As you are reading this, we are flying to Philadelphia for the weekend! We go to Philly every year, as a family, for Shane’s Company Family Christmas Weekend – it is amazing! My kids look forward to this weekend all year long – I do too :). The kids have been going since they were little and I have learned A LOT about traveling with kids. So I thought I would share my tips today just in case y’all need them too!
First and foremost, and my best tip- each kid needs a backpack to carry on. Not a bag -a backpack. One that they can carry themselves no problem. I don’t usually use their school bags, but this is a great time to pull out last year’s school backpacks that you really should have used this year, but we are all suckers HA!
What is in these bags? Each kid gets their own set of “flying supplies”. I usually surprise them with full backpacks the night before we travel just for fun. I want to completely prepare them for long flights and long layovers. Here is my go to list:
- No matter what age, I pack:
- snacks – sweet and salty
- hand sanitizer
- chargers (each kid gets their own)
- something to write with and on
- This year I included a Rubik’s cube in each of their bags too.
- Older kids like Claire and Owen mainly just need their phones/ipads and any homework that is not too heavy.
- Bree will want her electronics, but she likes to color and draw. So I usually pack fun coloring books and markers or activity books.
- I always have some kind of task they need to do. For example: Make Christmas cards for family and I will include blank cards and fun markers. Or make your shopping lists of who you are “buying for” and I will make sure they have blank paper.
- Bree always wants to carry a small stuffed animal and this year she will want to take her polaroid camera.
- As far as snacks go, I always make them fun and different – I like to keep this a positive, exciting experience because Lord knows, we never know what will happen when we fly HA!
Your goal is to ensure that you have every thing you need in case you have an unexpected layover. At some point they are going to be tired of electronics and need something else – prepare for what you kids like.
Everyone has to carry a coat with them on this trip too. Packing coats suck and they are great blankets I also make sure they wear the shoes they are wearing the whole time, the first day traveling. I sometimes pack one more pair for each, but this ensures they are not loading down my bags they are already heavy from my shoes 😂.
The first year we took the kids to Philly, I left Bree home with mom. She was only 2 and I was not sure how she would handle flying – plus it was Claire and Owen’s first time flying and I wanted to focus on them. I was a nervous wreck and thought I was over-prepared. Until Owen wet his pants on the plane during landing when I could not get him up to go to the potty. DEAR LORD. I just wanted to get off that plane. We got off, got him changed, and were good to go. Until I realized that the exact same plane was taking us to our next destination. Not only that, Shane had booked us and thought he would help me out by putting us in the exact same seats. So we had to sit in the pee seat again LOL. Memories.
I know that was not much – and I sure seasoned travelers have so much more – but this is what works for us! Hope it helps! Here is a pic of little Browns traveling 🙂