travelling kids

15 Of The Internets Best Tips For Flying With Kids

15 Of The Internets Best Tips For Flying With Kids

My love of travelling has clearly been passed onto my children. They often sit and dream with me and their wanderlust is inspiring. We always try to take two vacations in a year, one just the adults and one as a family. – Try being the operative word – The adults tend to fly and explore the “better” parts of the world, like Maui. With the family, we tend to stay a little more local while exploring places like Drumheller, and Fairmont. But lately, we’ve been looking are more extravagant trips, ones where we have to option of flying with kids.

When L was 3, and Big H was 18 months we did fly cross country with them to Newfoundland. So it has been a hot minute, to say the least; 5 years almost to the date actually. My knowledge of flying with kids was slim to almost none, but I remember scouring the internet looking for blogs with some sort of insight on how to make this flight, bearable, maybe even fun.

After considering a few different trip options I found my way circling back to the exact same steps I took all those years ago. This time I am writing them down, and sharing them with you, so you don’t have to do the same. The blogging community is extremely helpful, no each other and the rest of the world; and these ladies were happy to share their best tips.

Seating

If you are traveling halfway around the world, chances are you will purchase a plane ticket for a short “hop” across the globe. In this case, book a seat that is positioned right next to a bassinet connection. This is really practical, especially because the strollers are typically too bulky for planes. – Pink Heart String

This really depends on your seat assignment, airline, and gate agent. But it’s definitely worth a shot asking for pre-boarding permission. Just put on a big smile and have your toddler use his best puppy dog eyes! – Bash and Company

Airport

A lightweight stroller that folds up small is my absolute number one for travelling with a baby or a toddler. Firstly it means you can easily manoeuvre through the airport and should your toddler need a nap that’s sorted, too. You have a place to hang your bag and store your shopping until you get to the plane. – Scandi Mummy

One mistake many parent’s make is not allowing their child to run free inside the airport before a flight.  Instead of trapping them in a stroller or putting them in a carrier, consider letting them be the boss.  Let them run down the hall, climb a few chairs, or challenge them to a game that involves them moving around.  One game idea would be to have them go find as many airplanes as they can out of the windows.  The idea is to burn down the energy BEFORE the flight! – Big Brave Nomad

In case you’re delayed at the airport, your little one is going stir crazy at a restaurant or if you need a break one afternoon during the trip, a variety of distractions are key. When we fly with kids we bring Lego,sticker books, activity books (with washable markers), mini puzzles and magic colouring books . – The Professional Mom Project

During The Flight

We usually try flying red-eyes if it is a trip that takes longer than 6 hours! This is personal preference but in our experience gives us a sure bet that at some point the said-child will fall asleep, making life A LOT easier for mom and dad. – Chasing Sacred

BRING SNACKS. Lots of snacks. And rethink your normal diaper bag. When flying with toddlers, I used to use a small underseat bag for my flying “diaper bag” that had not only both kids’ diapers and a couple full changes of clothes, plus all their meds (my kids had lots of prescriptions for thrush, eczema, eczema-related heavy-duty diaper rashes, etc.), BUT ALSO enough snacks to last them a full day’s worth of meals if needed. Airport food is not toddler-friendly, in my experience. – Super Mom Hacks

Kids can be just as impatient and curious as adults. If you keep them updated throughout the trip they will be less likely to be cranky and upset about the traveling. For example, you can tell them that we only have this much time left and then we will be there! – The Flying Couponer

Whenever I travel, I always set my watch to the local time when I get on the plane. Now while I don’t try to force my toddler to sleep when they don’t want to on a plane, let’s face it all you want to do is keep your toddler happy when flying but I always like to know where we are. I can then work out at what arrival time my toddler has napped on the plane and it helps me know roughly when she is likely to need to have a sleep when we land. – Wandermust Family

You probably will agree with this, that children love new toys. The old may not interest that much. So, surprise them with a toy, that you know that they will like and see 40-50 minutes go easily. Make stories with the new toy so that children remain engrossed and interested. – Kreative Mommy

Bring lots of food. I have found that a Tootsie Pop is good for sucking on during take off and landing to help with ears popping. Gel window clings are good entertainment. Cozyphone headphones are the best. – Diapers and Donuts

Toddlers may get a little cranky when tired, here are a few things to calm them down (besides food): a favorite plush toy, a book or two, & calming music. – Mama Latina Tips

Health and Saftey

Sickness happens at the worst times, especially on germ-packed international flights. Bring elderberry syrup, Tylenol, cold meds, stomach meds and cough meds for your little and also pack some Airborne or Emergency C and some daily vitamins for you and your spouse. There were so many germs on our trip, so we ate vitamin C like candy. Worked like a charm! – Pretty Persuasions

Get travel insurance that allows for escorted travel if your child or you are hospitalized. – Beauty and the Bump

Today many countries are very sensitive to the possibility of child abduction and trafficking so if you plan to travel with your child alone, depending on the country of your destination, it might be a good idea to get a signed notarized note from the other parent giving you permission to take your child out of country.  – The Pomegranate Mom

While there is no shortage of tips on the internet, I hope I saved you a little bit of work when looking for advice when flying with kids. But most of all, I hope you have an incredible trip with your littles. 

Do you have a tip for flying with kids that I didn’t include here?

15 Of The Internets Best Tips For Flying With Kids
Posted by Jenn in Travel, 13 comments
5 Places in Lethbridge You’ll Love Exploring

5 Places in Lethbridge You’ll Love Exploring

My husband was born and raised in the Lethbridge area, so we try to make it down there once or twice a year to see his grandparents and the rest of his family. Each time we are there he takes me to another place to explore. Being located in Southern Alberta it is treated to warmer and somewhat milder weather compared to much of the province. It makes for ideal farming conditions, which is what most of the surrounding area seems to be fueled by.  Lethbridge is a wonderful city and as such it has so much to offer that I haven’t even begun to experience, these are just a few of my favourites that I have found so far. 

Best Western Lethbridge

Having been to Lethbridge a number of times we have stayed at a few different hotels. We have stayed in some good ones, and some bad. The Best Western is one we have settled on. Their breakfast options are vast, it even includes pancakes, there is something there for everyone. They have a pool, which if you have read my post about road trip tips, you know how I feel that is an important amenity.

Indian Battle Park

This park is at the bottom of a coolie, and it has tons to offer. Hiking, picnic areas, playgrounds, and so much scenery. I could spend hours exploring here, and I hope sometime in the near future.

The Neighbourhood Bakehouse

I make it a habit of trying out local bakeries where ever I visit. They always offer the most incredible delights, and I am very rarely disappointed. This one is one of my favourites, and I only discovered it on our most recent visit. Some of the best pastries I have eaten came from there and it’s hard to pick a favourite.

Henderson Park

Henderson Park is 117 acres of park. Its largest, and perhaps most alluring component is the near 60-acre man-made lake. It offers a little bit of everything for everyone. 

The lake itself is perfect for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and other non-motor sports. With a 2.5 km trail around the lake and another 4.3 km trail around the perimeter of the park providing you with the opportunity to take a stroll or view the commemorative and historical markers and displays located throughout the park. Not to mention the abundance of open space picnics. There are three playgrounds, as well an outdoor pool.  

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden

Inside Henderson park is the Japanese Garden, where you are transported out of the city, into a cultural experience. They combine the beauty of nature in a serene setting that I haven’t found anywhere else. The garden is meticulously kept, with bunnies and birds scampering about. Nikka Yuko was rated amongst the top Gardens in Canada by HGTV Canada and Chateline 2017. It is one of the most beautiful Gardens in Canada. Take a tour, or stroll around all by yourself.

Franks Slide

While Franks slide isn’t actually located in Lethbridge, its about 1 1/2 hours drive away, it is worth making the journey. Frank was a town located in the Rocky Mountains in the 1900s. On April 29, 1903 part of Turtle Moutain gave way and buried the town under 82 million tonnes of limestone. I highly recommend making the drive and visiting the interpretive centre, and even just observing the rock, that still lies where it fell over 100 years ago. 

It doesn’t matter what your personality might be, or what your reason for visiting, Lethbridge has something to offer you. My husband and I have often discussed it and we think if we were to ever move away from Edson, we would probably move to the area. What has been your favourite thing to do in Lethbridge?

5 Places in Lethbridge You'll Love Exploring
5 Places in Lethbridge You'll Love Exploring

Posted by Jenn in Travel, Travel Alberta, 5 comments
Surviving a winter family road trip.

Surviving a winter family road trip.

Christmas is in just 12 short days, and for many people that will involve loading up the car with people, gifts, and luggage to head on a long winter family road trip. Family road trips at any time of year can be overwhelming and stress full, but during the winter where everything is in another level.

Much of my husband’s family is about an 8-hour drive away from where we live, and while we have never made the trip at Christmas we have made it in the winter more than not. This, of course, involves packing up three kids and make the journey.

These are the tricks that I have accumulated over the years to make travelling with our boys a tad easier and in some cases, safer.

Let them pack their own bag

Kids, or mine at least, get excited when they have some independence. Letting them pick and pack their own clothes really helps them be excited about what is happening and going somewhere. I send mine with a number of shirts, pants, socks etc so I still know everything they need is taken.

Leave early

On the way out of the city, we started our journey at 4 am. Cruel I know, worse for me than the kids.  Our hope was that they would sleep for the first part of the trip. Little H is usually asleep the moment he was buckled into his car seat and Big H doesn’t make it out of the city. L can usually power through nearly the whole drive but he is a unique boy. The later we leave the more they seem to fight.

Books

Neither of my kids can read yet but that doesn’t stop them from flipping through books and making their own stories. I bring a handful and this keeps them busy for a few hours.

Games

I am not an iPad mom. But, I believe there is a time and a place and so we have a couple of personal games systems that we let them play with when they really got stir crazy and that kept them busy for a bit.

Have something for them to look forward to at the end of the drive

This can be as simple as ice cream or a toy or anything that they are going to want to get.

If possible have a pool at the hotel

This is probably our best move. L has never been a strong sleeper so when staying in a hotel we prepare for the worst. Making them super tired always seems to do the trick. Swimming, even for a half hour is always sure to exhaust my kids so before bed each night we went for a swim by the time they hit the pillow they were already asleep.

Bring their bedding

Our kids each have a special pillow and blanket they can’t sleep without. By bringing them with us it is close enough to their actual bed that it wasn’t a big deal.

Bring an extra full outfit

My boys, always seem to need an extra change of clothes no matter where we go. L somehow manages to get syrup all over his shirt he is supposed to wear to dinner. Big H loses a pair of pants. Little H explodes out of his diaper. Seriously just bring extra clothes.

ALL your winter gear

Be prepared for the worst. In the event that your vehicle breaks down or you get lost, or any other of the million things that could happen you want to be prepared. No heat in the winter means you’re going to be cold. Have everything you need to be as warm as possible.

Understanding

Remember these are little people who normally move 100 miles/minute. Being strapped into a vehicle for hours means that energy isn’t being expelled. They are going to misbehave.

Travelling isn’t easy for anyone, let alone with kids. We usually make it through unscathed and are able to enjoy our time at wherever we were headed.

What are your best road trip tips?

Posted by Jenn in Travel, 8 comments