Traveling with Kids on an airplane to a destination city is no easy task. After a trip to Southern California with all 3 of our kids (8, 4, & 2) I'll give you my top tips to ease your fears and help you enjoy your vacation more.
1. Have a "bribe" bag.
I packed dum dums, m&ms, and light up rings in mine but basically its my arsenal to get decent behavior when there are so many distractions and ways things can go south that have your neighbors on the airplane giving you the stink eye.
Sure you can buy whatever at the airport but you need to have their favorite, always keeps them content and busy snacks. Trail mix, pb&j, goldfish, cereal, snack bars, freeze dried fruits (because the fresh will get smooshed).
3. Magic/no mess colored markers with dry erase option or color your own page tear sheets and crayons (Melissa and Doug, Crayola)
4. Download some of their favorite movies/tv shows on your tablet (this is really only good for the 4+ crowd IMO). YouTube videos on trucks, mowing, or Baby Shark are really the only short attention span things our 2 year old will watch. I'm fine with that anyway because tablets are addicting and he can be entertained in other ways.
5. Dress them comfy and warm (airports and airplanes are ALWAYS freezing).
6. Baby Wear when you can
We bought a used baby hike pack in our destination city and it was great for our trips to the beach! 2 year old loved seeing out and we packed the backpack to the brim and it gave us one less little one to keep track of when walking to the beach but it could be used for so many other things too. Nobody said strollers are always good.
7. Give each child a rolling backpack for them to be in charge of.
Having your own "luggage" is a huge treat! Let them choose their favorite toys to bring, include a lovie/stuffed animals or blanket too!
8. TSA Pre
Security lines are awful. Security lines with KIDS is just hell.
9. Turo your car don't use traditional car rental agencies
This was everything for us this trip. We found our exact SUV we use daily and were able to rent it in California with car seats and a stroller included in our rental!! If you have never used Turo you should its awesome we've used it in several cities on vacation it's a must.
10. Eat in when you can, find kid friendly spots when you want something special.
2 year olds are not fun in restaurants! I know we enjoy eating in more than out a lot of the time because of our little guy.