My family and I just returned from a short Thanksgiving vacation to Utah. We still have two young kids at home (a 7 year old girl and an 10 year old boy) and my 10 year old son knows I have a travel blog. He suggested I write an article on some “kids travel tips.” I thought, “What a great idea!”
Note: As a regular business traveler I tend to rack up the frequent flyer points & miles and, of course, used these to fund our trip. Our total cost for a family for 4 to fly to Utah (from Southern California), rent a car, plus food/activities for 5 days, was less than $300! Note: We stayed with my parents so no lodging costs.
By the way, 7 and 10 are great ages for kids to travel! We had an absolute blast on this trip!
When inspiration hits you have to get your thoughts on paper so I scribbled some notes on the back of an envelope. Later, when I had a bit more time, I interviewed both of them for their thoughts on what the best travel tips for kids are.
The result was pretty hilarious and I’ve captured the essence of their “suggestions” here, plus a few I added of my own and some thoughts from the wifey (who is really the key to a successful trip with kids!). I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! Here are the best 15 Kids Travel Tips from Kids!
PS…this post contains some affiliate links. If you happen to purchase something via these links I may earn a small commission which comes at NO additional cost to you. I *am* a travel blogger after all…you don’t think I’d let the chance to earn a few shekels slip by now do you!?! I promise to spend the $0.19 I earn from this post on the kids… 🙂
Kids Travel Tips – From Kids
I’ve written these kids travel tips from the kids perspective based on on my interviews with them and in case you were curious, I really did let my kids help with this article and they had fun too! Maybe I will get a writer out of one of ’em.
Kids Travel Tip #1: We always download some movies and games for our flight!
“Dad made sure we downloaded a couple of movies for our flight which is great because we love watching movies. He also bought us some new kids headphones which are pretty sweet”
Pro “Kids Travel Tip” tip from Dad: Always download some content for the trip. They will get bored looking out the window and it helps kill the time on longer flights. It doesn’t always have to be movies either. I’ve downloaded Kindle books for kids too!
Kids Travel Tips #2: We don’t forget to charge our tablet before our flight!
“Mom must have reminded me 47 times to charge my tablet. Which I did. But of course I used it all the way TO the airport, then at the airport while waiting to get on our plane. Sigh”
“Dad, was prepared though! He brought a portable power charger. Saved the day, pops!”
Kids Travel Tips #3: Don’t worry about taking your shoes off at airport security…kids don’t have too!
“Mom and dad sure look a little frazzled as they try to get all of our backpacks and electronics through the weird conveyor belt thingie. I don’t know what the big deal is though. Some guy with a beard and a blue shirt just told me to walk through a funny fat door while daddy looked like he had to put his whole life back together again after getting through security.”
“By the way, we also know what the #1 Travel Hack of all Time is…so we never check a bag. We do have some cool kids carry-on luggage that mommy bought us though”
Parents: TSA rules for kids <INSERT>
Kids Travel Tips #4: Make Daddy sit in the middle seat so I can take the window!
“So we can look out the window on the flight at the Grand Canyon or the mountains! We don’t mind if daddy is squished in the middle seat, we want to look out the airplane window when we fly.”
“Everything looks so small when your over a 1000 feet in the air!” – direct quote from my 7 year old girlie.
“PS…don’t forget to take lots of silly pictures on the plane!”
Kids Travel Tips #5: We make sure to chew the entire box of Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape Gum – you know, to make sure our ears pop when we take off, of course!
“Dad, my ears get a little plugged up when we take off,” says my 10 year old son. “Well son, gum will help with that,” I reply. Big grin on his face…hehe. #Takes4Pieces.
Kids Travel Tips #6: Remember, you can always hold Daddy’s hand if you are a little scared on take off. That plane goes fast!
“Sometimes it’s a little scary on a plane – especially when it’s your first time flying. Don’t worry. Just hold daddy’s hand when you take off and it’s all good. PS…mommy’s hand works too!”
or…for my 10 year man child:
“It’s cool man…I got this”
Kids Travel Tips #7: Ask to use the bathroom 11 minutes into the flight because you now have to go even though Mom told me to go before we got on the plane. (I didn’t have to back then…!!)
“It turns out that airplanes have bathrooms! Who knew! They are a little weird though. Kinda small. Ok a lot small! And noisy when you flush them. I asked mom to go with me the first time because I was a little scared. It was ok though. But next time, I will probably go before I get on the plane.”
Kids Travel Tips #8: Always get a Sprite and Pretzels from the Flight Attendant. Daddy and Mommy will never so no to soda on a vacation!
“They are literally just giving this stuff away, bro!” says the 10 year old. “Heck yeah, I will take some pretzels. Don’t even ask…just bring ’em! Oh, a Sprite? Why yes, please. I am starting to like this vacation…”
Parents: Let ’em have a soda on the flight. It’s a big deal. They will probably spill it…but whatever. It IS vacation. So enjoy it.
Kids Travel Tips #9: If your tablet runs out of battery on the flight, no problem. Just use Mom’s phone. She wasn’t really reading that book anyway.
“My battery on my tablet died right in the middle of my game of Flappy Bird! But that’s cool, mom has the game on her phone and she will let me use it!”
Check out this Deal on a Portable Power Charger for Travel
Kids Travel Tips #10: If it’s a long flight, try to get another Sprite when the flight attendant comes back around. Hey, it’s vacation!!
“Two soda’s are always better than one! And since we are on vacation, I am sure mom will be fine with it. Or maybe not…”
Parents: Skip the extra soda, and get them a water. Don’t forget to have your kids hydrate on the plane – and before! A collapsible water bottle that you can fill up after you get through airport security might be a good investment for you and the kiddos.
Kids Travel Tips #11: Don’t forget to eat your travel snacks on the plane when you get hungry. Mom probably packed some gross healthy stuff, but dad bought me candy!
“We are always hungry when we travel. Mom always brings snacks, usually really healthy ones, too. But I just want candy. It’s vacation, right!?”
Parents: You might be interested in this post I put together a while back on the 9 Healthy Travel Snacks – eat smarter on the road. Bringing some healthy travel snacks is one of my favorite kids travel tips!
Kids Travel Tips #12: If your tired, lay your head on mommy’s lap. She will rub your head while you get some zzzzzz!
“Mom is the best for naps. I got a little tired on the plane and mom let me lay on her lap while she ran her nails through my hair. Before you knew it we were getting ready to land. I did miss that extra Sprite though!!”
Kids Travel Tips #13: See if you can convince daddy to buy you something at the airport. He loves paying $19.00 for a stuffed animal!
“The airport store had all of these great stuffed animals and I love my fluffys! Daddy didn’t buy me one though and I am little grumpy about that. He said they cost too much!”
“Oh, one other thing! Daddy said he wrote a Gift Guide for Travelers…whatever that is. I don’t know if it has kids stuff in it, but maybe you could buy something for someone you know that travels”
Kids Travel Tips #14: Always remember to stay cool if your parents are stressed out on the trip!
“Sometimes my parents get grouchy. Dad got a little grumpy after we went through security at the airport, but my sis and I decided to make a pact. We were going to be ‘extra good’ on this trip so we just smiled at dad and told him we were havin’ fun!”
Kids Travel Tips #15: Don’t forget to have fun!
“The most important kids travel tip is to remember to have fun! It’s a vacation, right? Try to be good for your parents and enjoy the fun times.”
Parents: This really is the most important of all of the kids travel tips. It should be fun. Don’t get too stressed out and make a conscious effort to have fun – your kids will appreciate it – even if they don’t realize it.
PS…for the hardcore business travelers out there…remember, traveling with your family will be FAR different than when you travel by yourself. You can’t go as fast. You need to give yourself more time. And you need to be on guard to not get stressed or frustrated with your family who are likely NOT super duper road warrior pros like you are. So relax. It’s vacation!
Some Kids Travel Tips that didn’t make the list
There were a few others that didn’t make the list, for what will soon be obvious reasons, but I wanted to share them:
- From my 7 Year Old Girl
- Bring 10 tablets in case they run out of battery!
- Ride on daddy’s suitcase so you don’t have to walk – he can pull you!
- From my 10 Year Old Son
- Pack like 50 candy bars in your backpack in case you get hungry!
- Pack your cousin in your suitcase to bring him back from the trip so you can hang out more!
I am sure you can see why these kids travel tips didn’t make the list! 🙂
Final Thoughts on Kids Travel Tips
I had a blast making this list of kids travel tips (from kids!) and I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Feel free to print it out and share these kids travel tips with your kiddos for your next family vacation! Maybe it will be fun and maybe they will have a few kids travel tips of their own after the trip!
Ok…see ya in the airport, fellow parents!
Here are some other great articles you might be interested in using to prepare for your next trip:
- 8 Holiday Travel Tips: Your Recipe for Better Travel During the Holidays
- 101 Travel Hacks for the Business Traveler – the Best Business Travel Hacks
- The 7 Habits of the Healthy Business Traveler: How to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business
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