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10 Things that Make Traveling with Kids Easier

Quick tips to help you stay sane in transit

by Ashleigh Evans  |  11619 views  |  7 comments  |       Rate this now! 

The background: I have five kids, three of them by marriage, two of them by birth. They range in age from 14-years old to 16-months old, and when we travel, we haul around a lot of stuff. I started keeping an eye out for gear and gadgets that would make our lives easier -- and by "make our lives easier" I mean "allow me to get from Point A to Point B with my sanity more or less intact." Et voila: A handy list of 10 things that I think are absolutely essential when traveling, anywhere, with kids.

1.) A great carryon for each kid: The clever Skyway backpack comes in two colors and has zippered compartments and a detachable lunch box. Awesome.

2.) Electronic entertainment: For long car trips, consider a dual-screen DVD player, preferably with headphone jacks. We have this one by Disney and it's worked well for us so far. Or, get a set of books on tape or CD, and catch up on your family "reading" as you ride. If you're traveling by plane and need a less-cumbersome option, Work It, Mom! member Leian suggests stocking an iPod with cartoons and other downloads from iTunes (thanks, Leian!).

3.) Drinks and snacks: Juice Pal holders add handles to most standard-size juice boxes or pouches, and you (and your car) won't get soaked if your kid gives it a squeeze. As for food, well, you will need plenty of snacks. Really. Tons. The Snack-Trap by Made for Mom keeps even itty-bitty things like cereal well contained, and you can get a special lid to convert it into a sippy cup.

4.) Comfort: Bear Hugs are very large, U-shaped blankets that fold up into a pillow. Your child can wear the whole contraption as a backpack, but he or she might be too busy cuddling it to do so -- these things are soft (and washable)! 

5.) Avoiding nausea and ear-popping pain: Motion sickness relief bands are a drug-free way to keep nausea at bay, and EarPlanes ear plugs can help children and adults alike. Other options: Breastfeeding your infant -- or offering him or her a bottle or a pacifier -- can help reduce ear discomfort and, for older kids, gum and lollipops do the trick (and double as bribes).

6.) Non-electronic entertainment: Klutz offers a wide range of kid-friendly on-the-go activities (I love their Kids Travel Backseat Survival Kit) and paint-with-water books and toys are great, too (and won't stain the tray table).

7.) Clothes: Pack extra outfits for each kid in an easy-to-reach place, and don't forget to throw in something for you to wear, too. Travelsmith has some great, wrinkle-resistant, mix-and-match pieces for adults, and you can find pre-packed, color-coordinated kid wear at Little Jet Set.

7 comments so far...

  • I love the idea of the Giggle Bug! Boy, I am always so paranoid being in a crowd with our toddler..
    Also, thanks for including our BearHugs!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Ymke Dioquino on 18th April 2008

  • I love little jet set. Thank you for the trip tips.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by frazzledmum on 23rd March 2008

  • I love leapsandbounds catalog! They have such great ideas. I printed your info and posted it next to our summer travel plans, thank you!!!!!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Blondie on 23rd March 2008

  • We bookmarked your site, great ideas for summer vacation gifts for nephews and nieces for our family reunion!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by wondermom on 23rd March 2008

  • I love that site! Thanks!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Daisy on 23rd March 2008

  • JuicePals! Why have I never heard (or thought of these before!) Thank you!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by The Tattooed Mommie on 19th March 2008

  • I have 7 children, and they can never agree on DVD's, last year I bought several of those Backseat Survival Kits, what a blessing! Great info! Thanks!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 18th March 2008