Inflight Routine.

Today’s post is for you Erika.

Today, we’re going to talk about how I can get a good night’s sleep on a plane.

That’s right…I said on a plane.

 And not only me, but I can get my kids to sleep too.

One time I mentioned to Erika something about us all sleeping on a flight and she was like “what, you all sleep?” and I’m like, “girl, I have an entire routine that gets us to sleep” and she made me tell her everything and ever since then, she’s been requesting that I share it with you.  So…last week, I gave my best tips for traveling with your kids and today, sleeping on a plane.  Because…you never know when you might need to sleep on an airplane?

So…this is us coming home from China with Madeley.  People typically don’t take photographs of us stepping off a plane, so I’m using our adoption pics as my examples today 🙂 .  We don’t look amazing here…but we don’t look that horrible either considering we had just been traveling for about 48 hours, right? #indulgemeplease  Well, it’s because we’re rested. (Or at least as rested as you can be in that situation.)

I learned a long time ago that the worst way to begin or end a vacation is exhausted, so when we travel, I’m very particular about sleeping.  Now, side note: Andrew does his own thing.  He likes to stay up and watch movies on long flights, but the kids and I sleep.  This way, when you land, you’re not just completely worn out.

Over the years, I have perfected my sleep routine and so, I’m sharing it with you today.  It’s just a bunch of random tips and products that help us get as much sleep as we can.

Here we go:

1: We don’t sleep on domestic flights (nap maybe, but not sleep).  Because Dallas is smack in the middle, we can basically get anywhere in the US in about 3ish hours, so we don’t need to sleep.  Plus, we’re not going to have jet lag because good old Central Standard Time is in the middle too.

2: If we’re flying west (like Dallas to Hawaii), we do not sleep on the plane (I mean, the kids might nap, but not a hardcore sleep).  Because typically on those flights, you land in the evening and I want everyone to land, go to the hotel and head straight to sleep.  This helps with jet lag!!  So, watch your landing time because if you’re landing at night, I would really try and avoid sleeping on the plane or else you’ll be all sorts of screwed up at the beginning of your trip.

3: We fly east a lot (like say Dallas to London) and on those flights, you almost always leave Dallas in the evening and arrive in Europe first thing the next morning, which means, you need to be rested or else you’ll be exhausted all day long.

4: The kids are pros at this now, but we still talk about how we’re going to sleep on the flight.  We talk about it before we get to the airport that way, the expectation has been set.  They know that we’ll board, they’ll watch movies and such, then the airline will serve us something to eat and then we’ll “get ready for bed” and sleep until the airline wakes us back up about 1.5 hours before we land to serve us that last meal (or sometimes, they just keep sleeping until we land).  So, sleeping on the flight is no surprise to them because the expectation is set.

 So, we board, I read (they typically watch movies), then we eat our inflight meal and then after that’s been cleared is typically when we “get ready for bed”.

Here’s what we do:

1: Everyone goes to the bathroom.  My big kids like to hold it all day long and always tell me they’re fine…but I make them go anyway because the last thing we need happening is for everyone to be asleep and then they wake up and have to go (because it will wake everyone up!).  So, everyone must potty.

2: While they’re in there lavatory, each kiddo must brush their teeth and (I’ll give you a list of things I bring with us in just a minute).

3: When they get back to their seats, the kids wash their faces with those makeup remover towelettes.  Clean teeth, clean face, empty bladder…good enough, right?

4: After that, screens OFF.  No movies, no distractions.  Each kiddo brings with them two of their favorite things: a neck pillow and sleep mask.  They put their pillow around their necks, cover up with their blankets and put their eye masks on.  Then, they go to sleep.

It’s a crazy simple as that for my kids.  Now, it wasn’t this easy the first time.  The first time, they put up a little fight “I’m not tired, I don’t want to sleep, I want to watch a movie, etc.”, but I was firm that they needed to sleep (think about it…it’s probably the middle of the night back at home, so you know they’re tired!).  If it’s noisy on the flight, the kids will even put on their headphones to block out the noise.  They’re cuddled in their blankets, it’s dark (sleep masks!) and they’re off to sleep.  I also bring socks for them if they happen to not have any on their feet (summertime especially) and they put socks on to keep them warm.

Now, I know you’re thinking “what about little ones?”.  Well, I’ve been traveling with babies since the very beginning and I’ve found that if you keep their routine the same (even inflight), they sleep…

Here is five month old Smith flying from Dallas to Amsterdam.  I fed him, made it as dark as possible around him, swaddled him (just like at home) and he’s sound asleep on that flight.  I’m not saying it’s always going to work, but I think if you’re consistent, you have a really good shot.

Now, my little routine is a little more complex.  Here’s what I do:

1: I also brush my teeth in the lavatory before returning to my seat to remove my makeup.  (Yes, Erika laughed at this…I remove my makeup.)  The worst feeling to me is waking up after sleeping in makeup.  Ugh! I hate that!  I wipe all of my makeup off with those makeup towelettes and then apply a nighttime moisturizer to my face (because flying is so dehydrating).  After that, I…

2: Put a mask on my face.

I know.

Erika HOWLED when I told her this.  She thought this was the funniest thing EVER!  But friends, IT WORKS!

I always carry a mask with me and for the last year, it’s been that Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask which is TSA compliant. #woohoo   This one is especially nice because it’s not white (it’s clear), so no one can tell you’re wearing a mask.  Now, there have been many times when I’ve used a white mask and honestly, no one cares because no one is looking (it’s dark on the plane and most people are trying to sleep), so whatever you love and will get through security, bring it.  Your skin will thank you!

3: After I put on my mask, I put on cozy socks to keep my feet warm, remove all of my jewelry (because it can become uncomfortable while I sleep), add my sleep mask, my noise-cancelling headphones, cover up with a blanket and will myself to sleep.

4: Now, when the flight attendants tell us that we’re getting close to arriving, I put myself back together.  I use another towelette to wipe off my face and that face mask, I get up and brush my teeth again (because your breath can’t be too fresh, right?!), then I return to my seat and apply my AM cream, a little tinted moisturizer, mascara and lipstick.  That’s it.  I don’t do my full makeup routine, but those things right there perk me back up (you could by all means do your full routine though!).  I apply some lotion to my hands and neck, put my jewelry back on and wake up the kids.

So, in order to do all of this, I have to come prepared.  I bring a gallon-sized baggie and fill it with these items:

1: Toothbrushes for everyone (not their actual toothbrushes!  Just ones I keep in this baggie for our flights)
2: Toothpaste
3. Makeup remover towelettes (Neutrogena is a great one!)
4: Cozy, warm socks
5: My typical AM/PM creams (just make sure they’re TSA-compliant
6: A face mask (I love this one)
7: Evian spray (I’ve blogged about this stuff before but it’s a game-changer on flights!  All six of us use it!  It quickly hydrates you and perks you right up plus, it can go right over your makeup and not only won’t it not hurt it, but it will “revive” it!)
8: Headphones (or ear plugs)
9: Neck pillows
10: Sleep masks
11: A hand cream
12: A lip moisturizer
13: Either your complete makeup set or just a few necessities

I mean…we look pretty decent, right?  A little well-rested?  Not too horrible considering we just got off a flight from China?

If nothing else…on long flights…my little routine will give you something to do :).  Because it’s always so boring, right?!

My tips aren’t earth-shattering, but what I think makes them work is that we always do them…we’re consistent.  And because we’re consistent, we are able to sleep.  And because we’re able to sleep…we don’t arrive completely exhausted.

Okay, share your tips for getting rest inflight!  I know you ladies have them!!  Comment and share please 🙂 .

And don’t forget, on Wednesday, Erika and I are hosting our Workin’ it Wednesday link up!  In honor of Valentine’s Day, our topic this month is: How do we work on our marriage?

If you blog, don’t forget to link up!

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  • Leslie Z. February 6, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Great tips! I love that you’ve made what seems like a hard task, simple. Super great suggestions!

  • Erika Slaughter February 6, 2017 at 4:48 am

    I’m telling you I was NOT prepared for the face mask. That got me. However, I’ve seen you hop off two international flights and you’re always looking as fresh as a daisy. Maybe the secrets in the mask. 😉

  • ELizabeth February 6, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Such a helpful routine – you’ve made it appear so simple 🙂 Enjoy your Monday!

  • Nikki February 6, 2017 at 5:24 am

    We’re going to Ireland this summer…can’t wait to try these tips. We get to see U2 in Dublin our very first night so it is IMPERATIVE that I look and feel well-rested!

  • Megan February 6, 2017 at 5:25 am

    I do all of these things yet sleep still eludes me. So I sit there quietly with my neck pillow blanket and sleep mask and secretly am angry with all of my fellow sleeping passengers. My kids are great at sleeping on a plane though. Little kids essentially slept the entire way home from china. Score!

    • Andi February 6, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      Yeah, the whole “will yourself to sleep” thing doesn’t work for me either.

  • Toni :0) February 6, 2017 at 5:25 am

    Great tips. Curious though how do all those neck pillows plus those items all fit into one gallon sized bag?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 5:38 am

      The neck pillows don’t go in the bag but everything else is able to fit! The kiddos are responsible for their own pillows in their bags (per last week’s post!). 🙂

  • Sheaffer Sims February 6, 2017 at 5:28 am

    Personally, if I’m not driving, I can sleep in a car on a 10 minute trip. Same with a flight. I can doze right off, even if I was only flying to Houston. And not that this is related, but I once fell asleep on a futon in the middle of a fraternity party. 🙂 Point is, I can sleep ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. But the kids all sleeping? Now, that’s impressive. And I agree with Erika, you are always FRESH AS A DAISY.

  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog February 6, 2017 at 5:29 am

    You’re super good at what you do! I can never go to sleep on flights, even during long-haul ones, so your kids are like my role models in terms of getting some zzz’s!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Alexis Bailey February 6, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Thank you for sharing!!! As a new expat family living in Germany we’ve got a lot of international flights in our future, and with four little ones in tow like you I’m excited to try out these tricks!!!

  • Jessica Kujawa February 6, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Good morning from Florida. What is your favorite tinted moisturizer?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 5:37 am

      Bobbi Brown!

  • Lindsay February 6, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Great tips! I’m flying to Italy this summer on an overnight 8 hour flight and this will be so helpful! Since I have a 10 hour layover before my last flight, I’m curious- what do you typically do during long layovers? I need ideas because I’m going to be SO bored during that time!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 6:13 am

      If my layover was 10 hours, I would leave and tour the city where I am. Just make sure you’re back about 2.5 hours before your next flight!

  • Amber Dowdy February 6, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Baby Smith made my day!!! He. Was. Out. Great tips! Wish I would’ve started these when my kids were little! Now…they would think I was insane if I tried to impliment this routine at 11 and almost 13! It must work bc you ALWAYS look great!

  • Narci February 6, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Girl, I’ve seen you get off two flights from CHINA, and I am always amazed by how refreshed and darling you look! These are great tips! Filing this away for us to use! ❤️

  • Dottie Ruhlig February 6, 2017 at 6:03 am

    I love this! I have been doing a very similar routine for international flight but never tried the face mask. Brilliant! I do have to say I will often take an OTC sleeping aid too because it can be a challenge to will myself to sleep. I also change my watch immediately to the time of where we are going to mentally prepare for a new time zone. My husband is like Andrew and will do his own thing and stay up and watch movies. I am also very careful about my caffeine consumption the day before. Love this little series of posts! ?

  • Dottie Ruhlig February 6, 2017 at 6:06 am

    Oh also, there are great blow up neck pillows to save space in your bag, I noticed a few people asked about that.

  • Hanna February 6, 2017 at 6:11 am

    What noise-cancelling headphones do you have? I’ve been searching and not sure what ones to get!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 6:12 am


    • Laurie February 6, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Love all these tips!!! But curious, how do you do it all with a sleeping baby?

  • Holly Hopkins February 6, 2017 at 6:17 am

    The longest flight we have taken is 3.5hrs I think i’ll use your tips though to get my kids to nap. When we visit my inlaws(2.5hr drive) we typically leave their house to head home around 6p and drive home but before we leave I put pjs on the kids and get them ready like they are going to bed. They are usually asleep within 5mins. I think in any situation with kids if you can keep a bit of their normal routine you will be winning.

  • Sarah February 6, 2017 at 6:19 am

    LOVE these tips!! We just flew from NC to AZ (with a layover in DC) so the long flight was about 5 hours. We have three little ones – ages 4, 3 and 3 months – and we got lucky that they did incredible on the flights. I definitely didn’t have any sort of routine though since the flight wasn’t crazy long. However, if we end up flying internationally I will absolutely be referring back to this post. Organization and routine are KEY for traveling with kids!!

    Great tips!! Thanks again!


  • Susi F February 6, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Hi, great tips.. I’m building up to taking a long road trip with the kids, and will incorporate various suggestions from these posts – so great timing! One thing it would be great to see you post about, because I never get it right, is how to pack toiletries/make up etc – do you have a dedicated bag ready full of travel stuff etc. at all times, do you fill stuff up when you return or when you’re packing, do you use your normal stuff and try to pack it on the day you’re going? I seem to have a lot of stuff, it takes up lots of space in suitcases and there must be an easier way – which I figure you’ve probably already thought of 🙂 Thanks!

  • Jennifer February 6, 2017 at 6:22 am

    What about turbulence? Would love to know how you/the kids it – when it gets bad!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 6:46 am

      You know, it doesn’t get that bad, that often. I think as long as you act calm and normal about it, then they do too.

  • Sharon February 6, 2017 at 6:30 am

    My kids sleep pretty well but me… I cannot seem to do it. I have never fallen asleep in a car, on a couch ( unless sick), in the movie theatre, in class etc. I seem to need to be laying down with covers to fall asleep…. this makes the first day on international trips really hard… will try your tips here when we go to Europe this summer. With me luck!

  • Emily February 6, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Wonderful tips, thank you! I never sleep on flights but I will try some of these on our next trip. We’ll be traveling internationally with my son for the first time in May and he’ll be 13 months. Any tips for the toddler age? He’s flown well as a baby, but I’m worried a wiggly toddler will be a lot harder to get to sleep!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 6:45 am

      I would try really hard to keep his routine the same. If it’s night at home when you’re on the flight, then do whatever you would do to get him to sleep at home. Read him the same book, sing him the same song, give him the same cup…just try and do as much as you can that’s the same.

      • Emily February 6, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        Great ideas, thanks! He’s traveled well before so hopefully international will go smoothly. My husband and I love to travel internationally, and you give me hope it can be fun with kids too! Also just a side note, I have 3 younger sisters adopted from China, so I’ve enjoyed also following along with your adoptions! They are now 12, 14, and 16, but it doesn’t seem long ago that they were Ashby and Madeley’s age!

    • Sharon February 6, 2017 at 7:00 am

      We always tired our kids out at the airport before getting them on the plane, put them in pjs and as Shay said did the same routine as we did at home. Works really well!

  • Victoria Strader February 6, 2017 at 6:49 am

    I’m in the shoes of your kids.. I’m the one who has been traveling internationally with consistent expectations since I was little and now we’re trying to start the same thing for our little family (my son took his first Europe vacation at 8 weeks old!) I do a similar routine.. but face mask is now going to be a complete game changer! Love! I’m sure before you know it your girls are going to be asking for their face mask, haha!

  • Kaelyn February 6, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Good morning,

    Thank you for the helpful tips! I love traveling to Europe and am always looking for ideas on how to rest on the plane! In the last picture what shoes are you wearing? (The pink ones). I’m always looking for a good shoe to walk around Europe/ travel in.


    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 7:06 am

      They’re Sketcher’s Go Walks :).

      • Tonya February 6, 2017 at 6:57 pm

        Do you suggest those for March weather in Paris & England? Any other suggestions for good walking shoes?

        • Mix and Match Mama February 7, 2017 at 5:07 am

          They’re so comfortable! Now, March could be very cold in both Paris and England. Check the weather when it gets closer because you might need something much warmer. My in-laws went to London in April and about froze to death!

  • Stephanie February 6, 2017 at 7:00 am

    I’m not the best flyer, so I go to sleep mostly just to pass the time and get us to the destination already. Neck pillows are a godsend. I’ve never tried sleep masks, though. I probably should, I have a tendency to get easily distracted when I’m trying to fall asleep.

  • Erin February 6, 2017 at 7:02 am

    I use baby wipes to clean the arm rests and trays. I bring a sample size bottle of lavender oil and put a few drops on everyone’s neck pillow- sleep inducing scent plus it disguises any neighboring body odor or tuna sandwiches!

  • Cathryn February 6, 2017 at 7:03 am

    How do you get through security with a gallon size bag that includes lotions and chapsticks and wipes?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 7:06 am

      None of those things are not TSA compliant! I always make sure to use travel-sized containers of the liquids (lotions) and the chapsticks and wipes are totally fine to go through security because they’re not liquid.

      • Jennifer February 6, 2017 at 7:39 am

        I think what she means is per TSA regulations only quart size bags are allowed.

        • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 12:57 pm

          For liquids, but they don’t care what size your bag is for non-liquid items (like face wipes, my lint roller…another must on a plane!, etc.).

  • Amy February 6, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Ok, can I just say that I love this post?! Thank you for being so normal and posting about real life things! Your blog is the only one I religiously look at – your family is adorable and you always have fab tips!

  • Whitney Pegram February 6, 2017 at 7:06 am

    These are great tips!!

  • Katie February 6, 2017 at 7:08 am

    What have you found to be the best seating arrangement for traveling with a family of 4 on a domestic flight (only 3 seats across)?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 7:11 am

      Three across and then the very next aisle seat right next to you (so only an aisle separates the four of you). That’s our favorite way of doing that combo!

  • Angela February 6, 2017 at 7:10 am

    I’m am loving these travel post . So helpful. I can’t wait to try them . Now I need you to post about going on vacation without your kids . We are leaving our toddlers for the first time & I need help with how to make it go smoothly !

    • Jamie Kimberling February 6, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Yes, I second this. Please please please, Shay!

  • Elaine Welte February 6, 2017 at 7:19 am

    We haven’t traveled with our kids where they needed to sleep, but coming home after wives trips and football games… I have got to get some sleep because it’s usually 2 am. I fold down the tray table, make a little pillow, and rest my head on it! And I always fall asleep. And actually, after our bowl game this year, we flew home so the kids did need to sleep. I made sure they were dressed comfortably and sometimes they’ve flown in their pjs. That being said, our team flights are chartered so we are flying with friends and those on staff.

  • Mlee February 6, 2017 at 7:20 am

    We fly internationally a lot too and I also like to have my kids change into pjs. I agree with everything you said above. My mom came with me on our last trip and we she brought masks. Game changer. I woke up feeling so moisturized.

  • Taylor February 6, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Love this! I’m with all the above comments who can’t quite fall asleep.. So I usually go through most of that (totally adding the face mask next time!!) and then listen to a slower-paced, but interesting book-on-tape. My self-compromise of very calm rest keeps me from being upset the whole flight that I can’t sleep! 🙂

  • Maria February 6, 2017 at 7:46 am

    We need a post on how to pack your carry on bag next!

  • Kelly S February 6, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Great tips. I fly a ton and have almost the same exact routine. My issue is THE PLANE IS SO DARN UNCOMFY…and I can’t find a good sleeping position. Also, my legs get SO CRAMPED so I pop 2 Motrin before the flight, so my legs don’t ache. Finally, I travel a lot alone, so I always request an aisle seat so I can stretch my legs into the aisle and get up when I want without having to bug the other people next to me. And I keep everything I need handy, right in my carry on, so I don’t have to dig around through everything. I always keep pens handy, mints, toothbrush and toothpaste, face wipes and hand sanitation wipes (ewwww!!!!!!!) books, Kindle, Bible, flashlight, lip balm, etc.

  • Kelly February 6, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I love this Shay! All excellent tips! My fave is the face mask. That’s just hilarious and perfect at the same time!

  • Melissa February 6, 2017 at 7:54 am

    BRILLIANT! We do fine on domestic flights, but haven’t tried international yet. I’m saving this post for future reference.

  • Clare February 6, 2017 at 7:56 am

    I have enjoyed these travel posts so much! We do almost the exact same thing, and it’s so helpful. It’s definitely one of those things that you get right over time. We are leaving to Europe in just a couple weeks. I’m getting excited!

  • Kari February 6, 2017 at 7:57 am

    We fly from the east coast so the overnight flights are only about 5.5 hrs in air and with the dinner and breakfast service you only have about 3 hours to sleep. We eat before we board and do our best to ignore the dinner service though the smells and noise makes it difficult. It is great you can WILL yourself to sleep but many people cannot. For Europe, my best tip is to sleep train starting about a week before you leave. Get up earlier and go to bed earlier each day. This will help you to fall asleep at an early hour on the plane and to not be so out of it when you are landing at what is the middle of the night in your time zone. (For Asia there is no preparing for flipping your days and nights.) I also talked to our doctor and she gave us a prescription for Xanax which relaxes you but doesn’t turn you into a zombie or dry you out like Benedryl will. Since no one in my family sleep easily unless we are laying down, we take the day flight to Europe whenever possible if we are flying economy.

  • Tana February 6, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Thank you for this post! Do you have a specific kids travel pillow that you find works well for the kiddos? We are taking a red eye flight very soon and I am looking for a good kids travel pillow. Thank you!!

  • Morgan Godbold February 6, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Great Tips! I would also add for contact users bring a contact case, solution and your glasses!
    I always take my contacts out at night (I hate the feeling of my eyes when I wake up and they are still in). We haven’t ever flown long enough to need these tips but I’m going to remember these for our future travel plans!

  • Amy February 6, 2017 at 8:13 am

    We need to see a post on your travel fashion! What shoes you wear in Europe, how you pack, etc. 🙂 These plane tips will be great to put to use!

  • Stephanie February 6, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Hi! I am flying to New Zealand on Friday! I am super excited! The thing that I have trouble with is I always wake up with neck pain or back pain even with a neck pillow. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      I mean…sometimes, it’s hard to sit in that awkward position for so long. I try to stand up and move about a little on the plane when I’m not sleeping so that the entire flight I”m not in one position.

  • Tessa February 6, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Someone will probably ask this, but what neck pillows do you use that you pack in a gallon ziplock? I am so intrigued as to how you fit all this stuff. A neck pillow for each kid? Are they the blow up kind? How big are their backpacks that they have room for that and their ipads, and toys/activities? I’m impressed!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Well, the neck pillow doesn’t go in the bag but everything else does :).

  • Jaime Wyant February 6, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Which eye masks do you use for your kids? Looking for some good smaller ones. Also, do you normally fly coach or business class on international flights? We are debating which to do for an upcoming trip and I’m terrified to do coach with 2 little ones…also, do you buy the seat for a 1.5 year old or do a lap child? Thanks for the great tips!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Our kids have only ever flown coach with us. It’s so darn expensive to fly an entire family business class! And we buy those travel masks for kids in airport stores!

  • Alicia F February 6, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Great tips! How did it work when you flew home with your China babies, since their schedules would not be as solid? I am nervous about when we fly home with our Little One! I haven’t had to do a long international flight with kids!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      I was nervous about this but both of our girls were really content. At that point in the process, they’re familiar enough with you but still very unsure of what’s going on, so both of my girls were pretty quiet and chill on the flights home. Basically though, in those situations, you pray and survive :).

  • Leslie February 6, 2017 at 9:04 am

    GREAT tips! I’m def going to add some of these, though we mostly travel by car. LOVE the sleep mask idea, as mine have trouble sleeping. Where do you find sleep masks for your kids? Any particular brand?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      At the airport! Those airport stores are full of this kind of stuff!

  • Kristine February 6, 2017 at 9:10 am

    How do you deal with painful ears on the plane for your kids? My daughter has such a hard time on landing. Also, cold and sickness while away? Someone in our family always seems to pick something up on the plane. It has made a serious dent in our time to do stuff.

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      When my kids were babies, a pacifier helped with their eyes (the sucking motion) and now, they’ll chew gum if their ears ever start to bother them. As for sickness, we bring along the typical stuff: Benadryl, Tylenol etc along with a ton of band aids and Neosporin.

  • Whitney Herrera February 6, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Ok I am going to try some of these on our next flight. We flew Austin to Munich over Thanksgiving and I didn’t sleep a wink. UGH.

  • Gabby February 6, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Love these tips! We’re traveling to Europe in April and I’m so anxious about flying over the ocean (I hate flying in general), but hoping that by brushing my teeth, removing make-up, etc., it’ll feel more like bedtime and less like flying in a metal tube 30,000 feet in the air. 🙂

  • Megan Butler February 6, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Love this post. I feel like it’s soooo informative!!! We haven’t traveled internationally with our kiddos yet but I’ll be sure to refer back here next time we do!!! I think austin is going to owe me a big vacation soon!! I never thought about taking off makeup and reapplying!! Genius.

  • Janelle February 6, 2017 at 10:53 am

    These are great tips! We have a 18 month old and a 3 month old and have flown with them a couple times already….some trips were easier than others. Hopefully with some practice they will be as good of travelers as your kids!

  • Sara Floyd February 6, 2017 at 11:03 am

    When you first started traveling internationally, did you use a travel agent or so it yourself? (I know you are a travel agent now but wondering about when you first started traveling.) There are so many places we want to travel and I find it daunting to try to plan something I know nothing about. We want to visit Italy. Where in Italy, we have no clue. ?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      Both! We used a travel agency for several trips and then my dad helped us with some. I traveled with girlfriends to Europe and such when I was in college, so I was already pretty well-versed on traveling solo. That helped too!

  • Jennifer February 6, 2017 at 11:06 am

    After taking five trips to Singapore and Jakarta from Houston last year for work (~24 hours of traveling each way)…my only additional suggestion for making it through the super-long-haul flights is wine, lots and lots of wine! 🙂

  • Peggy February 6, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Thanks so much for this post (and last week’s)! Your tips are so helpful (going from San Francisco to Korea this spring)!

    Do your kids use the u-shaped neck pillows? I’ve tried them once before with my kids and found it pushed their necks forward so it wasn’t comfortable for them. Do your kids have a favorite neck pillow you can recommend?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Yes! They prefer the squishier ones to the firmer ones.

  • Brittany February 6, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Completely off topic, but I’m trying to start working out in the mornings. Would love to know your routine for getting ready at the gym.

  • Angela Ellingson February 6, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I love these posts so much! I will definitely be referring back to them. Thanks so much for sharing!!! Such adorable pictures, too!

  • Amanda February 6, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I absolutely cannot sleep on a plane. Which means I’m an exhausted WRECK after a long journey. I’ve learned to just accept it and not put too much pressure or importance on it. I always recover fairly quickly and move on. I’d sure love for it to be different though!

  • Anna February 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    If there is a choice between a red-eye international flight or an international flight that leaves in the afternoon (about 10-11 hours) which do you think is better for travelling with young children? (ages 3 and 6)

    • Mix and Match Mama February 6, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      I would probably say the later in the afternoon one because if I have to keep my kids up way past their bedtimes to board a flight (like a red-eye), there’s a chance they’ll enter in to that awful overly tired phase.

  • Lindsay @ Lindsay's Sweet World February 6, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    OMG, I laughed probably as hard as Erika did when I read about the mask! I was totally picturing you in one of those full white masks just a snoozing in your airplane seat. Lol. But whatever works, right?!

  • Lauren M February 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I love all these ideas on how you sleep (no kiddos yet for us) but I just can NOT get comfortable in those airplane seats! How do you deal with the tight space?! I tried neck pillow and everything and was still not able to sleep on 8 hour flights back from Hawaii!

  • Mary February 6, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Have you tried the wrap neck pillows called Trtl? I bought one last year for a long flight and it was amazing. So much better than the old fashion kind and they take up much less space. I’ve been telling all of my friends about them. Here’s a link to amazon. Check out the reviews!

  • Aminda February 6, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Here’s a post that we did on flying with a baby (we also have tips on camping and road trips):

  • Emily February 6, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Love this! Definitely storing it for later use. I am flying to Senegal, West Africa in a few weeks and I have never thought about washing my face and then refreshing before we land. GENIUS! What kind of AM cream do you use?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 7, 2017 at 5:08 am

      Rodan+Fields 🙂

  • Lynn February 6, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    How do you sleep on the plane? Like logistically… lol… how do you get comfortable on the plane?! I can sleep on them but always wake up a ton because I’m just not comfortable!

    • Mix and Match Mama February 7, 2017 at 5:08 am

      It’s not ideal, but with a good and supportive neck pillow, I can relax and sleep upright better.

  • Megan February 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Do you take any sleeping pills on a long flight, or none in case the kids need you?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 7, 2017 at 5:07 am

      I don’t take any!

  • Loretta February 6, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Love reading your blog! I would love for you to do a post on what to do, expect, pack and etc for someone who have never flown before. Like me! I have decided I would love to go to England and I’m clueless on what to expect bc I have never flown in my life. Thanks for all the tips today. I’m going to write them down for future reference.

  • Natalie February 6, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I have flown internationally many times and it never occurred to me to put my make up on right at my seat. I always lugged my stuff to the bathroom. I will try this next time 🙂

  • Judith Perdue February 6, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    The only way I can sleep is in business class, that’s my suggestion. Yes, it’s pricey, but when I’m on a flight 10+ hours thats they only way I can sleep. I wish I could simply “will” myself to sleep in economy, but it NEVER happens. And I despise waking up with make up on too!

  • Shannon February 6, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Hi, Shay! Do you make a packing list or do you have a list or template you use each time you travel so you don’t forget everything? If so, could you share? Thanks!! — Shannon in PA

    • Mix and Match Mama February 7, 2017 at 5:05 am

      I’m going to share that in a later post! I had that idea yesterday too. I totally have a packing list!

  • Jessica Murphy February 6, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Hi Shay!! I would love to hear more about how you helped your girls coming back from China. We adopted our then 16 month old daughter in 2014 from China and the long flight back from HK to Chicago (16 hrs) was SOOO hard. She was still getting to know us (and us her) and I felt like she cried the nearly the whole way. It was rough! We’re heading back next year to adopt our second from China (yea!!!), but I’m already dreading that long flight! Any tips you might have for a newly adopted kiddo?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 7, 2017 at 5:04 am

      You know, that situation is so unique because the child doesn’t understand you, know you, has never seen/heard of an airplane…it’s all so hard. You just survive Jessica. That’s all you do. Survive, survive, survive!

      • Jessica Murphy February 7, 2017 at 9:02 am

        Thank you Shay! I just keep thinking, it’s just 1 day, it’s just 1 day! 🙂

  • Erin Port February 6, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    When we went to Australia we booked a bassinet that hooked into the bulkhead for our 6 month old (Quantas). It was amazing and she slept 11 of the 15 hour flight! We also pack pajamas for our kids, what is it about pajamas that makes them sleepy?!?! Their favorite blanket and stuffed animal and they sleep well. I also pack socks! Man I miss the days of the warm wet towels they distributed that always was quite lovely :)!!!!

  • Carrie February 7, 2017 at 1:46 am

    I haven’t read all the comments but I can’t believe I haven’t seen anyone recommend Melatonin. It has been a lifesaver for my kids and I when we travel internationally. We travel overseas a lot with our kids and do a similar routine to you on the plane and I would say using just the bedtime routine to cue our bodies to sleep works about 75% of the time for us. Unfortunately, even as seasoned travelers someone in our family will inevitably have a tough time dozing off so I always pack Melatonin just in case. Our pediatrician told us it is perfectly safe to give to the kids and you can find it in the vitamin section of nearly any store these days. On Amazon I found a brand that makes it in melti-tab form so my kids can take it easily and it’s very gentle. I like knowing that even if my kids thwart my best laid plans for them to fall asleep on their own, I’ve got an emergency solution in my bag.

    I also buy those collagen hydro-gel packs and put those on under my eyes before I put on my eye mask to sleep. The eye mask hides the gel packs and you wake up with super refreshed eyes and no wrinkles! It’s like a little spa treatment while you fly. (Do you know what I’m talking about? Here’s a link – it’s not the brand I use, but it will show you what I’m talking about

    • Jennifer Ashcraft February 7, 2017 at 8:14 am

      What brand of gel packs do you use?

  • Lizzie @ This Happy Life February 7, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Oh my gosh, I cannot stand falling asleep with make up on, when I wake up I feel so blah!! These are great tips and ones I’ll remember if we ever fly anywhere farther than a few hours

  • Anna February 7, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Do you have a favorite carry on tote? Also, what shoes do you wear to get through security easier? I hate taking off my shoes at airports.

    • Mix and Match Mama February 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

      I just love big totes. That’s always my favorite go-to. And I try to wear shoes that slip on and off easily.

      • Anna February 7, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        Do you store your carry on in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you? I’m only 5 feet so it’s hard to reach into the overhead bin without asking someone for help. My long haul flights, I’ve had to get my toiletries out and stuffed my crossbody bag which doesn’t hold everything

        • Mix and Match Mama February 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm

          I store my tote on the floor in front of me, this way, I can get to what I need quickly.

  • TG February 7, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Airplane sink water is apparently SOOO dirty! I think brushing teeth with bottled water on a flight may be better? I have also heard to not order coffee on a flight for this same reason. Food for thought.

  • Samantha February 7, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Awesome tips! Love the schedule. Quick travel related question – Luggage? What do you think the best/biggest size suitcase you can get (to check) that still accommodates the 50 lb limit when packed full?

  • Amy M February 7, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    It’s the sore butt that I can’t handle! 😀

  • Jules February 7, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks for the great tips. I am flying overnight to England in a few months and I am paranoid about sleeping on the plane because I snore…loudly. 🙂 I need to find something to help with that or I won’t be able to sleep.

  • Brooke February 7, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Great article! We plan on flying with our daughter from Philly to Dublin in July (she will be 10 months). We are going to get her a seat for her car seat. Can we still swaddle? Have you tried the bassinets on the plane? What do you think is the best way to do this?

    • Mix and Match Mama February 8, 2017 at 5:10 am

      We’ve done the bassinets and they’ve worked out really well for us! And yes, we swaddled on board!

  • Heather February 8, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    I do pretty much everything you have here but the mask. Crazy lady. Anyway, I also take 2 Tylenol PM and my favorite thing ever is those self heating lower back wraps. I take my Tylenol after dinner, brush my teeth, go to the bathroom, and wipe my makeup off. Then I get cozy with my back wrap, my cashmere wrap and neck roll. It works every time. The first time I went to Europe I stayed awake and let me tell ya, I was climbing the walls and so uncomfortable. Sleeping is where it’s at.