Traveling with Kids!

Traveling with Kids

Oh, I’m excited about today’s post!

Over the last 10 years of blogging, I would say that the most common questions I receive every day are about these four topics: adoption, faith, food and traveling with kids.

Seriously.

Every. Day.

I don’t think a day goes by when someone doesn’t email me and ask for tips about traveling with their kiddos.  When they do, I always send them to this post that I wrote four years ago about traveling with your kids.  Lately though, people have been reading that post and politely emailing me back and asking for an updated post because a. my kids are now four years older b. my family has had even more experience traveling c. I now have four kids to travel with instead of two.

So, today, I’m going to share my favorite tips, tricks and ideas for traveling with kids…updated for 2017.

Okay, first some disclaimers (because I always feel like I should put disclaimers in posts like this):

1. I’m going to repeat many of the tips from the previous post because I think they still work, and I still use them.

2. I’m going to brag on my kids a bunch here in a second, but that’s okay because they’ve earned it, right?  Just because I don’t want to seem too obnoxious, let me share a short list of posts I would write where I would NOT be bragging on my kids:

Getting your kids to flush the toilet.

Getting your kids to shut the back door every time they come in and out (why is that so hard to remember???).

Getting your kids to remember to make their bed.

Getting your kids to put up their own laundry (p-lease, they would leave it in piles on the floor for years).

Getting your kids to hang up their wet towels.

Getting your kids to have good attitudes about homework (it’s like pulling teeth most days)…which leads me to…Getting your kids to not be a total spaz at the dentist.

Getting your kids to not touch each other in the car/yell at the others for singing too loudly.

Getting your kids to actually get dressed and brush their teeth the first time they’re asked and not the 105th time.

See…I’m going to have to refer to one of YOU to write those posts because the Shull kids cannot hang in any of those categories (and many more that I’ll leave unnamed).

3. I know I’m not the only one with a lot of experience traveling with kids, so I hope you chime in too!  Please comment and share your favorite traveling tips please!

4. This was a fun post to write because I’m including a lot of pictures from when my babies were little, so I was able to walk down memory lane a bit as I wrote.

5. Most of the tips are about airplane travel because that is what most of the questions are about.  I have a few road trip tips, but this post is primarily about flying.

Whew!  Enough disclaimers?  One more thing before our tips…it’s the “why do you travel so much with kids?” question that always comes with posts like this, so here are my thoughts…

Growing up, my parents made sure we always traveled together as a family.  My mom and dad thought it was very important for Sean and I to travel at a young age, to learn about different cultures and people and to know that the little bubble we live in here in the Dallas area is not representative of the entire world.  My parents also wanted us to travel together as a family unit because it made us really close.  When you remove everything but your little family (the distractions of phones, friends, TV, and such) and go out on an adventure together…it always brings you closer.  So, when I married Andrew, he really hadn’t been anywhere, but he understood how important traveling was to me, and it’s something we have made a priority in our marriage and with our kids.  Whether we’re taking a big overseas trip or a road trip in Texas, it always brings us a little closer, it always teaches us something, it typically involves some crying and maybe a few “what in the world are we doing moments”, there are always a bunch of laughs and one of us (cough, cough ME) almost always throws up.  It’s a good old-fashioned vacation 🙂 .

TRAVELING BY AIR
We love traveling by air because that almost always means you’re going somewhere nice and far and COOL!

Okay, I have no clue why this pic is blurry…but here’s the deal: we learned quickly that if your kiddo is under two, they almost always are able to fly for free (or if not free, a very small fee)…so what do you do when you have two babies under two?  You buy two tickets to somewhere far off and take those babies with you…because how often can a family of four fly for the price of two?  Five month old Smith and 21 month old Kensington were on their way to Amsterdam in this picture 🙂 .

Tips for flying with babies:

1. We like to travel with two umbrella strollers instead of one bigger stroller that holds two babies.  Umbrella strollers are easy to carry, pack up, load on planes, put in cars/trains/buses, take up less room in your hotel, allow you to separate if you want to and each only have one child, sometimes, if you’re going to dinner or not going far, you can only take one and not both, they take up less room in restaurants, they’re less expensive, so if they’re lost, stolen or damaged, it’s not as traumatic or damaging to your wallet, kids aren’t right next to each other and constantly touching…we’ve found two is better than one.

2. We try not to travel with a car seat…and I know this one is controversial, but for us, it helps to keep our sanity.  We really, really, really try not to have to check our own personal car seats at the airport because they’re expensive and the odds of them being damaged are kind of high, we already feel like we’re carrying enough stuff to move to the other side of the world, so it’s nice to not have to also carry/lug around a car seat too.  We have checked them before and when we do, I buy a big heavy duty bag from places like Home Depot to wrap them in before they’re checked to help make sure they’re not damaged.  That being said, the majority of the time, we either rent car seats once we land (car rental places rent out car seats) or we line up transportation before we leave that includes car seats.  We have found that doing these things helps keep our hands free at the airports and keeps our nice car seats at home…at home (all safe and sound).  This takes a little planning in advance (you should line up both renting a car seat or finding a car service that will include the proper car seats before you depart).  On the plane, the airlines have always accommodated us with either lap belts made for holding a baby in your lap (if they’re under two) or special lap belts for smaller kids in their plane seats.

3. On long flights, contact your airline in advance and try and get seats that include access to a crib on the plane.  That’s right, I said a crib.  On a plane.  Many larger planes that are traveling long distances have certain seats that have access to this snap on bassinet type thing they can adhere to the wall in front of you seat for your baby to sleep in during the flight.  These seats book up quickly, so make sure you ask well in advance.  In my experience, these seats do not cost more, they’re just limited, so you need to ask when booking your flights.

Kensington’s first flight.  She was 5 months old…we both look nervous.  And my hair color is a bit off…but that’s just a side note 😉 .

Baby Kensington at 7 months old on a flight to Hawaii.  She looks just like her daddy here 🙂 .

I’m sure we forgot something on this trip.  No matter how much you pack, you will always forget something.  The good news is…everywhere you travel on this earth has babies…so, even if it’s not the same brand/style of whatever you love, you’ll be able to find something similar, right?  The minute I realized and accepted the fact that I would probably forget something and yet, we would still survive, it became easier.  As Elsa would say, you just have to let it go sometimes and hope for the best.

Two babies, two strollers, one big adventure.

Tips for Flying with Toddlers:

So, my kids never cry when we travel.  Ever.

#yeahright

These are my tips for traveling with toddlers.

1. You just have to practice.  As silly and simple as that sounds, in my opinion, it’s the best way to raise little travelers.  It’s just like anything, the more you do it, the better you become at it.  Kensington and Smith are fantastic travelers.  Right now, they’re 7 and 8 and they can get from the parking garage at the airport all the way to their airplane seat without annoying me one time. #winning  They handle security by themselves, they carry their own bags, they know how to be quiet/behave/stay close by/help with their younger sisters/etc.  They’re just really good travelers…because they are seasoned travelers.  But they were not born seasoned travelers, they had to become them over time.  People always email me and say “how do I get my kid to behave on their first flight” and my answer is besides the obvious: bribery of candy/gum/toys/colors, there’s a good chance they might not behave on their first flight…but that’s okay, most kids don’t!  They don’t because they don’t know how/haven’t experienced it/it’s all new to them/they’re frightened/they’re bored/they’re restless/they’re over-tired/blah, blah, blah…in my opinion, it’s okay to expect a learning curve with flying with kids…but I do think the more you do it, the better they become.  It just takes practice.

2. Speaking of bribery: it works on a plane.  We always bring little things to pull out during the flight to keep our kids’ attention (not so much now, but we did a lot when they were much younger).  Things that work for us are fruity/gummy type candies (because they eat chocolate candies too quickly…things like Starbursts and such take them longer to unwrap and eat), suckers (again because it takes them longer to enjoy a sucker), sticker books, coloring books with crayons (not markers because markers get on clothing and you drop and lose lids), small toys like Hot Wheels and Shopkins or else Barbies work well too (just don’t even bother bring Barbie shoes or you will find yourself on all fours by your seat searching for one), books where you have to search for things (because it takes longer for you to flip the pages when they’re trying to find Waldo or whatever kind search book you have),  and of course, electronic devices with headphones like iPads are great too.

3. Always bring a blanket.  Planes are notoriously too hot or too cold, and if it’s cold…nothing is cozier than a blanket from home.  We always pack one blanket for each kiddo and often a neck pillow too.  Airplane naps are the best kind 🙂 .

4. Airplane rides are not the time to be “the best parent ever”.  I’m all for making sure my kids behave in public by enforcing rules and high expectations…but on a plane, if giving them a pacifier, a piece of gum, letting them hold my sunglasses, play with an empty water bottle, tear pages out of my magazine is going to keep them quiet and content…I allow it and forgo my normal standards.  You’re just trying to survive.  Repeat that to yourself: Survive, survive, survive.  On the way home from China this last time, Madeley put Teddy Graham-like cookies in a cup and them dumped them out and started over again for about two hours…and you know what?  We gladly let her because it kept her quiet and content for two hours.  Survive.

5. Before the plane takes off, when people are taking their seats around you, APOLOGIZE PROFUSELY to them.  Seriously, this might be my best tip in this post: apologize, apologize, apologize to the people around you and they will LOVE YOU.  We always say, “Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry you have to sit here near our kids.  We know how much that stinks.  We are so sorry!”…and you know what they ALWAYS say?  “We love kids!  We have grandkids/kids/nieces/godchildren at home and just love them.  How old are you kids? They’re just so cute! Etc, Etc, Etc.”   If you acknowledge upfront that sitting near small kids on a plane isn’t ideal, people become very sweet and don’t seem to mind nearly as much when your kid is crying/kicking/being loud in-flight.  This tip is gold…I promise.

Flying to Denmark with this little toddler cutie.

Tips for Flying with Bigger Kids: 

Nothing says family fun like arriving at the airport at 4:30 AM!

My big kids never complain about traveling and are always smiling and happy. #yeahright

Traveling has become so much easier now that my toddlers are big kids.  Even four year old Ashby is pretty self-sufficient at the airport!  Here are some of my tips:

1. Let them pack their own carry on bag…and don’t micromanage it.  My big kids get one carry on bag for each trip and I let them put whatever they want inside.  They always have to bring it downstairs and let me look it over to make sure it’s TSA approved.  I used to micromanage what they had inside, but now, I just let them put whatever they want inside.  “Really Smith, you think you need one plastic fork, four Hot Wheels cars and a scarf?  That’s what you want to take?  Okay.”  I mean…it’s their bag, their time to spend on the flight and if he thinks he can entertain himself with a random assortment of nonsense, then so be it.  When he says he’s bored on the flight, I’m going to say, “I didn’t pack your bag” and go back to reading my book.  However, it’s funny how when they pack their own bag of randomness, they rarely get bored.  It’s amazing what they can do with that odd assortment of things.  So, let them pack their own bag.

2. Make them carry their own carry on bag.  My big kids know that they have to carry their own carry on bag, so if it weighs 500 pounds, they better carb up before the trip…because I’m not hauling it around.  If they’re old enough to carry a backpack to school and keep up with it all day and return with it every night, then they’re old enough to keep up with a bag at the airport.

3. Pack snacks.  This tip could be for all ages…pack snacks and then when you think you’ve packed enough, pack some more.  Popular plane snacks for us are trail mix, protein bars, granola bars, baggies of cereal and goldfish crackers.  My kids have to pack their own snacks too.  This way, when they’re hungry, they can dig around in their own bag and get what they want, when they want it.

4. My big kids like to bring their iPad on flights plus books to read (with little reading book lights because it’s easier for them to see than the overhead light), word searches, crossword puzzles, and coloring books.

So…you’ve landed with your kids…now, how do you combat jet lag???

My kids never get jet lag.

They’re never tired/exhausted/worn out from flying. #maybeimwrong

Next week, I’m going to do an entire post on my sleep routine on a flight.  I told Erika one time about it, and she has been insisting I blog about it ever since.  I should probably write a book about it…I do a dang good job sleeping on a flight 🙂 .  So, I’m going to save sleeping on a plane for next week…but as for jet lag, in my opinion, there are several guaranteed ways to help you fight it off (you’ll probably still have it…but these tips help).

1. For the love of all things holy, DO NOT TAKE A NAP WHEN YOU LAND.  Period.  End of story.  Do not.  When you land, you must immediately catch up to where they are in their day.  If you’re lucky enough to arrive at night, then thank your lucky stars and go straight to bed.  If you land first thing in the morning (I’m talking to you United States into Europe flights!) then you have to persevere.  That’s what you do…PERSEVERE.  When we land with our kids, we really try and get out that day and do something active to keep everyone awake until bedtime.  If we’re outside in the fresh air, walking, moving, seeing things…it’s really not that hard (plus, they’ve slept on the plane…more on that next week).  If you (or they) nap, then everyone gets all screwed up and no one is tired at night.

2. Drink a ton of water.  Water helps us fight off jet lag.  We drink a lot on the flight and when we land.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

3. Stay active!  We don’t sit down or else we fall asleep.  We go explore and check things out.  We move.

Road trips:

My road trip section is going to be shorter because honestly, it’s less complicated.  We take several road trips every year and find them just as much fun and good for family bonding as big overseas trips.  We love a good road trip 🙂 .

 I always bring these items with me when we’re on a road trip or when we fly.  In my carry on bag, you will always find:

1. Baby wipes (even if you don’t have a baby, bring baby wipes)

2. Lots of plastic grocery bags.  They hold everything from trash to vomit.  #sogrossbutsotrue

3. Gallon sized freezer bags. They hold dirty diapers, soiled clothes…anything leaking that you don’t want to just throw away.

4. Small baggies to corral crayons, small toys, buttons that fly off…whatever it is, a small baggie will hold it.

5. Chewable Dramamine, cough drops, breath mints and gum

6. For younger kids, a change of clothes

Just like with air travel, in the car on road trips, we bring the kids blankets and pillows.  We also let them each pack a carry on type of bag filled with whatever they think they need to entertain themselves in the car.

When traveling by car, we love to leave either really early in the morning or later at night.  For us, the worst thing we can do is allow our kids to get a full night of sleep and then when they wake up, put them in the car for the day.  THEY ARE SO RESTLESS.  We really prefer leaving around 4:30ish AM so that they sleep a bit when we first get in the car or later in the afternoon/evening (again, around 4:30ish PM this time).

We have also learned that it’s better if our kiddos don’t play games on iPads, read, do word searches and such in the car because those things tend to make them sick. (They get that from their mama.)  The funny thing about being car sick is that it sneaks up on you QUICKLY, so we try and avoid it at all cost.  Usually in the car, they watch a movie, play with toys that they’ve brought with them or we’ll do some sort of car game (we’ve brought car bingo before and that’s easy for them to do).

So…I’m sure I’ve forgotten to include some things, but I think that’s enough for one day.

I have a few other posts on traveling coming up:

How we survive really long flights.

How we prioritize, save and plan for future trips.

Now, it’s your turn.  What are your best tips for traveling with kids?  Please comment and share below!  We all could use more tips, right?!

Happy Tuesday!

Print Friendly
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog January 31, 2017 at 4:54 am

    What a fun read! Now it makes sense as to why my parents took a two year hiatus from travelling when they had me, haha.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    • Jessica February 1, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      My daughter ears really hurt while the plane is landing. We discovered airbuds . There are adult and kid sized ones. You place them in their ear ( the package tells you the time when to put them in, can’t remember how long before landing) sometime before landing and it has really helped her ear pain tremendously! So we make sure to take a pair with us. They come with a case so they can be used more than once ( for the same person of course 🙂 ) .

      • Jessica February 1, 2017 at 10:49 pm

        oops make that my daughter’s ears 🙂 .

  • Lauren January 31, 2017 at 4:57 am

    I found myself shaking my head yes over and over again in this post. We are an expat family from Dallas living in Chengdu and my daughters (3 and 4) each took 17 flights last year. I think the two biggest for us are practice, practice practice and pack tons of snacks. They are still a little bit too small to get through security by themselves, but they are great at the airport/on the airplane. Their first flight was not great, but by the time we went home for Christmas – they were tons better and enjoyable to fly with! Since we spend most of our time traveling Asia packing snacks is essential for us – none of us eat the airplane food (it is very questionable :)). I always pack at PBJ sandwiches and several snacks. Sometimes they don’t eat them all, but I never regret overpacking in the snack category.

    We also let them bring a backpack; however, I still end up carrying it 80% of the time ;).

    The other tip I have is that we only bring a backpack with us through security (my husband and I). Since you have to pick up your strollers (we also bring two umbrella strollers) at the baggage claim at most airports in Asia, we learned early on it is just easier to check our luggage.

    introducedyoutoit.blogspot.com

  • Christy Trevett January 31, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Like you, I get motion sickness very easily. On my last flight I threw up nonstop from LA to Houston and Houston to Greenville/Spartanburg. On my last cruise I threw up the entire time and had to get a shot at the bottom of the boat from the doctor on board. Do you have any favorite medicine, tips, home remedies that work for you? I’m really scared to fly again after what happened last time and I don’t want motion sickness to stop me from traveling!

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2017 at 5:06 am

      I learned a long time ago that I just have a sensitive stomach. For me, there isn’t anything I can take (and I feel like I’ve tried everything) that works, so I just persevere through it.

    • Melissa January 31, 2017 at 6:29 am

      I get horrible motion sickness as well and a few years ago my doctor prescribed the TransDerm patch. IT CHANGED MY LIFE!!! I literally couldn’t walk without being carried on our first cruise and got so sick on a tour boat in Destin they had to dock a little early. It was awful and now I am slightly woozy, but nothing like what I experienced before. I’ve used it to fly, cruise, ride in trains and buses. Ask your doctor because I promise it’s a miracle worker!

    • TAMRA January 31, 2017 at 9:52 am

      My druggist suggested Meclizine to me years ago and it works. It is a one tablet per day, non drowzy, miracle! I think a bottle of 50 is like $3.99. I use it for car trips, air plane trips and cruises and theme parks. Motion sickness was a problem for me for many years. I take it every morning while traveling just in case we take a drive or get on a boat. Don’t wait until you don’t feel good. It is chewable but I swallow with water.
      Happy Trails!

    • Michelle January 31, 2017 at 10:01 am

      The scopolomine patch is seriously amazing. My husband is stick even driving himself in a vehicle let alone any other means of transportation so when this expensive little patch worked 110%, I couldn’t believe it!! He was very resistant but also pleasantly surprised. Ask your Dr! He also tried every single medicine or Google search suggestion with no success.

    • Nikki February 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Peppermint oil and ginger pills have done wonders for me! If I’m in anything moving (car, train, plane, boat.. all of it) for 45min+ I will get sick. I’ve been taking Dramamine since I was a child but don’t always like the drowsiness that comes with it.

      For cruises – ginger pills (in the vitamin section) worked great. I started taking them 2 weeks before the cruise and each day on and never had a problem.
      For shorter flights/drives (under 3 hours) – Peppermint oil ingested works wonders. I have a friend that sells those essential oils and have gotten the beadlet version. That’s what I use when I have to fly for work now and haven’t been sick yet!

  • ELizabeth January 31, 2017 at 5:28 am

    So much helpful information here – going to pass it along to my sister in law who travels with my nephew!
    XO
    http://stripesandsolitaires.com

  • Susan Jeffries January 31, 2017 at 5:35 am

    We have an only child and we have been blessed to take her on many wonderful trips. I love all of your tips and have followed most of them in the past. She just turned 16 and still loves to travel with us. I have always packed her a goodie bag when we travel. It used to be full of coloring books, crayons, snacks and games. Now I get her items she can use on vacation – bathing suit, new top, fashion magazines, beach towel, etc. And I download a new book on her NOOK. Traveling as a family will always be my very favorite memory.

  • Allison January 31, 2017 at 5:45 am

    We are flying in April with our two kids.. family will be picking us up. Is it possible to rent car seats without renting a car? Kids are 2 and 6 months 😬

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2017 at 5:48 am

      Yes! Not all places do it, but I have found some locations/branches that will.

    • Katie January 31, 2017 at 6:46 am

      Yes! There are companies that you can rent most things baby/kid needed, especially if family doesn’t have kids. You can have a car seat dropped off at your families home before you arrive so it’s ready for you at the airport! One company is BAbys away or just google “baby gear/equipment rentals” i have not personally used them since I have just one child and it’s easier to just travel with our own stuff! Good luck

    • Misty January 31, 2017 at 7:50 am

      There are also baby rental websites that will allow you to rent car seats and even furniture. This was a life saver when we traveled from DFW to Chicago with our 14 week old twins!

    • Tiffany January 31, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      For the same price as renting you can buy a cheaper brand (usually the same brand as the ones rental car places use) online, have it delivered to your family’s home and they can bring with them to the airport. We rented one time, and the seats were less than desirable and dirty. I would rather buy new ones for the same price and donate at the end of my vacation!

  • Sheaffer Sims January 31, 2017 at 5:46 am

    My goodness! This post is full of some really great tips! Maybe next week we can do a link up. You can talk about sleeping on a plane…and I can talk about sleeping in the car on the way home from the ranch house. Because I could teach a master class. 😉

  • JoEllen January 31, 2017 at 5:48 am

    My kids are in college now and all 3 still love to travel. We usually flew:
    1) If you read the safety card conveniently located in the pocket in front of your seat with enough animation and enthusiasm (the part where the people get to go down the slide is the best) it can be very calming and entertaining for young toddlers. They might enjoy it so much they insist you read it to them on every plane ride thereafter. “where’s the one with the slide, Mommy?” #askmehowIknow
    2) Goldfish and lollipops (takeoffs/landings) for the young ones. Chewing gum and those snacks in a plastic cup with lid (teddy grahams,etc) for the older ones. I agree with Shay-it’s about survival people, not good food choices. #itsavacation
    3) You mamas with the ipads have it so good. In my day …. Seriously I would beg, buy, or borrow access to an ipad or 2 for travelling kids. #ohtheplacesyoucango

  • Lea January 31, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Where is that plaid shirt you’re wearing in the first picture from? Also on a related note on long flights Do you try to just dress the kids as comfortable as possible?

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2017 at 6:03 am

      Yes!! Leggings, cotton dresses, light sweatshirts and socks!

  • Erika Slaughter January 31, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Oh my gosh, Sheaffer’s comment!!! She had me LOL’ing!! So glad you’re sharing those 12 steps to sleeping on a plane next week. Where you always lose me-is the airplane bathroom. Hahahaha!!! 😜

  • jamie January 31, 2017 at 6:07 am

    like andrew, we’ve been absolutely pretty much nowhere. but over the last year or so i’ve been inspired to do little long weekend trips. we have been to places like gatlinburg, gulf shores…places in the united states {but nowhere far far away}. my husband is actually in nicaragua RIGHT NOW on a missions trip. his first time out of the country. i am looking forward to your future travel posts. this one was fun to read! thank you for inspiring me to travel with my family, even if it’s just a 4-5 hour away trip to explore a different city for a long weekend. we do, really, make great memories during our small trips!

  • jamie January 31, 2017 at 6:16 am

    i worded that wrong. our vacations have been to places like gulf shores, gatlinburg, parts of north carolina and nevada. long weekend trips are to big cities 4-5 hours away: traverse city, mackinac, cleveland, columbus, the west side of michigan…

  • Andrea January 31, 2017 at 6:17 am

    I truly think the younger they are when you start the better. We road trip every year to Connecticut and my daughter is awesome in the car. She is better than most adults because she has been doing it since she was 1.

  • Sharon January 31, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Travelling as a family is our favourite thing. My kids are now 11 and 8 and have been travelling since they were babies. You are so right that practice, practice, practice is what helps.
    Our last big trip overseas last summer, I got them each a kids’ travel journal from Amazon. Before we left , they started writing in thing like the currency in Ireland, draw in the flag, languages spoken, foods to try etc.
    I also got them involved by watching Rick Steve’s videos, listening to Irish music etc.
    The other tip I have is make sure to being any and all medicine that your kids may take at home ( tylenol, advil etc) as other countries may not carry them or carry them with the same active ingredient list.
    I also always being polysporin and band aids in mic carry on

  • Shelia January 31, 2017 at 6:23 am

    One tip I heard (but never tried) is to “ship” your clothes ahead of you to your destination. I think it was Kelly Ripa that says she does that. She said you don’t lose your luggage (I actually don’t think she even takes suitcases/luggage. And she said it’s much cheaper now that you have to pay separately check your luggage. I have never been brave enough to try it though.

  • Narci January 31, 2017 at 6:28 am

    What great tips, girl! So useful!! Also, the picture of Kensington and Andrew on the plane is the most adorable thing ever!!

  • Melissa January 31, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Thanks for sharing all of these tips. I whole heartedly agree that taking the kiddos along on trips produces a treasure trove of memories that last a lifetime. The “survive, survive, survive” method works for us on planes as well. Screen time and sugar limits go out the window as we are just trying to get everyone there in one piece. I can’t wait to read the sleeping on the plane post because that’s the one thing my boys have given up as they’ve gotten older (even our 4 year old who is a great napper at home).

  • Megan January 31, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Great tips! We limit iPad time in our family so when it’s time for a flight or road trip they get unlimited screen time. That means they stay occupied and content the entire time. We drove home from FL last year (13 hours) and only stopped once with three kids. Yay for iPads!
    We are currently debating on taking our kids to China for our upcoming adoption trip. Last time we went without kids but my middle son really wants to go. Any thoughts??

    http://www.lettinginthelightblog.com

    • Taylor January 31, 2017 at 8:05 am

      Do it!! That is not only a trip they will never forget, but a family experience they will never forget! No matter how many details slip over the years, that experience will be a part of who they are, and a part of who your family is. That road trip track record is a great start – the adults in my family can’t even make that happen! 🙂

    • Tracie Richey January 31, 2017 at 12:40 pm

      I’m agreeing with you about limiting the Ipad time and I will add that because we don’t have TV at home, when we stay in a hotel my kids can stay quietly watching TV for as long as I need to shower, etc. I don’t mind TRAVELING with kids but staying in a hotel with 8 kids!!! I need tips for that please.

  • Heather Stanton January 31, 2017 at 6:40 am

    These are a must have (I need to put in an application to get special permission from Shaffer)…..https://www.amazon.com/Crayola-52-4016-16ct-Triangular-Crayons/dp/B001VXNFD4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485866232&sr=8-1&keywords=triangle+crayons

  • Kelly January 31, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Great travel tips. I traveled with TWINS often, and sometimes without my husband. My tip for traveling along with kids is ASK FOR HELP. People are really kind, when they want to be, and will offer to help you or will total help if you ask. That said, when I’m traveling now, I ALWAYS keep my eyes open for a mom in need of help. I just got back from Iraq and there was a single mom with three little kids getting off in Istanbul, and she had so much stuff, and a stroller and was overwhelmed. I saw her and offered to help her- and she was so very thankful. Keep your eyes open for ways to help.

  • Suzanne January 31, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Hi Shay

    I’m traveling to the US from AUS in April the road tripping it! Can you give some advice on booking accommodation that’s family budget friendly for a family of five? It seems two rooms is it?

    I love your Blog!!

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2017 at 6:58 am

      We typically get two hotel rooms…but this spring break, we’re using our first AirBnB, so hopefully, that will work well for us too!

    • Sharon January 31, 2017 at 7:22 am

      If you are staying in places more than one night, I would suggest looking at VRBO or airbnb as we find apartments can, most of the time, be very cost efficient as well as providing more room and the opportunity to eat in sometimes.

  • Holly Hopkins January 31, 2017 at 6:50 am

    I always feel bad for those Mamas going with their huge strollers. It looks like such a pain. I bought a jeep brand umbrella stroller for our disney world trip when my daughter was 15mos and it was simple,easy and light that when I had my son I bought a baby carrier & umbrella stroller to use all the time instead of purchasing one of those big combo, heavy duty strollers. It made life soooo much easier! We also rent car seats I cant imagine lugging those either. Great stuff here!

  • Deena Faseler January 31, 2017 at 6:51 am

    We always take a new Color Wonder coloring book for our toddlers and it keeps them entertained for a long time and does t make a mess!! 👍🏼

  • Katie January 31, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Like you said… start them early! We took our son on his first flight at 3.5 months… we picked an easy one Chicago to New York! The best tip I read before that trip was extra shirt for mama! Since then my now 4.5 year old has been to Ny countless times, a couple trips to the DFW area, Miami, Puerto Rico, Poland, amsterdam, Barcelona, and another Europe trip planned for spring! He LOVES to travel and explore new things and places. He has nut allergies so eating while traveling is tough for us so we usually have one carry on dedicated to teddy approved food 🙂

  • Amanda January 31, 2017 at 6:57 am

    We’ve traveled a lot with our one year old, love that he flies free! Almost every airline will check ALL baby gear for free (along with whatever else is in the bag). We ordered a heavy duty HUGE car seat bag, we pack our car seat and surround it with diapers, wipes, formula and anything else heavy we need to fly with. As long as the car seat is in the bag it checks for free. (Even if it weighs 70 lbs!)

    • Erin January 31, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      Where did you get your car seat bag from?!

  • Nikki January 31, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Bandaids are fun for toddlers (just please clean up after them…they leave lots of small pieces). My daughter was entertained for HOURSby the seat belt buckle they use in the flight demo. The flight attendant was happy to share it with us for the duration of the flight.

  • Loren January 31, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Awesome post! We are traveling to Capetown South Africa and South Korea this year and all of this was super helpful! 🙂

  • Lisa January 31, 2017 at 7:18 am

    What a great post!!! If you ever want another perspective on traveling with kids I would be happy to send you some thoughts-I have a 7 year old son on the autism spectrum who also has sensory processing disorder and anxiety. I have some great tips I would be happy to share on how to make traveling as painless as possible for the whole fam!

    • Erica Burns January 31, 2017 at 8:09 am

      Great tips! We also travel a lot with our children, and I found myself saying, yes exactly to a lot of your tips. I wanted to share this great product that I used that we used for our trip to Ireland last year. We were doing a road trip across Ireland after a short trip to London (my kids were 5 and 7 at the time) and I used these inflatable booster seats for them. It was great because I didn’t have to worry about hauling something big because they deflate and roll up and I could keep them in my luggage until we needed them. They worked great! https://www.amazon.com/BubbleBum-Inflatable-Booster-Black-Silver/dp/B00AQYZCXK

  • Catherine January 31, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Love this! We are flying from FL to Canada/AK this summer with our kids (9,7,3) and it’s been a long time since they’ve been on a plane, we usually drive everywhere. Great tips and can’t wait to read about sleeping on a plane, because all the flights coming home leave AK in the middle of the night!
    For car trips, our boys sit in the back of the van, and no one likes climbing back all the time to hand them books, snacks, drinks, toys etc. We put a platic bin (Dollar Tree is a great source, or sometimes the foldable ones you find at Target) and put snacks, toys, extra water, tissues, trash bags and sanitizer in it. They are able to get what they want, when they want and everything stays corraled in one area.

  • Brea January 31, 2017 at 7:42 am

    I love your tip on 2 umbrella strollers. Unfortunately I’ve had to always bring our double due to the fact that I normally travel on some of my husbands work trips so a double is easier to push than two when I’m out exploring. And with a 1 and 2 year old, a stroller is a must. We just buy a very sturdy bag for it in order to give them right before we step on the plane then they have it waiting. Will defiantly bring 2 when we can though. It would be nice! Thank you for your blog it has shown me that you can travel with small kids. We never did growing up but I have always wanted to so your blog has shown it’s possible.

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life January 31, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Theses are such great tips!! Our kids are 6,4 & 2 and we will be flying with them later this year so I am bookmarking this post!!

  • Halie January 31, 2017 at 7:50 am

    For those of you asking about motion sickness… I’ve had terrible motion sickness from a very young age. Can’t ride in a car for more than a couple hours, fly, be on a boat, ride roller coasters, etc. without vomiting. My doctor prescribed me a Transderm patch a couple of years and it is seriously life changing. You put it behind your ear for up to 3-4 days. On my honeymoon, I was able to fly with it and be on a day-long excursion on a boat in the middle of the ocean without feeling the slightest bit nauseous. I so wish I knew about this on a cruise we went on- I spent the whole time doped up on Dramamine and still felt sick!

  • Therese January 31, 2017 at 7:50 am

    I love this post. My husband is an airline pilot so we travel a lot using his benefits. My kiddos have also been on lots of plane flights since they were born. I totally agree with having kids pack and carry their own carry-on bags. My kids (5 & 7) are now able to get through security like little pros. They get the bin, put their backpack on… it’s awesome.

    I’ve also tried to teach them to show their own boarding pass (and passport if it’s an intn’l trip) to the TSA Agent. I don’t yet trust them to keep them the whole time but when we approach the agent I give them their boarding pass and passport. They have to give them to the TSA agent and answer all questions for themselves. They then know to give it right back to me for safekeeping. I also make them hold their own boarding pass when boarding the plane.

    As frequent “non-revenue” travelers (airline benefits) we don’t usually get seats until the last minute and we rarely check bags. You don’t want bags getting on the plane (or not) with or without you, so my kids have learned how much they can pack in a carry-on suitcase and they are now old enough to pull them themselves. When they were babies I HATED having to negotiate all the bags!

    As a fellow sufferer of motion sickness that has passed it on to one of my children I’ll also state that all car trips include a “vomit” bucket WITH a lid. It’s one thing to have a receptacle but we’ve discovered you can’t always stop in a timely fashion (no near interstate exit) to dispose of the receptacle. Therefore, we took an industrial size food container (from GFS) that has a lid. It worked perfectly on a recent 8 hour car trip when one of my children vomited 9 (yes, I said 9) times. Despite the maximum dose of Dramamine, Ginger Ale and all other prevention efforts, nothing worked. The only thing that was going to make it better was getting home and OUT of the car. Therefore, my sweet child held the bucket, used it, put the lid on until needed again. We just kept driving!

    Wow, this was way longer than I intended. I clearly love traveling with may family as well.

  • Hayli January 31, 2017 at 7:53 am

    I’ve read that you plan your trips sometimes years in advance, but when do you actually book flights, hotels, etc?

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2017 at 8:05 am

      It depends on where we’re going. Typically, we book flights 6 to 8 weeks out…hotels more like 6 to 12 months out (depending on the location).

  • Tamara R. January 31, 2017 at 7:55 am

    I love these posts and all the great tips! My kids are 6 and 9 and have been traveling since they were toddlers so I also echo the “practice makes perfect” theme. I’ll never forget our first flight with my daughter at 1, we must have walked her up and down the aisle 50 times….it was painful but now she is a pro! A few tips: we try to pick up a new mini travel game or two and tell them they can’t open it until the plane. It is something for them to look forward to and gives us a break from screen time. Amazon has a lot of cheap travel games if you do a search. We also bring a deck of cards which they love. We also bring the games and cards to restaurants to keep them occupied (we are a strict no electronics at the table family!). We always ask the flight attendant or pilot when boarding or exiting if the kids can sit in the cockpit. They say yes every time and the kids really look forward to it plus we have pics of them at all ages “flying” the plane. Lastly, for longer flights, we rent and download movies from iTunes onto their iPads. Looking forward to the sleeping on planes (or cars!) post!

  • Val January 31, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Love this post! Yessss, all sounds very familiar… practice a lot and you’ll have the BEST travelers 🙂 Thanks for the tip on letting them (bigger kids) pack their own hand luggage. I could improve on that, control freak that I am.
    Traveling is great. Seeing the world though the eyes of your kids is the best ever!

  • stacey January 31, 2017 at 8:00 am

    babysaway.com can rent any baby item you need while on vacay.

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams January 31, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Great post Shay!! I am an avid traveler and I get so nervous when I think of my future and traveling with kids. I agree with your vision that kids should travel with their parents and how it opens their world up at a young age. I feel so much better reading through your post now and will definitely keep it on file for when I have kids. I’ve been reading your blog for years and all your family trips really inspire me to do the same when I have a family of my own. Thank you for this one!!
    Xo
    Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams

  • Beth January 31, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Our first family trip was a flight to Australia when my daughter was 1. I was pregnant with my second daughter. 30 hours one way. Holy tired mommy! But we made it with lots of snacks and extra diapers and toys.
    I recommend a secret stash of Dollar Tree nonsense for the plane. New cheap toys=happy kiddos.
    I have always kept a spare less-fancy safety seat or booster for travel. My son is the youngest, and I needed it on the plane so he’d understand that he had to stay buckled and seated like in the car. Being 2 at the time, he’d slip right out of the airplane seat belt. My girls carry their own cheap booster and we gate-check them. They strap to their rolling carry on bags. All 3 kids (now 4, 7, & 8 years) manage LAX better than some adults I’ve seen there.
    And I’ll second your advice: Don’t sleep upon arrival. Jump into the day where it meets you. If you’re going to be cranky, you should have slept on the plane.

  • Holly January 31, 2017 at 8:11 am

    When we traveled to China to adopt our daughter, I knew it would be a long flight. We were taking our other young children with us and hoped they would behave well on the flight. I read this tip from one adoptive mom. I used her suggestion and it worked out so great!

    We brought 2 bags of Hershey’s kisses on the flight. As everyone was sitting down near us, I gave each of our children a bag of chocolate to pass out. The other passengers were surprised and who does not like chocolate?! Within 5 minutes, we had met our flight attendants and all the passengers around us. They asked our kids why they were going to China. Everyone was so happy when they said they were going to get their baby sister and showed her photo. Fortunately our kids behaved great the whole flight but if our youngest had acted up, I am sure the passengers around would have been extra patient after getting to know the kids at the beginning when they were refreshed and giving them a treat!

  • Taylor January 31, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Thanks for this! I have no additions – only agreement (DON’T NAP. No excuses. Ever. Just don’t even sit down on the bed. Don’t even go in the hotel! ;)!!

    Moms and Dads, if you have the means, please don’t “wait until they’ll remember it!” I grew up travelling – we moved overseas when I was two. Travel becomes a part of who you are that stretches far beyond your distinct memories. It’s not about remembering every detail (believe me, there are trips when I was 17 that I barely remember – how??), it’s about the act and the experience of travel; it’s about who your family becomes together through shared experience; it’s about growing up the type of person who has seen a world outside their own. I never knew a time in life where my family’s “normal” was the only “normal” and, at 29 years old, I am SO GRATEFUL for that!

  • Chrystianne January 31, 2017 at 8:12 am

    I am SO excited that there are more traveling posts coming up! My hubby and I don’t have kids and yet there are things from this post that I learned. We love traveling and I am a seasoned traveler (hubby is not), but there are so many things we can learn from others and their experiences. Just read in the comments that you’ll be staying in an AirBnb, which I have been hesitant to look into, so I look forward to your Spring Break post later on. Keep up the great work Shay! 🙂

  • Jenny January 31, 2017 at 8:13 am

    As a Mama to older kiddos, I completely agree that practice makes perfect. My husband and I have laughed before, because I think our kids handle long days of traveling almost better than we do. All this talk of traveling has me ready to book a trip. 😉

  • Lauren January 31, 2017 at 8:17 am

    This is awesome advice – thank you!! We are taking our daughter on her first big plane flight out to California this Friday. Will definitely be using many of these tips. Thanks Shay!

  • Heidi January 31, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I’ve never commented on your blog before, but you’ve touched on my #1 favorite topic, so I thought I would! We try and take 2 big trips a year as a family with our two kids (1 and 7). People always ask, “Oh, are you taking the kids with you?” and I’m usually so baffled. Yes! It’s our FAMILY vacation! And while we come back exhausted with tons of dirty clothes, I love it. 🙂 I think it gives children such a good perspective to see how other people eat/talk/live differently. We live in OC, and like what you mentioned about Dallas, it can be kind of a bubble. I love it, but I love exploring the world more! We try and go overseas at least once a year, and we normally book red eye flights (and have almost always had luck scoring the bassinet seats you mentioned above in bulkhead). I find that the kids sleep most of the night, and we arrive at our destination with a full day to explore. Yes, we’re exhausted, but we’re excited and running on adrenaline, so it helps ward off the jet lag too! One tip I’d add is to always make sure your kids are eating/nursing/sucking a paci or a lollipop at takeoff and landing so their ears don’t get clogged and painful. I also always take my BabyBjorn for my smallest (especially if we’re meeting my husband and I’m flying alone), because going through the airport – or even to the bathroom on the plane makes it such a lifesaver! Lastly, I know you’re a cruise fan (me too! Total junkie!), but I think it’s a great way to travel with children. The opportunity to explore different places but unpack only once is golden!

  • Susy January 31, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Since you’re moving in that direction, a few tips for traveling with a 12-year old. As grandparents, we have taken two (so far) of our grandchildren on their own trip across the world. We save like crazy to make this possible. THE MOST PRECIOUS MOMENTS EVER–no siblings, no parents, just the three of us. One chose Eastern Europe; one chose Italy. The next one has her eye on Greece with great anticipation–but we’ll see what she chooses when the time comes. Grandparent tips. 1. You are now officially in charge of the most precious gift–safety first–not bringing them back home with you is not an option! Make a grandchild sandwich–in narrow alleys; in crowded squares–late at night when cities are at their most magical ALWAYS one of you in front and one in back. 2. Keep a journal with them. They are old enough to have great thoughts and write them down. We write on one side of the page and they write on the opposite side. We read the journal together on the flight home. 3. Let them help choose the hotels: give them your budget–read all the resources together. 4. Let them choose the magical activities-those beyond the expected sites you will see. We’ve made art in a museum; we’ve gone on a mystery tour; we’ve climbed every castle tower. 5. Explore new foods, and balance with foods. We’ve eaten a lot of pizza, but they have also added new foods to their palates. 6. Have gelato four times a day; stay up really late. Break some rules. 7. BOND as you never have before–because it is just the three of you. 8. LAUGH. We have never giggled, laughed, heehawed so much in our lives as on these trips. There’s more.

    • Catherine January 31, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      This is soooo wonderful thank you for sharing!!!

  • Mallory January 31, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Love these tips! We have an almost 3 year old and an 8 week old and LOVE to travel. We started both of our kids young (in the car and by plane) so that they can start to learn to be good travelers. My big guy is awesome in the car and is fascinated by planes. We just returned home from Disney and the biggest help for us was each being in charge of a kid from the moment we got to the airport until we arrived. Not too hard now since we have a 1-1 ratio, lol! But it was easier to navigate thru security, etc. knowing I only had one kiddo and myself to worry about. It seems silly, but my husband and I weren’t stepping on each other’s toes trying to both help both kids, of that makes sense!

  • Angie January 31, 2017 at 8:32 am

    How do you handle germs on the airplane? I always worry that someone will get sick and ruin the vacation. And kids touch everything. Do you wipe everything down on the seats and tray or just not worry about it?

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Lots of antibacterial!!

  • Clare January 31, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Grocery bags and change of clothes are a must for long flights! You covered everything in the post! Love it!!!

  • Susy January 31, 2017 at 8:41 am

    And the last night. . . .we do a BEST OF conversation at dinner. Best dessert you ate; best museum; best park; best restaurant; best person you met; best of. . . .we relive the memories while they are still fresh and see the trip from each other’s perspectives.

  • Megan January 31, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Great post. I was wondering if you had used AirBnB, London Perfect, Home Away, etc. when traveling in Europe and how that has worked out for you. I like the idea of having a home base with a kitchen and more room than small hotel rooms allow for kids to relax and play a bit and am looking into booking through one of these websites for a trip next year, but I’m a little nervous about picking the right location, etc.
    I’m looking forward to your post on how you prioritize your trips. We have limited time to travel in the summer and have some family visits that use up a good portion of our time off, so any tips on how you decide where you want to go and balance your family trips with other obligations.

  • Deena January 31, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Great tips, especially for young families! Our sons are grown up and don’t travel with us anymore, but one we still use for us is to bring one meal on car trips. I used to get the small multipacks of chips and everyone would pick 2. I’d bring sandwiches, fruit – bananas or apples, and sodas and water. It saves time and one less fast food meal.

    When our oldest was 3 months old, I flew with him on KLM to Geneva with a long layover in Amsterdam to meet up with my dh who was on an extended work trip. What saved me was the crib and the small seatbelt to use with mine. I didn’t bring a car seat and at the time in Switzerland they only used car beds for babies. We had to rent a forward facing car seat that was way too big and he hated (& screamed the whole time we were in the car). One funny thing was when he needed diapers and we couldn’t find them in the store, we asked and tried every diaper word we could think of with no luck. Finally I pointed at his bottom and she said ‘Oh, Pampers’. 😃

  • Brittney January 31, 2017 at 8:47 am

    ” so if it weighs 500 pounds, they better carb up before the trip…” I actually LOLed. So funny!

  • Kathy January 31, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Love all your traveling posts! We too are a family that travels a lot and love it! My main issue is always packing too much. I know you have done a post in the past about packing but I would love to see a detailed step by step post about packing for a long trip with kids. We always end up with so many suitcases it makes it miserable. Can’t wait to read your next post about sleeping on the plane!

    • Melissa January 31, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Pack for your family per day (only one bag for Monday, etc). One of the best tips I’ve taken from her blog 🙂

      • Mindy February 4, 2017 at 8:29 am

        Can you explain this in a bit more detail, please? Are you saying “if your trip is 5 days, you can take 5 bags?” (Just using that as an example). Thanks!!!

        • Mix and Match Mama February 5, 2017 at 5:02 am

          No, I would probably take 3 bags but put Monday and Tuesday in one, Wednesday in one, and Thursday and Friday in another (something like that). I gave that tip when I came home from our Disney Cruise last March! It’s a lifesaver!!

  • Cara Sims January 31, 2017 at 8:50 am

    With motion sickness we swear by sea bands. You can get them on Amazon. You put them on your pressure points on your wrists. It’s the only thing we’ve found that works. On a note that changes the subject- bed making with kids… I have 3 kids-the bed fairy (which they know is me) comes unannounced while they’re at school. It may be twice in one week. It may be once a month. If I check on their bed and they made it to the BESTof their ability the bed fairy leaves something on their bed.it may be a pack of gum or a toy from the Target $1 bin. It has worked! Even my 12 year old will check when he gets home from school and yell- the bed fairy came today. Sometimes all 3 got a treat- sometimes just 1 because the other 2 didn’t make their bed or made it sloppy.
    Thank you for your great ideas!! One other odd question- do you drive a minivan or SUV- do you recommend a car friendly for kids other than a minivan?

  • Sara Laverty January 31, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I too grew up travelling internationally and domestically all the time. (Daughter of an immigrant ftw!)
    We always took a 1 hour nap when we landed and that was super helpful and something I still do to this day when I travel. It’s super helpful.

  • Sarah R January 31, 2017 at 9:06 am

    We’ve traveled with our kids since they were each 5 months old. I tell people to just get out there and do it!

    Do you have TSA Pre-Check? We do and love it. It’s reasonably priced, doesn’t take that much time out of your day, and lasts for 5 years. It allows us to go through shorter lines, not have to remove our liquids from our carry-ons, and lets us keep our shoes on. We only have to pay for my husband and me, and then the kids come through the pre-check line with us. Definitely worth it!

    I really laughed when you said traveling is not the time to be the “best parent ever.” If it keeps them quiet, I let them do it!

  • Ashley Ward January 31, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Loved this post! I would love some tips on traveling with a baby to Europe. My baby will be 7 months old and we are going on a Baltic cruise this summer. I’m curious about feeding schedule (nursing, pumping/bottle, baby food), sleeping schedule (plane, naps, bedtime), car seat/stroller (taxis, cobblestone streets, etc), navigating towns and the ship? She will have flown domestically several times before that, but a Europe trip/cruise is a little daunting!

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      As soon as you land, get both of you on their time. The faster you do that, the easier it will be for everyone. We did a Baltic cruise when our babies were 1 and 2. It was so much fun!

    • Brooke January 31, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      We currently live in Germany and travel all the time with our kids. My youngest was born over here and is 17 months. His 1st trip he was 4 months. Here are my tips for Europe.

      1. Most car services will have car seats, but you need to book in advance. We have also found car service to be cheaper then a taxi.

      Stroller- we take our Phil and Ted or our Bob jogger. We have found that stroller with bigger tires (that you can put air in) do better on cobble stone. Plus most European strollers are full size.

      Food- I nurse and did it when he needs it. Plane, train, boat, and no one has ever said a thing. Some airlines have baby food, but we always just pack it with us. People always asked if we needed something heated up for the baby.

      Sleep- We always try to much sure he gets to move. Now that he walks we just walk him all around the town or up and down the plane till he gets sleepy.
      I love traveling Europe with a baby, everyone is so nice and helpful. I have found that Europe much more child friendly.

  • Amy Johnson January 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    We’ve traveled almost once a year with our older boys (3 and 5) via plane, but will be taking our first (4 hour) flight with our now 10 month old little guy as well in about a week. We actually DO take our carseats, because they are awesome at containing our toddlers until we get checked in (Throw the seats in the bags, sort of zipped up, and keep the toddler strapped in, and then just pull them on the wheels on the bag. They think it’s GREAT fun) We have oversize (wheeled) carseat bags, and we also pack them full of diapers, wipes, etc. for baby and they check no problem. We’re beginning to check as much as we can, even if it costs more, because I am so sick to death of carrying around so many carry on bags when dealing with kids. We plan to let the older boys each have their own bag, and then the hubby and I will each have a personal item as well.

    We limit our kids’ time with tablets, movies, etc. for about a week before a trip, and make sure to load up the devices with a new movie and a few new shows. I’ll get new search and find books as well as connect the dots and new coloring books beforehand. And definitely all the snacks. I learned early, though, that I try to not bring out the heavy hitters (sugary stuff they don’t get regularly at home) until absolutely necessary. Otherwise, I’ve got hyped up kids early on and then they have a sugar crash and meltdown within the first hour. I’ve found people are significantly more tolerant of a meltdown in the last hour of a flight as opposed to the first part. I try to stick with stuff like crackers, raisins, grapes, apple slices, chips, etc. and then pull out the fruit snacks, skittles and suckers towards the end.

    Also, like you said, ESPECIALLY when traveling with a cute little baby, people are extremely sweet and kind. Of all the flights we’ve been on, I’ve had exactly one even remotely “rude” person that I’ve dealt with, and even then, they weren’t over the top rude, just gave lots of dirty looks. Even when your kids are at their limits, most people are extremely gracious as long as you are at least trying to take control of the situation and not just letting them have an all out tantrum on a plane without doing something.

    And also, my final note is this: Just keep in mind that the flight will eventually end. You won’t be on the plane forever. Even if it is the worst flight ever, it does end. You will eventually leave the plane. It will happen. You can be as prepared as humanly possible and everything still be a disaster, but you will eventually get off the plane.

  • Amy Johnson January 31, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Oh, and as if my last post wasn’t long enough (haha), I HIGHLY recommend vrbo (or airbnb, but we haven’t tried that one yet). It’s incredible to have a whole condo or house to yourselves when traveling with small kiddos. We try to book accommodations with at least 2 (and probably now 3) separate bedrooms so that we can keep things as similar to home as we can. Having a full kitchen is incredible (because, as we learned on our Key Largo trip, eating out with toddlers is a nightmare I don’t enjoy reliving) and a place for Mom and Dad to chill out once the littles have gone to sleep without just laying in a dark hotel room staring at your phones while the kids are already asleep. The last place we stayed had a hot tub that we enjoyed every evening after putting the kids to sleep with the baby monitor close by. They’re slightly more expensive than hotels, but absolutely worth it!

  • Darcy January 31, 2017 at 9:41 am

    What a great post! Can’t wait to read the follow up posts. It seems like when we travel by air, it’s one of us with our baby (because of the other one is already at the destination due to work) so I 100% agree on the umbrella stroller – not only does it haul your kid around, but it hauls your purse/carry on bag too, a blankie draped over it, a coat, etc – the $10 you spend on a cheap umbrella stroller is gold! (And when we have our second baby this summer, I’m pretty sure I’ll pack them in a front pack and the 1 1/2 year old in an umbrella stroller for the first few months.) The only tip I have that you didn’t mention is that I bring something sweet for my baby to suck on as a back up to a pacifier, in case they don’t want a bink. (Hard gummy worms that they can’t bite off, a rolled up fruit roll up that they can suck, but can’t bite a piece off of, a piece of stick candy I can hold in my hand and let them suck, etc.) These are small (so stash a few extra in your purse) and guarantee that I don’t have to combat ear pain upon take off and landing. (We live pretty remotely, so our travel always includes a few connections. 🙂

  • Angela Ellingson January 31, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Wow! That is quite the wealth of knowledge. I’ve referred dozens and dozens of friends to that original traveling with kids post over these past 4 years. We are trying to get my student loans paid off and then buy a house, but after that I would love to travel as a family a lot more. Looking forward to your other traveling posts! 🙂

  • Vanessa January 31, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Great post! Quick tip on car motion sickness….my sister would get very sick sometimes while we went on road trips when we were younger. One day, while we stopped the car at a rest place for her to vomit, someone told us to put newspaper on her stomach under her clothes….and she felt a whole lot better! She says she puts newspaper on her stomach EVERY time she goes on a road trip and makes her feel a lot better! No more vomitting!

  • Brittany Fink January 31, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I can’t wait to see your post on prioritizing and saving for trips!

  • Megan Butler January 31, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Love this post and I feel like it is GOLD!! The last time I flew with Baker I was super pregnant with Fisher and was sick the whole flight!!! And I was alone! So I feel scarred!!! But I think we are ready to start traveling more with our kids!! First up is a car Trip/camping trip!! Yikes!!

  • Abby N January 31, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Love all the tips! We travel a ton too and some things I always pack for my girls (5 and 2) are those magic ink books. They can get that marker all over their clothes and seats and the only place it shows up is on the book (amazing!). I also picked up a few magnetic dress-up dolls and the girls play with those on the plane. Because the pieces are magnetic they don’t get lost and the girls have fun changing the dolls outfits. And SNACKS. Always snacks! 🙂

  • Shannon January 31, 2017 at 10:22 am

    For toddlers and even older babies, we’ve used puffy stickers to play games of hide and seek on ourselves or even on the pleather seat back and movie screens. Because they’re thicker, we’ve found that they come off items pretty well and that babies that have the “pincher” motion down can even grab them. When one loses its stick, we just grab a new one. Buys us some moments of peace.

  • Laura Weisiger January 31, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I am so excited for the new travel posts! Need to make it a whole series!

  • Alice January 31, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I have to say I’m very disappointed that you didn’t address car seat safety on planes. Even though children under two are allowed to sit on your lap for free, it does not mean it’s safe. The safest option is to buy each child their own seat and used an FAA approved safety seat. (Most car seats can be used on planes, but not all.) This is really important to me because most people think just because the airlines allow lap children, it must be safe. I beg everyone to research this because it could be a matter of life and death. Please please buy each child their own plane ticket, regardless of their age, and use a car seat on the plane.

    We bought cheap, light car seats just to use while traveling, so we don’t have to bring our heavy, expensive ones. Even older children are not big enough to be properly restrained by just a lap belt. I don’t believe booster seats are approve for plane use. You can buy the CARES harness, which is a 4-point harness that attaches to the plane seat and is the safest option (and the only FAA approved harness) for children who’ve outgrown a convertible car seat. Bassinets or other devices that attach a lap child to you or your seat or the plane are not allowed to be used during takeoff or landing, which are statistically the most dangerous parts of a flight.

    Shay, I totally agree with you on traveling with kids often, but it’s so important to keep safety first. Convenience should never be more important than keeping our kids safe.

  • Brandye January 31, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I cannot stress enough your point about exposing them to travel early and often. My 2 were always great (not perfect) traveling. We were relocated from Houston to Mobile when our youngest was 13 months. I made that drive many times, with and without my husband. On long car trips with little ones, just don’t worry about how long the drive takes….STOP and play at McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, wherever. Their little bodies need a break.

    My sister-in-law always complained about bringing her twins from San Antonio to Houston because they were not good in the car….but I really think it’s because she didn’t take them enough. JMHO

  • Katherine January 31, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Random Question-but I figured since you guys just got back from NYC you might know…we are traveling to NYC in April and will mostly use the subway/walking to get around but will prob take a taxi or Uber from the airport to our hotel. What do you do about a carseat for a toddler if its just a one time ride? Do taxi’s have them or require them? Any help you can suggest is appreciated! Thanks!

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2017 at 11:58 am

      You can line up a car service to pick you up right at baggage claim and take you to the hotel. Just tell them in advance what type of car seat you need!

  • Megan January 31, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Tips for traveling with small babies (because I’ve done it a few… or about 50 times)…
    1 – Pack your diaper bag so you can find everything by touch. When you have a lap infant and need something out of the diaper bag at your feet, you don’t always get to see what you’re grabbing for. Organize, organize, organize!
    2 – For really small babies, dress them in a fleece footie sleeper or a fleece outfit because when they inevitably have a diaper blow out at 30,000 feet, the fleece contains the mess so it doesn’t spread to whoever is holding the baby. Cotton outfits are the worst! Also on this note, pack at least 1 extra outfit for the baby and 1 extra shirt for the mommy.
    3 – Even if you aren’t nursing, pack a nursing cover or a large scarf; they can both double as a blanket or you can wear them and drape over a baby sleeping in your arms.

    In my experience, the smaller the baby, the easier it is to travel. Once they start crawling and want to move, then the traveling difficulties really ramp up. My favorite traveling story is when my then 20 month old daughter stood up in her car seat on the plane, grabbed the head rest and yelled for everyone to hear “I’M POOPING!!!!” while she grunted away. Got a few chuckles from fellow passengers that flight.

  • Bekah Bruce January 31, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I loved this post! We road trip it mostly but I love all your ideas especially the bigs packing their own carry on! Genius! I can’t wait to read about how you save up and plan for your big trips! I have so many places I WANT our family to go but that big ticket seems a little daunting!

  • Chelsey January 31, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Thanks for all the great information in this post 🙂 We are traveling on Thursday to Hawaii with our 2 year old and 6 month old (first time taking both kids). We are a bit nervous on how the flight go, from Calgary , it is close to a 7 hour flight 😳 I will definitely utilize a lot of your tips and recommendations! Thanks again it was a great, helpful read!

  • Jodi January 31, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I can’t wait to read about plane sleeping. I can not sleep on a plane to save my life. The dinging of the seat belt reminder literally makes me wanna throw an adult fit, and ear plugs do nothing. The noise combined with pressure and motion sickness literally leaves me wanting to cry every single time. Oh and combine that with the fact that my six year old son has thrown up on the plane the last two times we traveled makes it super great fun. The struggle is oh so real.

  • Meghan January 31, 2017 at 11:15 am

    I’ve your post! We travel a lot with a 2 year old and we live far away so no flight we are on is less than 5 hours. We started traveling with a car seat on the plane and let me tell you this is the best travel tip ever! We bought a cheap but safe car seat that is lightweight so it’s easy to get through the airport. We have a bag with wheels on it so she can sit on that and be taken through the airport. With the car seat in the plane she can’t move around and she is so much more content! This has been a game changer in traveling especially taking red eye flights which we do all the time (midnight). I love having my big stroller through the airport too because I can hang all my stuff on it. And I have specific airplane toys and I will wrap them up so it’s another thing that distracts her for a while. She used to think they were new toys everytime so I would always reuse them. I think she’s smart enough now so I can’t trick her anymore! We love traveling with kids and they don’t slow us down either!

  • Natalie January 31, 2017 at 11:38 am

    I’m super pumped for your upcoming posts! They sound like gold!

  • Gail January 31, 2017 at 11:40 am

    We live for travel! We don’t have kids, but I read your awesome post and all the comments; lots of eye-opening info. Us kid-less folks truly appreciate families that are considerate of their surroundings and are cognizant of their kiddos behavior. No one wants to have a whining, seat-kicking kid (or adult!) behind you, but understanding the parents point of view is enlightening. FYI, we happen to be screaming baby magnets on planes and in restaurants, so if you see us, choose a seat far, far away!! 🙂

  • Erin January 31, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Road trips: color wonder or imaginink books (mess/melt free). Toddler potty seat (in case they can’t hold it til the next stop and need to pee on the side of the road). Lysol wipes AND baby wipes. Cleanest bathrooms are in lowes/Home Depot and hotel lobbies (both are easy to find off major highways). “Bagelfuls” are bagels stuffed with cream cheese found in the freezer section- buy a box and let them defrost in car, easy yummy breakfast. Find bass pro shops or cabela’s along the highway to stop and stretch legs indoors or public playgrounds to burn off energy. We’ve even stopped at petco’s to see the fish…anything to break up long trips!

    • Kristin January 31, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      We have driven cross country twice and frequently used pet stores to stretch our legs and entertain kids!

  • Romi January 31, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I suffer from motion sickness and recommend Sea Bands for travel. They come in children’s sizes too. I take a Dramamine and put on my sea bands at amusement parks. They also help on bus tours and car rides for school field trips. The sea bands might help mom’s with children who suffer motion sickness on car trips. I leave a pair in my glove box in the car to always have them when needed on car rides.

  • Courtney January 31, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    This is such a great post, and of course a hot topic! I have to ask, do you ever get worried about safety when flying? For yourself or your kiddos? If so, how do you deal with your thoughts or what actions to do take to be cautious?

    Courtney

    • Mix and Match Mama January 31, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      I’m not a worrier by nature Courtney. That’s good and bad at the same time (because there are some occasions when I should probably worry a bit more). I just trust that the Lord has it all under control.

  • LB January 31, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    When our children were little, we would take advantage of the air conditioner in the car make bubbles. Pull the top out of the container and place it right in front of the air conditioner to blow those bubbles for you! My husband and I could talk and the children could enjoy bubbles for what felt like forever! (Without me running out of breath!)

  • lauren truman January 31, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    you had me DYING at some parts… “if their bag weighs 500 lbs, they better carb up before the trip … i’m not carrying it around!” DYING!!!! great tips, too!

  • Robin January 31, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Awesome post! I needed this as we’re leaving from Michigan to Hawaii in a week….and will be traveling with a 3 year old and a 13 year old… Sincerely hoping your sleep post comes before next Tuesday!!

  • Stacey January 31, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I too have tried EVERYTHING (including everything listed here) for motion sickness. My claim to fame is that I have thrown up on 3 continents and numerous islands. A 12 hour decongestant and peppermints help as good as anything but I always carry a bag in my pocket for “surprise” nausea. Sad to tell you I am 51 and have had it since I was a child and it does not get any better with age. I too just get thru it. I revive once I am not longer moving. I think its great that you do not let it slow you down!

  • Christina January 31, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    When our twins were still in car seats, we always brought the seats with us on the plane. We purchased 2 folding luggage carts, and would attach the seats (babies included) to the cart with bungee cords. We were able to freely wheel them through the airport, and once on the plane, they were able to sit in their car seats, and the luggage carts went into the overhead bin. It worked every time, and was so much easier for us to transport them in the airport

  • Chelsea January 31, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    This post was GREAT timing. We have a 3 month old and already have three flights booked over the next several months. I’m excited to get her started early, but soaking up any and all advice! If anyone has advice for an Umbrella stroller that can decline to accommodate a little baby, I would love to hear it!

  • Lauren @ familybookmarks.com January 31, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    What great tips! I’ve taken two flights with my now ten month old girl. Once I was with my husband and the other I was by myself. Both flights were booked to fly out at 10pm. It worked out well both times and my 7 and 9 month old baby girl slept the whole flight. Of course I was prepared and fed her at take off with a bottle. I also had random things to entertain her with on the plane. A roll of tape, some wiki-sticks, keys, and other favorite toys.

    We have an across country trip coming up, but the grandparents may be watching her!

  • Audrey January 31, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Have you ever heard of the Go-Go Babyz Travelmate? It’s like a dolly that your carseat attaches to, and then you just pull your child through the airport on it. If you don’t need to take a stroller but do need to take a carseat, it totally works. I haven’t flown a ton with my kids, but the last time I did, this thing was a lifesaver!

  • Amber Rodgers January 31, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Great tips! I also get motion sickness- on planes, cars, boats, etc. Have you tried the relief band? It sounded crazy to me, but was life changing on my last flight- not sick at all! https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00PG4NUOS/ref=mp_s_a_1_4_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1485894821&sr=8-4&keywords=motion+sickness+band

  • Corinne Wright January 31, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    If you have a prayer list, will you please add my friend Megan Chlopek? She was 26 weeks pregnant with twin babies when she went into cardiac arrest last week. They delivered the twins at 26 weeks. Megan has been on a ventilator ever since, fighting for her life. She is not doing well. Last night, they lost the girl twin, Vaila. The boy, Leif, is not doing well either. They also have an almost-2 year old son. I am broken for her and cannot do anything except ask everyone I know to pray.

  • Auralee January 31, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    When you traveled to NYC, do you remember what car/transportation service you used that had car/boosters seats for your kids? Thanks and thank you for the tips!!!

  • Catherine January 31, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    So many great tips! We travel a lot with our two kids as well and I have to share these water wow books. Best invention ever! You put a little water inside the paintbrush and the water reveals the color pictures. By the time they get through the book the first page has dried again and they can start over! I have a handful of them and save them just for planes, car rides, and church. The funny part is that when we flew to visit family at thanksgiving I came downstairs from putting our baby for a nap and the adults were sitting around doing them ha ha!

    https://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Doug-Water-Water-Reveal-Activity/dp/B009B7F6DO

  • Colleen @ 50 Days of No Grey January 31, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Great tips! I agree fully with practice, practice, practice. My kids are 7 & 10 and are great travellers. I am super flexible on what they eat when we are on the plane. I try to bring healthy snacks, but I figure flights are great times to try new treats to pass the time. I also like to bring new books, playing cards and we load up on the movies/shows. Whatever you need to do to survive and get there! It’s part of the adventure and I have to say the more we do it, the more I look forward to the next trip!

  • NerdGirl January 31, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Enjoyed reading this and agreed with a lot of these tips. But not the one on apologizing for traveling with my kid. I would never! She’s been flying since she was 3 months old (she’s 12 now) and has never been a problem. She’s been on both plane rides both short and long and handled them all like a champ. If she did something apology-worthy I’d apologize. But apologize for her presence? No ma’am.

  • Michelle January 31, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Hi Shay! I don’t have any advice on traveling with kids yet, but was just wondering what brand your Crossbody handbag is in the first picture. I love the bling on the strap. Thanks!

  • Sara Cordell January 31, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    We never fly with car seats either, but arrived in Barcelona with 2 small kids and a rental car place that had no car seats left!!! We travel with Bubble Bums – booster seats for travel that fold flat and are inflatable when you get to your destination. They also the “grandparent car seats” when not traveling! On long flights my go to snack is Jelly Belly’s. I have the kids make “recipes” for us to try and it takes up a good amount of time! Bon voyage!

  • Bethany January 31, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I traveled round trip along with a 5 month old from Japan to TN! I am navie to think I am a pro now! lol
    My tips are:
    Wear that baby! I kind of hate carrying around a stroller. If your baby is one or under wear them! You have free hands and they aren’t going anywhere. I love my Lilliebaby carrier.

    Sanitizer wipes! There is no use in trying to keep a little one from touching everything and planes are gross!!!! I wipe down everything so many times and the bathroom every time I went. I swear that bathroom was cleaners when we landed.

    Ditch the carry-on for a backpack. Again free hands!

    Buy a new toy and save it for right before a meltdown.

    Above all PRAYER! =)

  • Eileen January 31, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    I love this post so much and found myself nodding in agreement the whole time. We also are big believers in bringing cheap umbrella strollers on our trips. The more we travel with our kids, the better they do. Can’t wait to read more travel posts!

  • Lauren January 31, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    I literally died when you said ” they better carb up”!!! Great tips. One day I will be using these. Thanks for the post.

  • Carrie January 31, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    When I traveled with my 2 girls to Nashville we used our bubblebums for boosters. This would only work of course if your kids are old enough and weigh enough for boosters. My youngest was 5 at the time and just barely met the 40 lb cut off for a booster. I am strict with carseats and even at age 6 she still has a ways to go before outgrowing her 5 point harness using that at home. But the Bubblegum has a great reputation and safety record. It is inflatable and so I deflate for the plane trip and blow it up when we get there. It is easily fits in a carry on with plenty of extra room. My girls are excellent travelers despite not traveling that often. We travel 1x a year to the outer banks and that is a 6+ hour trip and we have never used dvds/movies. They just entertain themselves. We have done a 10 hour trip to Nashville and did allow a movie however we could have skipped it. I do agree with the lots of snacks and also with carseats to not depend upon stopping at restaurants. I find that when traveling in a car you want things that you know kids like and settle well with their stomachs. So I always pack a meal. If we find a place to eat that is familiar then maybe but it is cheaper and healthier to just pack!!
    Traveling is really pricy so you can expose your kids to just about the same adventures with local trips, just be creative. I just had to throw that out there! I have found many free or cheap places to take the kids to with in an hour or so of our house. They aren’t used to planes and frequent extended car trips but they are used to knowing how to behave in a variety of different places.

  • Kristin January 31, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    We travel ALOT with our kids (4 and 2) for the reasons you mentioned – togetherness, experiences, etc.
    We’ve always gotten compliments on airplanes and in restaurants how good they are and I always just say that they have a lot of practice.
    I agree with your tips and won’t bOther repeating but one thing we do is a carry on backpack of extra clothes. We’ve had our luggage lost a lot so in a backpack I stuff pjs for each kid and a clean set of clothes for all of us. And yet one more pair of pants per kid because it’s inevitable that a diaper leaks, someone can’t wait until after take off to pee, someone spills their juice, etc. Anything they need to sleep goes in there as well as none replaceables like my contacts.
    Snacks snacks snacks. And then more snacks.
    Much like you said about driving – fully early! If there is a flight that causes us to get up at 3am that’s the one we are picking!! Then they are tired and sleep the first while on the flight. I fly solo with them some so we prefer a double umbrella stroller so I can maneuver when I’m alone.

  • Stephanie January 31, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Your ziplock trick reminded me of when we left for family vacation one year and I was sick…but we weren’t going to cancel our 2 weeks vacation because I’d be sick for a day or 2. Well (TMI here) my mom gave me large pads (for diarrhea if we couldn’t stop soon enough) and gallon ziplock bags (for vomit…because they close and don’t leak). Not a tip necessarily, but a funny and gross story

  • Anna H. January 31, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Which little book lights do you use? I know you’ve mentioned them before, but I couldn’t find it. Thanks!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 1, 2017 at 4:44 am

      I just buy them off of Amazon!

  • Darbi February 1, 2017 at 6:55 am

    We are a missionary family with 3 kids so my kiddos have also been on tons of flight. I also let them pack their own carryons, but from now on I will CHECK THEM THOROUGHLY!! On our last overseas flight (after 7 years, I felt like a pro….), my 7 year old son packed empty shotgun shells from Texas in his backpack to bring back to show his friends! They made it through security in Dallas and London but were discovered in Johannesburg, South Africa! They had no idea what they were and didn’t understand that they were empty, and my husband was detained at the airport police station!! It was horrifying!!! Check those carryons, people! 😉

  • Ashley February 1, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I always pack a lite change of clothes for the kiddos. A pair of underwear, leggings and a tshirt, that doesn’t take too much room in a carry on. Lesson learned on the beginning of a long flight… when sprite spilled all over her shirt and pants.

  • Carlie February 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    I don’t think I have any tips other than what you covered, but I just wanted to say I loved this post and reading through some of the comments. My 3 boys are older now (teens and a tween) so the challenge is finding time to travel together when they’re not engaged in school/sports/work. One time I traveled alone with them when they were 7, 6, and 2 across the country. I had to implement the buddy system. My oldest and youngest were buddies and I was buddies with my middle.

  • Jenna February 1, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    How do you handle naps when traveling with your littles? Are they just good stroller nappers? Mine needs a crib, so we always go back to the Hotel room, and the adults just get a mid-day break.

    • Mix and Match Mama February 2, 2017 at 4:54 am

      They just adjust to stroller naps :).

  • Stacy E February 1, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Thank you for this post, I like your helpful tips. We have 3 kids 11,8 & 6 and I also love for them to have experiences and visit/see places although we have not flown with all three yet, mostly roady trips. I do have a question about hotels with 4 kids? Where does everyone sleep? We are running into that problem now that my kids are older, three can not fit into a bed confortably. Thanks! I love your blog and my family has enjoyed several of your recipes

    • Mix and Match Mama February 2, 2017 at 4:53 am

      So far, we’ve been getting two hotel rooms that connect.

  • Kerri February 3, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I’ve heard if you have triple A you get a free car seat rental though Hertz.
    Also, any travel tips for breastfeeding moms? Flying with pumped milk seems like a hassle.
    I have heard if you tell your hotel you are breast feeding they will give you a fridge even if the rooms don’t normally have them… Might be a good fib just for those wanting a fridge even if you aren’t breast feeding 😉

  • Cristina S. February 3, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    What stroller do you recommend for a 4 year old? I had a Maclaren umbrella Triumph , loved it but the front wheel broke. I saw that you had Chicco but I cannot see which model. Thanks!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 4, 2017 at 5:47 am

      It’s something like “travel lite” something like that!

  • Cristina S. February 4, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you!

  • Jaren February 5, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Always love your travel posts! My favorite tip from you was about packing all the suitcases by days instead of by person. So simple to do and will make such a big difference on our next trip!!

  • Diana Yost February 6, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I have a traveling with kids question! How do you find family-friendly places to eat when you travel, especially when you are traveling to a different country that speaks another language? Whenever I travel out of town, I’m always worried about taking my little kids to a restaurant that is not so family-friendly. It’s hard in places that I’m not familiar with and I don’t recognize any chain restaurants or fast food places. Thanks!!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      That’s all part of the experience! When we travel, we try not to eat at places that they have back in the States (I mean…sometimes, we do but we really try not to). We ask people at our hotel for suggestions, read blogs for ideas, just see places that look good and stop…it’s all part of the fun 🙂 .

  • April Morehouse February 14, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Thank you for all the great information in this article. Such great advice.
    I look forward to following you and reading many more great articles!!!!

  • Melissa February 15, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    We recently got mifold car seats. They got in the kids carry on bag and it saves us a huge headache of either checking bags (my least fave option) or renting wherever we go.