Ok friends, traveling with kids is not for the faint of heart. It’s actually borderline psychotic to travel with three. However, with my family living on the best coast (west siiiiiiide), we will continue to torture ourselves flying back and forth until we finally convince Matthew to move. Having done this over a dozen times with kids ranging from newborn to 5 years old, from one kid, to three kids, and from the teething baby to the toddler with tantrums… we’ve experienced it all. Or at least I pray we have. You truly don’t know what you’re going to get with these kids in unfamiliar situations so I’m here to prepare you as much as I can from our failed and successful attempts at flying with our little humans.
Let’s get into booking flights first in case by the off chance you’ve peeped this blog post before fully committing to the flight!
BOOK A RED EYE
I will tell you this, kids do not want to sit quietly in their seats for a cross country flight, heck, they won’t even sit nice for a 1 hour flight. So for less fuss, and less stress, book a flight at the times they cannot fight sleep… bedtime. This especially has helped us getting quickly acclimated to the new time zones. We have tired booking flights during nap times, but trust me here…they WILL fight the urge to nap. Not only will they be incredibly hard to put to sleep, they will wake up during the captain’s announcements or turbulence, or the other kid screaming for whatever reason and then you’ve just got an even fussier child on a plane. A flight attendant gave me a tip on our last trip as I was rocking my youngest to sleep who has total FOMO to bring him into the bathroom and turn off the lights. It’s total darkness and no one to distract him directly and then boom… baby boy was passed out and I was able to get back to my seat after he was in his deep sleep.
BOOK LAYOVERS DURING MEAL TIMES
If you can swing it, try to time out any layovers you must take to be during their meal times. This will ensure you have 1) options, because God forbid they do not like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches even though they’ve been eating them every day for the last three months. And 2) you’ll give them the time they need to get the wiggles out and not wake them up during scheduled naps.
CARRY ON MUST HAVES
If I’ve learned anything on our long flight to Hawaii, it’s that you must bring extra clothes for EVERYONE traveling, not just the baby! After my oldest (but then 1 year old) threw up all of her milk on me, I realized quickly, and so did everyone around me, having another set of clothes for myself is crucial. Luckily the stewardess brought me her spare sweatshirt and I bagged up my clothes and walked back to my seat with the worst walk of shame feeling. That was just a little back story but here’s a list of items and link that I pack in my carry on.
- Activities for Kids
- NEW Books (gets them excited and entertains for longer)
- Wikki Stix are the best for restaurants and plane rides
- Travel friendly card games like uno or go fish
- Travel size play doh
- Pads of paper or activity books
- Washable markers
LUGGAGE & ALL THAT BAGGAGE
We typically pack one bag for mom, one bag for dad, and one bag for the kids. If going on a shorter trip, say less than 5 days, we can consolidate to two shared bags (but dad’s shoes take up nearly the entire suitcase, so it’s tough).
- Packing cubes are your best friends. When you open your suitcase, you’ll see a neatly organized closet where everything is easy to find. Here is how I organize the kids packing cubes:
- Cube 1: All three kids pajamas. When it’s bed time, everyone is getting ready for bed so no need to separate these.
- Cube 2: Socks, underwear, tights, accessories like purses for my high maintenance girls mittens and hats if going somewhere cold or swimsuits if headed to the beach.
- Cube 3: Pre-planned out outfits by day (only because we are an influencer family, I do this, but it truly helps planning out outfits for each kid on each day for me).
- Cube 4: Miscellaneous mix and match items like jeans, tees, and sweaters
- Cube 5: Hair products: brush, gel, detangler, hair ties, clips, bows… all the pretty things
- Cube 6: Bath stuff like washcloths, shampoo and conditioner, soap, & lotion.
- Cube 7: Shoes
- Cube 8: Diapers and wipes if we’re going somewhere international.. They don’t make diapers like we do over here.. And nor do they cost the same. Punta Cana got all our money.
- Bags that can hold all of this but also make it easy to find things are the ones that have my heart. At this point I should be sponsored by BEIS because I own nearly every bag. They are my favorite for traveling and I’ll explain why each purchase was justified.
- The Weekender bag by Beis is great for a carry on. The bottom structured portion that can unzip is used for the items not needed immediately or at all such as the extra clothes and diapers. We can load that bag up and slide it over our luggage handle to tote through the airport like a boss!
- Changing clutch is, well, for lack of a better word… clutch! I HATE carrying an entire diaper bag to a public bathroom, so I just grab my diaper clutch from Fawn Design. I carry two diapers, wipes, and a thick changing mat and I’m good to go. Will stick some hand sanitizer in there too.
- Our luggage is from Beis and we’ve been loving it for the last four years. Also, the colors fit my vibe so…there’s that.
- Packing cubes are from Amazon and as mentioned above, it’s like Home Edit packed your suitcase.
- Car seat gate check bag. There are nicer padded ones, but this one had straps and got the job done. We can also throw a bunch of stuff in there, they never check. We put our car seats, baby carrier, extra pack of diapers.. However, if it somehow opens up, good bye items forever,
- Baby Travel Items for all the miscellaneous stuff us parents have to think of.
- Car seats… ugh… we will rejoice the day we travel with no car seats. BUT until we do, we found these great travel car seats for toddlers+ that are incredibly light weight and compact. Super easy to transport and install weighing only 8 pounds and great for car and airplane.
- Stroller.. If you know us, you know Orbit. That’s our go to stroller everywhere we go, even on travel. We carry all the kids and bags on this thing with the two kick boards on either side. We turn lots of heads when we travel. It has the option to convert to a double stroller if we need. Use code HARVEYS to save some money
- Portable high chair is amazing for babies and traveling to places that may not have a high chair.
- Slumber Pod came in handy for our FOMO baby that cannot sleep if he can see anyone or anything else.
- Hatch came with us.. It’s not “travel size” but we just don’t know a better sound machine/ nightlight.
Travel Must Haves by Home Of The Harvey’s
Traveling with small humans is never easy, but it can be manageable. I mean we do this at least twice a year so clearly it’s not traumatic enough to make us never do it again. If you’re flying soon with kids, we will pray for you… and the people on your flight as well haha.
Let us know your best travel tips!
Great blog!! You guys are doing a great job all kid related. We are proud of you ☺️
Awww this makes me so happy and teary-eyed. Love you so much! We learned from the best!
This was such an enjoyable read. I have no children but still took some traveling tips away.
Love to hear that Phyllis! You’re awesome per usual!