A great summer trip starts from the moment you book your plane tickets, so kick off yours with these pro tips from Andrea Traynor, mom of two and travel expert at MommyGearest.com.
1. Make airport transit smoother. Try to limit yourself to using only carry-ons. They’re easier to manage in transit when you have little ones in tow, and mean no waiting at the luggage carousel after a long flight. If you’re going to check a bag, bring a change of clothes and any essentials in your carry-on.
2. Involve the kids. Excited kids will love to help you in the packing process, especially if you give them a list of items and allow them the freedom to take it from there. Let them pick their bags or suitcases, as this will encourage independence and make them enthusiastic helpers.
3. Bring in-flight surprises. Traynor keeps her kids happy and boredom at bay by pulling out a new book or toy every hour or two. “It doesn’t have to be expensive, I love going to the dollar store where I get a handful of items like markers and activity kits. Just make sure not to get anything noisy or with small pieces! Or, sign your kids up for Skyriders, Air Canada’s kids club, for free and your kids will be given colouring books, badges and other fun stuff.”
4. Remember, it’s mom’s vacation too. Take advantage of perks from your airline or hotel that help keep kids entertained. For example, Air Canada offers family-friendly programs in their inflight entertainment and complimentary seating selection to make sure kids can sit with their parents, and Air Canada Rouge crew are specially trained at the Disney Institute to make the flight fun.
5. Stay on a (flexible) schedule. Meal and nap times don’t need to suffer just because you’re on vacation, and keeping your routine will make coming home and getting back into your daily groove a lot more seamless. Even if you’re a Type A scheduler, let your kids choose some activities that they want to do rather than creating an itinerary without any flexibility, and don’t forget to leave some time open for spontaneity and free play each day.