveling With Children – The Good Men Project

This article is a guest post about traveling with children. I was talking with a former high school friend about my writing. She said something that I firmly believe: “Everyone is interesting and has a great story.” Beginning in the 70s, and for several decades after, one author, named Suds Terkel, wrote entire books based on interviews and conversations with everyday people. Here are a few of them, with links to Amazon:

“Race.”

“Working.”

“The Good War”

In the spirit of the great Studs Terkel, I have a strong desire to expand the voice of this site to include other stories. If you are interested in writing about your parenting practice, or the parenting you received as a child, please see the guidelines for writing an article for me here. In case you missed them, there have already been two guest posts, by my friends Eric and Amy Ludwig, who wrote about teaching financial intelligence and reading to your children, respectively.

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I am happy to introduce our next guest writer, who has written a really nice piece about traveling with children. Corina Bumstead is a lifestyle blogger and a bilingual parent of 2 children. Originally from Germany, she moved to America a few years ago and began writing. On her website www.corinatime.com she writes about family, travel, and minimalism. Please enoy her article below:

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Traveling with two kids to Europe. Let me start with, “What on earth did I get myself into!?” I am sure, everything on our trip to the grandparents went wrong. Like it was not already stressful enough to fly with a 3-year old and a 9-month old by myself across continents. No, we not only missed one of our connecting flights, we also had to deal with 100 toilet breaks, crying outbursts, oh, and not to forget the stomach bug my 9-month old came down with (which turned out to be her first tooth coming in). Yep, I know what you are thinking… This woman is insane. I guess you have to be a little crazy and daring with strong nerves to get through traveling with children. Twenty four hours and 3 airplanes later here are the tips and tricks to stay calm and in control

1) Pack extra clothes!!

For my 3-year old, I packed 2 outfits and for my 9-month old 3. (Sleepers are easy-on/easy-off if needed.) I also packed 1 extra outfit for myself. Oh boy did I need them all… My 9-month old had two mega blowouts and both of them leaked through (one time on me). (Oh, the joys of teething.) My 3-year old was just fine no spills (so proud of him).

2) Keep Cool

Before we left, I was so worried that my kids would be the ones that were screaming and loud on the 9-hour flight. What would the other people think about me and my kids? I’ll tell you what, I did not care what the other people thought on that day. It was crazy enough as it was when my 9-month old decided to start teething that day. That tooth controlled our entire trip!

So, yes there was a lot of crying, but, when traveling with children, the more you worry about what others might think and the looks on other people’s faces, the more stressed you will get. Your stress will be felt by the kids and they will be affected by it too.

When you’re traveling with children, I recommend you just stay as calm and be as understanding as you can. It is a lot on their little bodies and minds. Just comfort them as good as you can and ask for help if needed. The flight attendants were all very helpful, so just keep cool, mama.

3) Be Mobile

I thought I could manage with only my baby carrier for my 9-month old, and my 3-year old could walk. I am so glad I decided to also bring along an easy-to-fold stroller for my older kid. Not only could I manage to move quickly to my connecting flight it also made it easier because he could rest in the stroller. I was no struggle keeping him by my side. In addition, airports are big; there are lots of people and it gets stressful. Trying to make him walk while he is overtired would have been a terrible mistake. When you are traveling with children, think about what you can do or bring to make the trip easier on you.

I recommend the Kids’ Travel Guide series if you are planning a trip in the near future

This is a good book about how to make your trip fun

4) Ask for Help

Everyone around you knows that traveling with children is difficult. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are nice people around you that will help get your suitcase from the baggage claim. Flight attendants will try to make your flight easier and help you out if you need to go on toilet or with other little things.

5) Food

Both of my kids did not care for the food on the airplane. They ate a small amount off the plate they put in front of them but got hungry very quickly after. So always have lots of snacks with you or let them eat a meal at the airport. We went and got us a meal before the flight and took it with us on the plane. That way they could always have something if they needed it or if momma needed it because no way did I have a chance to eat at the times they gave out food on the flight. You could ask the flight attendant if they would save your food until they could spare the time to watch your screaming little girl while you eat as fast as you can!

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Well as crazy as it was, I would do it again. Time with the Grandparents made it all worth it. I hope I could help you a little bit and do not scare you away from traveling with your children. It was crazy that time, but on our way home, it was all so much easier and calmer.

What were your funniest and craziest things that happened traveling with your children? Do you have any other live-saving tips for us parents?

Download my free check-list for traveling with children here.

Originally published on Dr. John Rich

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