Traveling has always sounded luxurious to me. I’ve met some people who haven’t seen snow or the ocean, so I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to travel quite a bit as a child and young adult. However, traveling with kids is a whole different ball game, and I would associate the words, ‘chaos, anxiety and tiresome,” with travel when kids are involved. The anxiety that I have felt in the past when traveling with Elle has almost made me not want to travel with kids at all, but then you realize it’s worth it when your kids can’t stop talking about how cool the trip was.

We have traveled from the west coast to the east coast twice with Elle. I would say that traveling with a nine month old that wants to crawl everywhere and can’t understand that she can’t is much harder than traveling with a two year old. I wrote a couple of months ago about how I prepared for our cross country flight with Elle (click here for tips on surviving a long flight), and I am really happy to report she was amazing. Did she sleep on the flight? No, but she was very well behaved for six hours.

Traveling with her at nine months was; however, not the best. I HIGHLY recommend direct flights if you can make it. I also would consider flying before they can crawl and avoiding flying during the crawling phase. Some other things I recommend are below are:

  1. Pack a carryon completely full of snacks and brand new toys from the dollar store. The novelty of new toys is your best friend when you’re stuck in a seat for hours. Though eating when bored isn’t something to do often, sometimes food can be just as entertaining as toys. Animal crackers, teddy grahams, gold fish…Yes, it’s junk food, but it works for a tough situation.
  2. Download some kid apps to your ipad or iphone. We really like everything by Toca Boca. Elle never played with an iPad until she was two because I really didn’t want her to become obsessed with it. We only use it for travel or really tough situations, and so it has become a special treat and something for her to look forward to when she has to sit still for a long time.
  3. Pack comfort objects that make your hotel feel like home. We packed a blanket, a stuffed animal, her sound machine and her pacifier and she slept like a champ. I was particularly nervous about sleeping in the same room with her in a hotel, but when we turned out the lights and went to sleep at the same time as her she felt very comfortable sleeping in her own full size bed.
  4. Bring the carseat with you to the gate. Even if you didn’t pay for an extra seat for your infant and you plan on holding them on your lap there’s a chance that there may be an empty seat on your flight. If that’s the case then your little one can sit in his/her carseat and you can have a breather. If there isn’t an empty seat you can simply check your car seat at the gate.
  5. Try to keep your schedule as much as possible. Elle has always been a really great sleeper, but just like any kid, change can disrupt her sleep routine. We just kept her on the Arizona time zone while we were in New Hampshire, so she stayed up late east coast time. It worked out because we could go out to dinner with her and didn’t have to worry about hiring a sitter or staying home.

Next week I am traveling to San Francisco with our one month old little one. This should be interesting, but I’m actually thinking this could be the easiest travel experience with kids since he just eats and poops right now. I plan on wearing him all of the time because of germs, etc. Any advice on traveling with infants is welcome!

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