It’s not often that I find myself singing John Denver, but when flying to Colorado, I can’t resist. “I’m leaving on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again.” Of course, I do know when I’ll be back. Since Mark is picking up the girls and me at the airport, I’ve looked up our exact return flight information half a dozen times.
The girls and I are going to Estes Park with my parents for a few days this week. This will be Adrienne’s first time flying and Annalyn’s first time flying in a few years. To say we’re all a little anxious about this trip would be an understatement.
I wrote about flying with little ones a few years ago, and I can verify that the tips in that article are solid. That’s because I’ve been reading over them as I prepare for this trip! I’m glad I took the time back then to write about our experiences back then while the memories were fresh. I usually fly a couple times a year, but it has been quite a while since I had anyone other than myself to worry about at the airport or in flight. If you’re flying with kids this summer, head over to that post for some great tips!
And if you have tips or advice for traveling with kids, I’d love to hear them! A few more tips that I’m using this time around:
- Roll your clothes (instead of folding them) to fit more into a suitcase. No joke, this tip (courtesy of Jessica Turner) has changed my packing life!
- Take a handful of suckers on the flight to help little ears when the pressure changes. My eight-year-old has a retainer that comes with a no-gum rule, and my two-year-old doesn’t chew gum yet. So I’ve got bags of fruit snacks (also not great for the retainer, but oh well) and, even better, suckers.
- Don’t skimp on the baby wipes. This tip is in my other post, but it cannot be repeated enough. No matter where you are in the potty training spectrum, take baby wipes for any and every mess or spill. You won’t be sorry!
- Try a headphone splitter so kids can share one device. I don’t want to pack (and then keep track of) more than one device. So I’m downloading a few episodes of shows both girls enjoy to our Kindle Fire and then hooking up a headphone splitter. That turns one jack into two, so big sister can wear her earbuds and little sister can wear her new hot pink headphones.
- Pray. Breathe deep. Remember you’re making memories and writing stories to be told for years to come. Even the accidents and meltdowns and spills and tears are part of the adventure. (Also, maybe pack yourself a little chocolate or wine or People magazine as a reward for surviving?!)
Do you have packing or traveling tips? Share in the comments!
Photo by Hillary Boles
If this is your first time linking up with WFMW here, PLEASE read the guidelines I shared in this post. Highlights include linking your specific post, not the front page of your blog, and making sure to include a link back to this site in your WFMW. Thank you!!
I hope you and your girls have a great time in Colorado, Mary! Sounds like you’ve got a great plan to deal with many of the challenges in traveling, especially with children. Thanks for the ideas as well as hosting the linkup, my friend!
Hi Mary, I never traveled much with my older kids – we couldn’t afford it! But the little that we did venture here and there could be quite trying for a mama’s patience. YNow that I still have two littles at home, your suggestion about a headphone splitter if priceless! I must get one without delay. I believe that will “work for me”! I hope you had a blessed Mother’s Day, my friend! Thanks for hosting.
When ours were little I’d let them take a backpack with some of their favorite books, stuffed animals, etc., but I’d also buy a few new sticker books, small toys, etc., and pull them out at intervals during the trip to break up boredom. As they got older, small travel games helped a lot. We spent a lot of one flight playing a travel-sized Connect Four.
Great tips, thank you! I don’t have any plans to fly with my children soon, but I appreciate any advice for the future! And amen to the baby wipes! I went out for a day last week without my children, but still packed and used a few baby wipes.
The headphone splitter sounds great even for car trips!
I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU!! I remember flying with young kids and it was only an hour and a half flight! They are 30 and 25 now and I still remember it! Our ears hurt so much upon landing that I thought our eardrums were going to burst and I couldn’t console my kids through my own pain and fear… Oy! God luck to you and yours that you have an uneventful flight.
The way my brain works, I like the idea of having a bag of snacks, a bag with changes of clothing, a bag of stuff to do, etc–thematic packing. But as we’re planning a trip this summer with kids ages 7, 5, 3, and 9 months, it was recommended that we pack a backpack for each of the kids with those things distributed. That way my husband and I don’t have to be responsible for carrying everything.
I just wanted to let you know that I listened to your podcast at Hope Writers and really loved it! It’s so wonderful to hear about the journey to becoming an author and the process and emotions that go with it. The book looks heartwarming and I hope to read it.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Valerie! I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast!!