The more I’ve traveled with kids, the less I carry.
I love being prepared but have learned (the hard way) that being weighed down with too much stuff is counterproductive. So, I’ve developed my stash of “mommy’s secret weapons.” The best part, they all fit into a cute little banana shaped pencil case wristlet so I can be quick on the draw.
Let’s get this party started! Checking in for a flight (with kids) can sometimes feel like the biggest hurdle to the journey. You’re dealing with lots and lots of luggage, excited and or tired kids, and your attention has to be on the check-in process. To keep whining at bay, and keep them occupied, I use suckers. My boys don’t often get suckers so they enjoy the treat and it keeps their mouths busy and (mostly) quiet. Gum is a nice, less sugary, alternative too.
I’ve got a big pack of wipes stashed in my carry-on. But I keep a few single use packets easily accessible in my pencil case. Sticky fingers and mouths be gone!
My boys each get a little Passenger Passport that sets out each step of our journey from getting to the airport right through to baggage claim. It helps keep them focused on the task at hand and know what’s coming next. Sign-up to our newsletter to download a free PDF printable for your next trip.
4. Tiny bottle of bubbles.
For me as much as for them. It’s the closest thing I have to a magic wand. They make the kids giggle and blowing bubbles helps me relax too. The other benefit is if you have a wanderer, you can keep them right where you want them. Just keep blowing those bubbles. One caveat is bubbles can make hard floors very slippery. If we are not on carpet, we only blow bubbles over our suitcase so it catches any drips. And toddlers don’t get to hold the bottle either. Harsh maybe. But spilling bubbles in an airport is not an option. Their job is to pop as many as possible.
5. A few balloons.
At least one for each kid. Who can resist a quick game of keepy-uppy? We try to find a relatively empty waiting area and have fun with the balloons. It’s a great way to use up some energy before being confined on the airplane. And they take up next to no space.
6. Temporary tattoos.
These are straight up bribes. Getting my crew to use the bathroom before we board the plane usually takes some coaxing. So, we use tattoos. They need water to work so I guess we’ll just have to go to the bathroom first. Oh, well! ;-)
This is so key especially if you are flying internationally. You do not want to be completing a customs form in the arrivals hall with groggy children. I could stash it in my purse or carry-on but my bright banana pencil case is easy to find.
I’m borrowing this tip from my dad who always carries some in his wallet. As he explained it to me, the small inconvenience it is to carry them is so insignificant compared to the inconvenience of not having one when you need it. Thanks, Dad!