33 Travel Hacks With Kids to Make Trips EASY!

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Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be a tedious experience. In fact, it can be quite fun, as it even adds to the overall enjoyment!

Yet, there are some tips and travel hacks with kids that you should know. Trust me, life is about to get MUCH easier.

Without further ado, here is my list of some of the most useful hacks:

NB. You can save this post for future usage by just sharing it on social media. Easier to find that way 😉

 

 Hack #1 – Send bulky items beforehand to the destination

 sending items beforehand to the destination

I’ve done it many times, and I don’t regret a single dollar that was wasted.

The issue that comes with traveling with many people, or kids in this matter, is having too many items with you.

When you pack for yourself, for your partner, your kids, or maybe even your friends and relatives, the issue becomes transparent.

That is why spending a few bucks on transportation beforehand can save the nerves of not only you but of everyone around you.

Kids especially, as they sense the mood in the air quite well.

By the way, if you need help with packing light for travels, check this article out.

 

Hack #2 – Be friendly to people who’ll be sitting next to you

It’s kind of amusing, but it works!

When you go traveling with your children, you oftentimes have to sit next to strangers on buses and planes. I am quite sure you know how annoying it may be when children next to you are crying or screaming.

To be forthcoming with them, try to be friendly and say hello. It may not mean much, but people remember these little details.

You will be grateful when you have people sitting next to you that are accepting of your situation.

 

Hack #3 – Travel at night

 traveling at night for peace and quiet

How many times have you driven a car, and wished that your kids would give your mind some peace?

Traveling should be fun. It’s a time to enjoy life, explore new things, see sightseeings. When there are children bickering among themselves, that zen mindset gets interrupted.

To counter it, a good way is to plan your longest trips for night time.

It works wonders! Kids, as well as grown-ups, get more melatonin at night that makes them sleepy. Children experience natural melatonin much more than older people, and that’s why it’s a good idea to take advantage of it. Just make sure –

To drink plenty of coffee, stay clear of melatonin supplements, and you are ready for a calm trip.

 

Hack #4 – Use new toys and books to calm kids

try out new toys for kids when they travel

 

Kids have very scattered attention spam. This fact is not always good, but I have found ways to take advantage of it.

As soon as I noticed a kid starting to yell or cry, I’ve diverted his mind to something else – I would even say, I didn’t give him a chance to get back to what he was doing.

It doesn’t even have to be with toys – it also works with questions.

Toys and books, especially if they are new, are good in terms of longevity.

The newer the toy, the easier it is to hold his/her interest.

Try it out!

 

Hack #5 – Use a Dollar Store so your piggie bank stays safe

This tip ties to the previous one quite well. We might need new toys for our children.

They might get expensive.

So why not visit a Dollar Shop.

There are tons of new stuff for our kids to play with, and they are all extremely cheap. Buy a dozen of them so that their mind is occupied and you are good to go!

 

Hack #5 – Pack clothes that fit all the children

There are many clothes that are perfect for different kids. Just in case, pick something neutral and not too extravagant.

One type of wearable might suit one kid, and the same type will be unbearable for another.

Doing so you really save quite a lot of space in your luggage. The space that you could use for toys or diapers.

Children aren’t the only ones that can do it. I’ve done it with my own partner as well (no, it was not a dress). It’s actually quite cozy and creates this close feeling between you two.

 

Hack #6 – Use zip bags to be more organized

The one thing I actually detested while traveling with more than 2 people, is having to keep everything in order inside the luggage.

That’s when I changed my thinking and truly focused on the problem.

The solution was easy – zipper storage bags.

Kids have plenty of stuff they want to take with them, and luckily, most of them aren’t really big. Those are just some fiddly stuff that doesn’t take much space. The issue, however, comes with the packaging.

That’s where zipper bags are a lifesaver. You place all the items your kids need (even your) in separate zipper bags, and the organizing becomes much simpler.

 

Hack #6 – Take more wet wipes with you than you need

wet wipes needed more than you think

I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon while traveling with children. The bowel movement becomes quite active compared to the usual days 😀

That’s why my recommendation would be to not be modest with wet wipes.

They are a big lifesaver.

As I recommended saving space before, you can use the available area to pack more wet wipes.

As I’ve learned over the years, there is never enough of them.

 

Hack #7 – Use plastic bags for the smell

This advice is good for when you are in hotels with your kids. Sometimes you just can’t throw away the disposables as you can at home, so it’s better to come up with some solutions.

Plastic bags are good to cover the bin so that your room won’t smell bad till the morning.

I am sure that the housekeeping lady will not mind finding diapers in a pin too much, and will be very understandable.

At least, that has been my experience.

 

Hack #8 – Do some research on local babysitters

find a local babysitter

It’s really important to enjoy some of the alone time with only yourself or your partner.

That’s where babysitters come to save the day.

I’ll be honest with you, I was actually quite surprised to find out that hotels are aware of the issue and can even offer babysitters themselves.

Not all, but most hotels have experience with it and are more than happy to connect you with people that have had great recommendations.

As I found out, many babysitters do business that way. They leave their contacts at hotels and offer their services. Sometimes they even pay a commission to the hotel for getting phonecalls from tourists.

I am as surprised as any.

 

Hack #9 – Make phone number bracelets

Kids are like dogs. They sometimes tend to get lost without us noticing.

The best thing to do to protect against that is to make sure that people know who to call if they find your kid alone.

Luckily, I haven’t had that happening to me, but I can see scenarios where it can happen. In foreign countries, our kids are like in Disneyland. Everything is new, so their attention gets easily distracted. Coupled with our focus to get to the destination at the right time, and it’s a disaster in making.

Number bracelet idea I’ve actually got from momtastic website. Check it out, they have some great posts!

 

Hack #10 – Use family lanes to cut the security lines in airports

They are not in every airport, but in many that I have gone through, I’ve seen them.

For kids, standing still is one of the worst things for them, so because of that, they might do one thing:

Draw attention.

To make it easier for families, and also for regular people who want quiet, family lanes were created. TSA has implemented them back in 2008, and they turned out to be quite effective for traveling families!

 

Hack #11 – Buy some fun tags!

Whether it’s needed or not, it creates this fun mood for your kids! Let each of them have their own color.

That way it will also be easier to differentiate what bag belongs to whom.

If you have an only child, why not buy some tags for your own bags or luggage. The sense of family becomes stronger with just these tiny things.

 

Hack #12 – Give an older child some responsibility

give a child some responsibility

I remember when I was in my teens, and we were traveling to Germany, we got stucks with some problems finding the correct hotel.

As my parents didn’t know the German language, nor English even, they trusted me to talk to people so we could navigate the city.

People were nice and I liked it, but that was not what mattered. I felt that sense of being useful, and pride came with it. I didn’t want to give it up by acting childish, so for the rest of the trip, I was a grown-up as possible.

My parents thanked me for the help, and I was feeling much better all that time.

So, just even the smallest things like giving some responsibilities that help the entire family can do wonders to children.

 

Hack #13 – Call airlines at the right time to get seats together

Oftentimes, airlines reserve some of the seats that are on the plane, so that families can sit together.

It’s a common practice, and that’s why it’s better to call airlines at:

  1. One week before the flight
  2. 48 hours before the flight.
  3. 24 hours before the flight.

More often than not, you will get your desired seats.

 

Hack #14 – Cookie trays are not only for cookies

use cookie tray so that the child can play in car

If you are going on a trip in a car, it’s good to plan everything ahead.

If your child is between the age of 3-10, why not take the cookie tray with you, so that they could use it as a board for their toys.

Kids love to play around, but when they are strapped with a belt to one position, it gets boring.

Putting all your toys on your lap is uncomfortable – that’s where the tray comes to save the day.

It rhymed.

But for real though, if you have enough space, consider taking it with you. Not all games have to be played on their tablet. Some physical games make it more engaging, and that where extra accessories come in handy.

 

Hack #15 – Use a backpack to have your hands free

use backpacks so yours and your kids hands are free

When traveling with children, your hands are full of many things. Kids can have their own luggage, but the biggest bulk is carried by you.

That’s why it’s smart to distribute weight correctly.

Backpack, for me, is a favorite for long travels, as I don’t really get tired from carrying it.

Doing so frees your hand or hands from items, which you can use to hold your daughter or son by the hand.

 

Hack #16 – Request bassinets from airlines

Just like with together-seats, you can request additional items to make the travel from one location to another easier.

The bassinets aren’t available at every airport, but the most popular ones certainly take advantage of having them. Check out this article.

It’s more for babies, so make sure that your child fits the requirements of rented bassinets.

 

Hack #17 – Fill your tablets with new apps

fill tablet with new games for travel with kids

Do not let them play with it immediately!

Reserve it for moments when you want some quiet and peace. It’s for moments where your mind is extremely tired and you can’t deal with wailing or screaming –

And then, BAM!

Whip out the heavy artillery, and trust me – Your child will be quiet for 120 minutes at least!

 

Hack #17 – Try out the “Wash Bags” to wash clothes on the go

use wash bags to wash kids clothes on the go

This one is actually quite useful, especially if you want to wash the clothes of your kids in the car.

If you don’t want to wash clothes in the sink, or if your hotel doesn’t offer washing solutions, try wash bags.

The Scrubba Wash Bag is fairly known and can do the job quite well. Consider checking them out.

 

Hack #18 – Put headphones on your kid

As children are very sensitive to outside noise, their senses are often overloaded. That creates stress, which in turn makes them cry.

To counter it, one of the good ways is trying out some headphones. It doesn’t always have to be with music or sound. It just has to block out the noise a bit.

It’s the same when we work. For example, during the time of writing this blog post, I actually wear headphones. It calms me down somewhat, helps me focus, and creates this bubble that only I am in.

The same principle works with kids.

 

Hack #19 – Use hourly countdowns if the travels are long

How it works is, each hour that you get closer to the destination, take one sticker down.

Behind those stickers, there may be a series of games or challenges that you can do with your children.

It makes time go by much faster.

That’s why some adults also count downtime by cutting up the clock into different sections:

“After one hour the clock starts to count down till the hour in which only 60 minutes remain, from where I know that only one hour remains.”

I mean, come on, we’ve all been there. But, time goes much slower for kids. We’ve all heard and felt how time goes much faster than when we were little.

For the countdown stickers though, there is one thing you need to do:

 

Hack #20 – Organize the entertainment before traveling

organize entertainment beforehand for travel

They don’t have to take too much time. Kids don’t need much. Just think of a series of challenges, like in the previous tip, plan the rest times, some stories, new apps, or some sightseeing to see that your kids will love.

All that contributes to a fun and awesome trip that your children will certainly love. Because let’s be honest, everything is new for kids. They don’t have to travel to get the enjoyment of discovering new things as we do.

We are used to the surrounding environment, but kids have much to discover about the world just by living at home. That’s why don’t make the trip tedious. Fill it with awesome moments, and your children will remember it.

 

Hack #21 – Make some road behavior stickers

Just like with countdown stickers, some behavior stickers might come in handy to keep your kids in check.

If your children for some reason behave badly, remove a sticker that has certain privileges granted to them – like a sweet candy, or a tablet, or toys.

Think of a punishment that is not too harsh, but lets them know that there are consequences to certain actions. It’s always visible to them and reminds them to behave well.

 

Hack #22 – Show them some movies

let kids watch movies when traveling

Movies are very good for longer trips, where you can’t make stops as often as you’d like. Movies in this regard help them focus their attention on the plot.

Be careful not to show them long clips in the car or in the bug, as the swaying contributes to motion sickness.

The last thing we want is for our kids to throw up, especially when you can’t really turn around and go home. That’s why many recommend doing some 15-minute pauses where you only look far outside.

Check out this awesome movie list for traveling from FamilyVacationCritic.

 

Hack #23 – Pack something to chew

Some snacks go a long way to make people happy. It gives energy, draws their attention away from either crying or lift-offs, makes them happy and their belly full.

If you give them too much sugar, be ready for some short burst of energy before they fall asleep!

The best food would be something healthy, but tasty at the same time – it could be yogurt, some cheese sticks, nuts, and fruits.

 

Hack #24 – Don’t forget to pack the car adapter

These days, electricity is more important than ever. Many of our devices are electronic, and kids are delved right up that alley.

They have phones, laptops, tablets that require power. On top of that, your devices require the same things, so you could call, book, or even use GPS.

So make sure that you have car adapters that power everything you need. The last thing you want is to have phone withdrawal symptoms in your car 😛

 

Hack #25 – Look for hotels that are kid-friendly

search for family friendly hotels instead

It is what it is. Not all hotels are well-suited for children. That is why there are certain hotels that advertise themselves as family-friendly.

Check out this page.

The price might be more crisp than usual, but at least you can be certain that it has everything you, as well as your kids, need. In some scenarios, maybe they lack some of the things that other hotels have – which makes it better for your family.

 

Hack #26 – Want more sleep? Close curtains

We, as well as anyone, want a good night’s sleep from a long trip from home. After all, we went to a foreign country or state to relax, right?

That is why it’s paramount to have as much darkness in the room as possible during sleep hours. You may not wake up from light, but our kids do.

That is when the “diapers hit the fan”.

 

Hack #27 – Pack enough food beforehand

pack some food with you to save money

Traveling with kids may become expensive, especially when visiting restaurants.

To make sure your wallet doesn’t die from excessive use, just pack some ready-made food that you packed the day before.

I enjoy eating on the go, as the kids love it too!

You will not only save money from doing it but time as well.

 

Hack #28 – Use pool noodles as bedrails

I actually read it somewhere on the internet, don’t remember where. But the point is, it works!

The biggest annoyance with hotels is safe proofing everything so that your child will not hurt himself.

Hotels, usually, aren’t equipped with cribs or cradles, so that means it’s up to us to figure something out.

Pool noodles are perfect in a way that they are easy to install, easy to pack, and are very gentle in terms of letting a child know that you are close to the edge of the bed.

Considering that most hotel beds are typically much higher from the ground than the ones we use at home, pool noodles are literally awesome lifesavers!

 

Hack #29 – Buy some colorful duck tape to childproof the room

This is one of the best ways to protect the head of your kids in rooms that are not familiar. We know the dangers, but our kids tend to trip over the smallest of stuff.

That is why it is smart to cover sharp edges and objects with tape, so your kids not only see it better but also cushion the fall.

To make the cushion part better, you may use socks or shirts to cover it. That will guarantee no harm to run around and tripping.

 

Hack #30 – There are these things called Backseat Car Organizers

use backseat car organizers
This one is called “KoolKaddy” Backseat Organizer

I absolutely love them. In fact, I sometimes use them myself. They are perfect if you want to pack some food for your child, or to let them put their toys and electronics somewhere close.

That way there will be no mess in your car and getting items will be much easier for your small ones.

I’ll recommend some Backseat Car Organizers to you soon, so subscribe to the newsletter to be up to date!

 

Hack #31 – Most Airlines let you board first with children

boarding the plane is faster with kids

Traveling with kids is stressful, so you might want to arrive earlier to lessen the worry. Luckily, even if there is a line, you might not have to wait too long as families are let in first.

You might get some angry looks at you from other boarders, but in the end, who cares really. You are doing all this for the kids, right?

Once you are in the plane, you can relax a bit. Just makes sure that you have something to entertain the kids while the plane is getting boarded.

For some cosmical reason, time ticks 4x slower for our kids compared to parents.

 

Hack #32 – When you fly, watch for signs of ear popping

Our kids are smart, but for the life of theirs, they can’t seem to figure out how to pop their ears when the pressure changes.

Kids that can already speak, may explain their discomfort in time, but the smaller ones might struggle and start to cry.

In that case, just keep a bottle or pacifier nearby, and plug it in their mouth!

They’ll do the rest.

If I am going to be honest, I flew for the first time when I was 20 years of age, and even then I had difficulties with getting the hang of it. I heard from someone that I had to chew a gum and that would help, but no matter how much I chewed like a cow next to my parents, my ears didn’t pop.

Only when I finally swallowed after having a dry mouth from all the worry, did I get my ear popped.

Popping might seem easy now, but for our kids it’s a whole new world. Just explain that the pain is normal, and that they’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

 

Hack #32 – Change the diapers in the bathroom

Yes, it is uncomfortable to to so when the space is so small, but it is allowed. It’s unlucky if there is turbulence, but otherwise you can make it happen.

My personal advise is to change them right before you board in the airport. If the flight is only 2-3 hours long, you may make it with 1 change only.

Otherwise, don’t sweat too much. Airlines are very welcoming and understanding. They will help you.


 

This is it! If you have any tips to give out yourself, please let us know in the comments. Me, as well as other readers, would love to know what travel hacks for kids work for you.

Also, if you want, please consider sharing and following! It truly helps us out a lot.

 

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