Are you crazy? Flying across the country (or the world) with little ones in tow is a hassle at best, a nightmare at worst. As a mom traveling alone with a six month old, I missed a flight due to an emergency diaper change back in 2011 and am still waking up in cold sweats from it. I also schlepped her to NYC at 15 months and Chicago at 18 months old, each time traveling by myself. It wasn’t easy, and I might have experienced muscle failure from carrying the fat baby in one arm for half an hour without a break through a TSA security line, but the memories of those trips are magically unforgettable.
This article gives you some sanity-saving tips about how to travel smartly with kids. Unfortunately, it also rings up a hefty price tag, with the suggestions in the article alone totaling more than $115 add-on costs, not to mention the suggestion to buy your kiddo an extra seat and inundate them with technology like tablets on which to watch their favorite videos. The snacks are a fantastic idea though.
If you can afford it, the expensive tips in the article are great ones. If you can’t afford it, and are still doggedly determined to take your little one(s) on a trip they’ll probably never remember but that you’ll never forget, here are four (FREE) travel tips from a mostly broke single mom who’s flown a lot with a demanding little one:
1 — Snacks. Okay, yeah I borrowed this one from the FoxNews article, but it is a classic lifesaver.
2 — Books. Yeah, the old fashioned kind. With pictures and words and pages that turn. Reading to your child on the flight not only engages their attention, it reassures them that they are safe in an unfamiliar and behaviorally rigid environment. Silly faces help a lot, too.
3 — Pacifiers/Bottles/Gum. While this could technically fall under the “snack” category above, it applies specifically to the ear-popping pressure changes. Soothing infants with a sucking toy, or making a game out of chewing gum and hearing the “pop” in their ears is an exciting privilege for young ones.
4 – Know that you’re in for it. Traveling can be stressful, so giving yourself (and your kids) a free pass can help you not lose your mind when it comes to the 11pm delayed flight public meltdowns or the sore muscles from constantly carrying your two-year old who is perfectly capable of walking, but wants the comfort of being held in the stressful environment.
Sure, smartphone preschool apps and Angry Birds are helpful, but you don’t have to be loaded to love travel, and you don’t have to spend the extra cash for your kids to enjoy flying. Mostly, we’re all just excited about seeing the world from above the clouds. Re-experience the wonder and adventure of travel with your children, and they can take that with them for a lifetime. For ideas on where to travel, visit our timeshare resale website, complete with great deals and tantalizing photos of fun family destinations.