5 hacks for traveling alone with small kids

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I recently went on a trip with my two youngest children (5 and almost 1). This was my first time traveling alone with them.
 
I am a planner…I like to pack well ahead of time. I like to know where things are. And I like to envision and talk through the trip so that I can be ahead of any potential issues. I made a plan for this trip and it worked out really well. All of that planning led me to these 5 hacks.

Travel Hacks5 hacks for traveling alone with small kids

Hack #1 The Departure 

Managing gear is the hardest part of the trip. Getting from the car to check in is the most tedious part. With two kids, two car seats, a huge 45 pound suitcase (whew, just made it under the “we charge more for that” weight), a diaper bag (carry on), kid backpack, and a stroller, just getting inside could take 10 minutes (trust me on this).

 

If you are traveling with car seats, stroller and luggage, I strongly recommend that you get cargo hooks and attach them to the stroller so nothing falls when you’re one-handed. I got mine at Home Depot for $5 each. I have 3 of them…best $15 ever spent. I used all 3 on this trip and they really do come in handy. I wore the baby, held my 5 year old’s hand and was able to push the stroller with the other hand, even with both car seats attached to it and both bags hanging from it.
Bonus: When I am not using the hooks for travel, I leave them hooked to to the stroller handle so that my 5 year old can hold them when walking next to me. It keeps him close, but he gets to be semi-independent. 
 
 

Hack #2 The Kids

If you are a nut like me and need to be able to touch/see/hear your kids at all times, then being able to corral them and keep them close to you is imperative. But obviously still having the ability to move, be hands free, and do stuff {like carry your Starbucks!}. I found it to be easiest when I was able to wear the baby on my body {I used my Ergo Baby carrier because its more like a backpack than the others and it distributes the weight evenly} and put the big boy in the stroller. This was after I checked my luggage and the car seats (which check for free FYI!) Once we were free of the gear, I hung the diaper bag from my magic hooks and stuffed the back pack under the stroller. I felt in control at this point! 
 
Bonus: If you’re nursing make sure you wear an easy access nursing shirt for the plane. Fumbling around with a jacket or a blanket is not conducive to small spaces with a potential stranger sitting next to you (who might not like kids or boobs). Just Sayin.
 

Hack #3 Entertainment

Flying with kids is not easy, especially little kids. I need to have as much “stuff” for them on the plane as possible. We need to avoid the “I’m bored, I’m hungry,” and meltdown stage as much as possible. I packed lots of snacks, a device, headphones, pencils & colored pencils, pad of paper, coloring book and mini games for my older older. For the baby I had snacks, teethers, my teething necklace, and my phone charged for some Big Block Sing Song {you know you are singing it right now!}. 

 

To avoid any issues with liquids, I bought a water bottle from Starbucks and filled the sippy with it after the security checkpoint. The plane issued snacks are always a hit, so ask for more, they don’t mind. It keeps kiddos happy! 
 
Bonus: Some airlines have TVs, so plan accordingly when it comes to devices etc.
 

Hack #4 The Arrival

So, remember all that stuff? {2 kids, 2 car seats, a huge 45 pound suitcase, a diaper bag, a back pack and a stroller?} What are you going to do with all that while waiting for your luggage at baggage claim? How are you going to identify your bag quickly so you don’t have to be distracted from everything else? Let me tell you, knowing which bag is yours is critical!
 
My solution to this problem is super simple and you probably already do it…I tagged my bag with a bright, colorful scarf. This made it so easy to identify when we were at baggage claim. Best piece of advice when traveling with this much stuff- try to only use one suitcase! I hooked everything up with my trusty cargo hooks again and we were on our way {to Starbucks again}.
 
 

Hack #5 The other stuff

Security Hacks: 
  1. Take out all devices
  2. Take your shoes off
  3. Be prepared to get your hands swabbed, the stroller wiped down and for it to take 15 minutes for them to go through your diaper bag (not complaining, I totally get it).
 This is the “learn the hard way” stuff. I did mess up in my planning. There are 2 things that I would change…
  1. Wear a back pack (instead of a regular diaper bag) There are more pockets, and a water bottle holder. Plus, it would be easier to maneuver because of the fact that it is a backpack and not a shoulder bag
  2. Travel in slip on shoes. Um yea. I wore lace up sneakers. Oops….had to deal with that at security. 
 

Do you have any travel hacks with littles? I’d love to hear them!

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Eryn is a plant-based momma of four amazing kiddos ranging in age from 4 to 18! She is a marketing maven and mentor with 20 years of business development and marketing under her belt. She beyond obsessed with all things purpose, giving back, wellness, and marketing. Living in Orlando for over 14 years, this Flo-Grown, Miami native has fallen for The City Beautiful and all it has to offer! From the local arts, to the craft beer and foodie scene, to all of the non-profits and giving opportunities, Eryn is is love with all things Orlando! Her connection with local moms, businesses of Orlando and philanthropy goes deep. Eryn uses her 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 to 𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦, 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘨𝘦, 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 & 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘦 other mompreneurs in life & business. Eryn is also an accredited Integrative Wellness Consultant, Purpose Coach and certified Social Entrepreneurship/Small Business Coach, and a clean beauty advocate with Beautycounter. She strives to help other women prosper and flourish in life and business and she thrives on creating authentic partnerships and building relationships. Her motto is be on purpose and she lives to better the lives of others.

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