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Inspirational Family Travel Photos


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Family Travel Quotes to inspire your family adventures!

Family travel quotes are inspirational. I love that they help remind me of the benefits of family travel and why it is so important to travel with kids. At the times when we’re at home, or unable to travel, then travel quotes help build wanderlust. These quotes inspire dreams and the deep desire to travel, to explore, to adventure and show our children the world!

Are you looking for some great family travel quotes to share on Facebook or Instagram? Or for motivation as you plan your next vacation with kids? These travel with family quotes will inspire you and remind you of the benefits of spending time together on family vacation.

Traveling with children is a way to encourage learning and exploration. While making special memories with the people you love most will help strengthen your family bond. Read on to see our favorite family travel quotes and the images that you can share.

How to Display Family Travel Quotes

My home is covered with inspirational travel quotes. They are a wonderful encouragement on hard days. These travel with family quotes lift me up whenever I see them.

The best ways to display family travel quotes around your home include:

Cushion Covers
Photo Frame
Canvas or Travel Map
Wall Decal
Wall Art Frame
Doormat

These various forms of home decor are excellent ways to remind you of family vacations that you’ve taken. They help you to recall happy memories from special family trips. While also reaffirming the importance you place on traveling with your children and sharing those adventures with your family.

While you are back at home these inspirational family travel quotes will be a continued reminder of the benefits of traveling with your children. And help you to dream, and then focus on planning new trips to explore different corners of the world.

You can use these inspirational travel quotes in a kid’s travel journal or diary, or in a vacation photo album or scrapbook. These are all great ways to display and cherish the special memories from your family vacation.

Family Travel Quotes

These are 20 of our favorite family travel quotes. We hope they will inspire your family adventures.

You are welcome to share and use the original images below. Please give credit back to our page.

1. We were together. I forgot the rest.

– Walt Whitman

Family Vacation

2. Oh the places you’ll go 

– Dr. Seuss

Family Travel

3. Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings

– Hodding Carter

Family Vacation Caption

4. You call it chaos. We call it family vacation.

– Unknown

Family Vacation Image

5. A family that travels together stays together

– Unknown

Family Travel Quotes 5

6. Wanderlust [n. Wander-lust]

A strong desire to wander, travel and explore the world.

Wanderlust definition

7. Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures

– Lewis Carroll 

Family Travel Quote

8. Any day spent with you is my favorite day.

– A. A. Milne

Family Travel Quote

9. The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories

– Og Mandino

Family Travel Quotes

10. Give your kids adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.

– Unknown

Family Travel Quotes

11. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

– Dalai Lama

Travel with Family Quotes

12. It’s a magical world, let’s go exploring!

– Unknown

Inspirational Travel Quotes

13. The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.

– Oprah Winfrey

Inspirational Quotes

14. Not all classrooms have four walls

– Unknown

Family Travel Quotes

15. Time is precious. Waste it wisely. 

– Unknown

Inspirational Travel Quotes

16. To travel is to live

– Hans Christian Anderson

Inspirational Travel Quote

17. Having kids is a reason to travel, never a reason to stop

– Unknown

Inspirational Family Travel Quote

18. Every day we make deposits in the memory banks of our children

– Charles R Swindoll

Inspirational Family Travel Quotes

19. We have nothing to lose and a world to see

– Unknown

Inspirational Travel Quotes

20. Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion

– Unknown

Inspirational Family Travel Quotes

21. You only get 18 summer with your kids. This is one of your 18. Make this summer count.

– Ruth Hutchins

What’s your favorite family travel quote?

If you have family travel quotes that you love, then please comment below to share these. We would love to add more to this list of travel quotes in the future. And let us know your favorite quote from the list or feel free to share this post with your friends and family.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

For more about family travel check out these posts:
Simplifying a Road Trip with Kids
Travel with Kids after Covid-19
Strategies to Stay Healthy While Traveling with Children
Beach Essentials: What to bring for Kids

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BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

travel crafts for kids


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Travel Crafts for Kids

What are the best travel crafts to keep kids entertained on a long journey? These crafts for children are no-mess, pre-packaged, simple and easy for busy Mom’s who are packing for a family vacation. I am asked regularly, by parents, how to avoid too much screen time for kids while traveling. They are interested in non-electronic options for their little ones. Above all they need ideas to prevent boredom while traveling with kids. Travel Crafts for Kids are a great option to add into the rotation of activities to keep children occupied while you travel. In this post we discuss our favorite travel crafts for kids, to help keep kids (and their parents) sane!

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

Travel Crafts for Family Vacation

When preparing to leave on a family road trip or a flight with kids, parents are looking for kids travel activities or travel toys for toddlers. Traveling with kids means your journey will consist of activities such as: craft or activity sets, printable road trip games, coloring, books, toys, travel games, sticker books, workbooks, screen time, followed by travel snacks, then rinse and repeat!

Before leaving on a family vacation I find myself on Pinterest looking at all the super cute craft ideas. I often think how such crafts would be perfect activities for my kids on our next trip. However, the reality of trying to pull together all the needed craft supplies – while I’m busy getting my family packed for vacation – means it never happens. So, no matter how good my intentions, I’m never able to pull off DIY travel crafts.

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Pre-packaged, all-inclusive, ready to go Travel Crafts

Certainly my kids love to craft, especially my 8 year old daughter. Therefore, as a busy Mom I love to order pre-packaged, all-inclusive, ready to go craft options, that don’t require any prep when I’m in a hurry. We have tons of craft supplies at home, and we spend hours crafting new creations, but when it’s vacation prep time I’ve often got too many other things on my mind.

Similarly, the intention of this blog is helping parents to simplify your family adventures. Traveling with children is challenging and exhausting, but it’s worth ALL the extra effort. Therefore, we want to remove the stress of family travel so you will look forward to creating family memories, and not dread preparing for your next family vacation.

Best 5 Travel Crafts for Kids

These are our favorite travel crafts for kids age 4-9 years. These travel crafts are no-mess, pre-packaged and ready to go activities for your next family adventure. They are lightweight and can be easily packed in a BE Family Travel Tray or in your carry-on luggage. Above all, these travel crafts are the perfect activities to entertain your child on an airplane or on a road trip.

Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set

Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set

The Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set comes with illustrated step-by-step instructions that help to teach kids how to use the set safely and inspire creative ideas.

Also, this activity set is great for traveling, and ideal for children ages 4 years and up.

Wikki Stix Traveler Playset

Wikki Stix Traveler Playset

Wikki Stix is made with non-toxic food grade wax and hand knitting yarn.

Furthermore, this product offers clean, quiet, hands-on and engaging play for any occasion – in the car, or on the plane. This travel craft is a great on-the-go activity!

The kit includes a convenient, bright red carrying case for imaginative play during travel.

Paint by Sticker Kids

Paint by Sticker Kids is available in multiple designs including: The Original, Unicorns & Magic, Zoo Animals, Beautiful Bugs, or Under the Sea.

This travel craft for kids includes everything you need to create ten sticker paintings on sturdy card stock. Plus, all the pages are perforated – making it easy to tear out each finished work to frame and share! Your child will paint their design with stickers! Furthermore, it’s simple – find the sticker, peel, then place the sticker, and watch your painting come to life!

Make-a-Face Sticker Pad

Create a Face Sticker Pads are available in various designs including: CharactersPrincess or Animals. They include 170+ stickers and 20 full color background pages for kids to create their own face designs. This activity promotes fine motor skills and creative expression for children age 3+.

Melissa & Doug Design-Your-Own Jewelry-Making Kits

Travel Crafts for Kids

Melissa & Doug Design-Your-Own Jewelry-Making Kits include Bangles, Headbands, and Bracelets.

Each all-inclusive design kit includes at least 50 decorative stickers. There are multiple items in each kit and the simple process creates amazing results.

Therefore, this is the perfect travel craft for kids age 4+ when your family is on the go.

Also, for more great at home crating ideas visit our friends at JK Crafts who provide tons of helpful crafting tips and craft projects that your family will love!

Travel Activities for Kids

Another recommended travel activity for children is our FREE Printable Road Trip Games. Download these games that we created, they are tried and tested by kids, to provide hours of entertainment on your family travels. Including Road Sign Scavenger Hunt, Coloring Page, Tic Tac Toe, Word Search, License Plate Search Game – and our favorite – Road Trip Bingo. Download our FREE Printable Road Trip Games HERE.

In the meantime, we hope your kids will enjoy these travel crafts and these activities will help to simplify your family adventures. Having plenty of activities to rotate between will help to occupy your child. Plan to take regular breaks to stretch your legs, especially if you’re traveling with a potty training toddler. Also, make sure you’re aware of how to avoid to motion sickness in kids to make your journey smooth and uneventful.

Let us know what travel crafts your kids enjoy that would be a great addition to our next family vacation.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

BE Family Travel

BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

travel with kids


As an Amazon Associate BE Family Travel earns from qualifying purchases. Learn More

Travel with Kids

All around the world significant restrictions were implemented to prevent travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost overnight we found ourselves facing this invisible enemy, and life as we knew it was changing. This situation was unprecedented in our lifetime and it affected our everyday lives in dramatic ways. If your family loves to travel with kids, then you likely experienced the disappointment of cancelled travel plans. And your family had to adjust to social distancing and spending your time at home. Now, are you ready to break free from home and travel with kids after Covid-19?

Dreaming of vacation and researching new travel destinations is one of the things that can help get you through this hard time. Certainly knowing that one day we can travel again, and we will be able to plan a family vacation, is a lifeline for me! That hope and wanderlust is what gets me through these difficult days.

Family Travel is changing, so what steps should you be taking for the future? In this post we discuss making plans to travel with kids, and we provide 5 Tips to Help you Prepare to Travel with Kids after Covid-19.

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

Returning to Travel

Among my community I hear the general consensus that people can’t wait for things to get back to normal. But, I don’t think we’re ever going BACK to normal. We will experience a NEW normal. We are looking forward to normal. What that new normal will look like is rather unknown at this point. However, we do know that life will be different. Are you left wondering how you can travel with kids after Covid-19?

Prioritize Travel with Kids as you Re-build your Schedule

The world has quite literally been turned upside down and our regular schedules and plans have been thrown to the wolves. Furthermore, as challenging as we find this time, the shift in schedule is helping many parents to realize the importance of better priorities. As we re-build our lives one piece at a time, let’s be determined to prioritize what is most important to us as individuals, and to our families. For me, that is prioritizing family time and family travel with kids.

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Making Plans to Travel with Kids after Covid-19

Are you ready to bust out of your house and start making plans to travel with kids? I feel like a caged animal who is trying to escape. I’m desperate for a change of scenery and a break in the monotony of being at home day after day after day.

Right now we are not in a position to travel, but we can still plan and dream of a family vacation. Keep that spark alive in your heart. Make plans now so you know where you want to go, and how to make that trip happen, once the travel restrictions are lifted.

5 Tips for Traveling with Kids after Covid-19

Eventually we will get the green light from local authorities to stop living in isolation and the travel restrictions will be lifted. Then we can make plans to travel with kids again. Where do you want to visit first – the beach, the mountains, your family?

Here’s how your family can transition to travel with kids once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted:

Start Simple and be Flexible

Taking a simple family road trip would be a great first travel option. This provides the independence of having your car, and not being reliant on the airlines (for the time being) and the possibility of interrupted travel itineraries. Driving your vehicle also means you are typically around your family and can stay away from large crowds of people.

Plan a Staycation

The Covid-19 pandemic may have hit your family hard financially. Whether you experienced reduced work hours, being furloughed, unemployment, the loss of your business, or any other ways that this invisible enemy stole your income. An unexpected change to your family budget may mean that an expensive family vacation is not possible for the foreseeable future. You may consider a staycation in your local area, and instead choose to make day trips from your home. These short family road trips provide the opportunity to explore new and exciting environments on your doorstep, without the added expense of overnight accommodation. Visit the local tourism board for your state and discover places of interest in your area.

Focus on Domestic Travel

We have experienced great uncertainly in 2020 with the border closings of many countries. For the foreseeable future it would be prudent to focus on domestic travel in the country where you live. If you live in the United States then we are blessed with a MASSIVE country to explore and endless domestic travel options. There’s various terrain, temperatures and cultures available within THIS country.

Explore the Outdoors

Plan to spend time outdoors when you travel with kids after Covid-19. Wide open spaces that are away from large groups of people would make a good first trip as we establish what our new normal will look like. We are going to opt for a multi-generational family beach trip. Our favorite destination to visit in the southeastern United States is the quiet and peaceful coastline of the Outer Banks, NC. More specifically the town of Duck, NC which is a very family friendly destination.

You may prefer to visit the mountains where there’s plenty of outdoor options for hiking, fishing, biking or camping. The United States is extremely fortunate with countless National Parks for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun.

Watch for Travel Updates

travel with kids in car

Do your research now about places to visit in your area. Keep an eye out for updates from the governor of that state so you are aware of when travel restrictions are lifted, and you are allowed to visit your destination of choice.

Be ready so your family can hit the road once we’re allowed to travel again!

Other posts to help you Travel with Kids

As you make plans to travel with kids check out these other posts I’ve written about how to simplify a road trip with kids and how to avoid motion sickness in kids. Furthermore, in this current environment it’s especially important to be aware of strategies to stay healthy while traveling with children. But for your own sanity don’t forget the road trip snacks for kids, and you can download our FREE Printable Road Trip Games for Kids. This pairs well with our BE Family Travel Tray & Messenger Bag to hold your child’s activities, which you can buy HERE.

Although no one knows how long it will be before we can travel again. I hope this post encourages you to dream about family travel and keep that spark alive. Nothing or no-one can set limits on your dreams! Plan to travel with your kids in the future, it WILL happen again. Family vacations create lasting memories, and shared experiences strengthen family relationships. This special focused time together fills your little ones heart ❣

I’d love for you to please comment below and let me know the first place your family plans to visit once we can travel again.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

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travel activities for kids


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Traveling with Kids

Are you planning your family vacation with kids? Now you’re wondering how to entertain your children on a family road trip or a flight with kids? Trying to avoid that dreaded, and repetitive, question of are we nearly their yet? Ensuring you pack travel activities to keep your little ones busy on your travels will help relieve their boredom, and keep you sane. Your journey traveling with kids should include activities such as: craft or activity sets, sticker books, workbooks, printable road trip games, toys, travel games, coloring, books, screen time, followed by snacks, then rinse and repeat! In this post we highlight Best Travel Activities for Kids age 4-8 years. Plus they’re all no-mess activities, so don’t leave home without these essential travel activities for your kids.

If you’re traveling with a toddler then our other posts that you may find helpful include essential travel toys for toddlers and how to travel with a potty training toddler. If you’re flying then check out surviving jet lag with your toddler and what to consider before traveling with a car seat.

The more we travel with our children, I have learned how to simplify a road trip with kids and how to avoid motion sickness in kids. And in this current environment it’s especially important to be aware of strategies to stay healthy while traveling with children.

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

What are the must-have Travel Activities for Kids?

When traveling with children plan to bring a few special surprises to keep up your sleeve, such as a new activity or toy your child has not seen before. And don’t forget to bring the most important item of all – road trip snacks for kids.

Over the years and the many thousands of miles we have traveled with our children, there are certain items we won’t leave home without.

Must-have travel activities for kids include:

  • Craft or Activity Sets
  • Sticker Books or Workbooks
  • Printable Road Trip Games for Kids
  • Toys
  • Travel Games
  • Coloring Books and Crayons or Markers
  • Books at your child’s appropriate reading level
  • iPad, Tablet or Device with Headphones, charger and travel case

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Kids Car Seat Travel Tray

Best Travel Activities for Kids age 4-8 years

Here’s our favorite travel activities for kids age 4-8 years. This includes a list of the essential no-mess activities that are lightweight and can easily be packed in your carry-on luggage or a BE Family Travel Tray. These activities are great options to entertain your child on an airplane or on a car ride.

Spirograph Travel Set

The Spirograph Travel Set allows kids age 5+ to create countless designs on the go! Similarly, the built in storage tray makes this travel set easy to take on family vacation. This classic design toy was one of my childhood favorites ❣

Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set

The Melissa & Doug On-the-Go Felt Friends Craft Activity Set comes with illustrated step-by-step instructions that help to teach kids how to use the set safely and inspire creative ideas. So, it’s a great activity set for traveling, and ideal for kids ages 4 years and up.

Melissa & Doug On the Go Secret Decoder Activity Books

Melissa & Doug On the Go Secret Decoder Activity Books and spy tools for kids include mazes, seek-and-finds, word scrambles, codes to break and more. Plus spy tools such as magic ink, red-lens spy glass, and decoder wheel. These 18 page compact books make a great travel activity for kids age 7+

Wikki Stix Traveler Playset

Travel Toys for Toddlers

Wikki Stix offer clean, quiet, hands-on and engaging play for any occasion – in the car, or on the plane. Furthermore, this product is made with non-toxic food grade wax and hand knitting yarn. This kit includes a convenient, bright red carrying case for imaginative play during travel.

Paint by Sticker Kids: Zoo Animals

Travel Activities for Kids

Paint by Sticker Kids: Zoo Animals includes everything you need to create ten sticker paintings on sturdy card stock. Plus, all the pages are perforated – making it easy to tear out each finished work to frame and share! Your child can paint a zoo full of animals with stickers! It’s simple – find the sticker, peel, then place the sticker, and watch your animal painting come to life!

Sticker Book

Have your child choose their Sticker Book of preference.

Our girls love to dress their favorite American Girl® characters in pretty outfits with this sticker book collection.

Or maybe your child prefers to explore our universe, science and planet Earth.

What ever your child’s favorite interests, click here to see more options of Sticker Books for kids.

Wipe Clean Workbook

Travel Activities for Kids Wipe Clean Workbook

The Wipe Clean: Starting School Workbook is full of essential learning activities to complete and repeat. Using the dry-wipe pen, kids going into Kindergarten and First Grade can practice their writing and counting skills, simple math, telling the time, and lots more. And there is no getting it wrong – they can simply wipe away mistakes and try again. Likewise, if your child is a different age then there is a wide variety of wipe clean books available for various developmental levels.

LEGO Classic Creative Suitcase

The LEGO Classic Creative Suitcase allows your child to organize their LEGO building bricks and take them wherever you go. This LEGO Classic portable building block case houses a world of creativity for kids and includes a selection of colorful LEGO Classic pieces, including, bricks, shapes, wheels and eyes.

Spot It JR. Animals

Travel Activities for Kids - Spot It JR. Animals

Spot It JR. Animals is a Fast Paced action game with Symbol Recognition and Brain: Eye association. The smash hit game adapted for younger children. Each card has 6 colorful animals of different sizes; between any two cards there is always one animal match. This is definitely one of our girls’ favorite games, and the tin canister makes it the perfect family travel activity.

The Purple Cow Magnetic Travel Games

These magnetic travel games are traditional games in new packaging, with simple instructions that make them easy to follow and play! The game board and pieces are magnetic, so these fun kids’ games are ideal whenever you are out traveling or even in the car. Furthermore, The Purple Cow offers a wide selection of travel games for players of all ages. Here’s some of our favorite travel activities for kids age 4 plus.

Silly Scents Twistables Crayons

Travel Activities for Kids Coloring

Each aromatic crayon is ready to scribble and sniff. Silly Scents Twistables Crayons are durable with plastic barrels to protect against breakage.  

Therefore, they never need sharpening, just twist to keep the color going!  So, unleash countless hours of self-expression and imaginative play.

Crayola Epic Book of Awesome Coloring Book

Kids love to color and a coloring book will keep them happy through many long road trips, plane rides or rainy days on family vacation. The Crayola Epic Book of Awesome Coloring Book is a simple and fun travel activity for kids. And a great way for children to stay thoughtfully engaged and entertained while traveling.

The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids

It’s time to hit the road on your next family adventure – and kids will remember every second of fun-filled adventure. The Ultimate Travel Journal For Kids is packed with journaling prompts so that no memory goes unwritten.

Inside these travel activities for kids, 6-9-year-old’s will find guided prompts to record hopes for their trip, highlights, new discoveries and more. Plus, this journal includes ultra-fun travel activities for kids likes fill-in the blanks and crosswords for endless entertainment.

When you’re back home and bags are unpacked, your little adventurer can always open The Ultimate Travel Journal for Kids and relive every minute of every adventure. Consequently, what a special keepsake that your child will treasure to years to come.

Magic Tree House Books

Magic Tree House Boxed Set

When you travel with kids bring some books that your child / you can read together on your trip. One of our family favorites is this Magic Tree House Book Set which includes a whole series of adventure books for kids. Furthermore, bring your child’s favorite books, as family vacation can be an excellent time to develop your child’s love of reading and books.

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet

Kids Travel Activities Fire-7-Kids-Edition-Tablet

Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet is available in bluepink or purple. Stream through Wi-Fi or view downloaded content on the go with 16 GB of internal storage and up to 7 hours of reading, browsing the web, watching video, and listening to music. Also add wireless headphones and a protective zipper sleeve for when you’re on the go. And don’t forget to bring the charger for any electronic device!

LilGadgets Untangled PRO Kids Premium Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Travel Activities for Kids Wireless Headphones

These Wireless Headphones are high quality, and compatible with nearly all Bluetooth devices. Offered in six wonderful colors, they are developed, designed, and tested with kids of all ages to ensure durability of the final product while maintaining style and comfort. Certainly they are sized for kids age 4 plus.

Printable Road Trip Games

Travel Activities for Kids

Printable Road Trip Games are an inexpensive way to engage your children in fun activities and help pass the hours on your next family trip.

We have created our own selection of FREE Printable Road Trip Games, which are tried and tested by kids, to provide hours of entertainment on your family travels. Including Road Sign Scavenger Hunt, Coloring Page, Tic Tac Toe, Word Search, License Plate Search Game – and our favorite – Road Trip Bingo.

You can learn more and download our FREE Printable Road Trip Games HERE.

BE Family Travel Tray

We like to use the BE Family Travel Tray to hold our child’s activities. It’s designed to be used with a car seat, but could be adapted on an airplane using the seat-back tray. It is perfect for a drink, snacks, coloring book, crayons, and toys to keep everything within your child’s reach. And includes a tablet holder, pencil case, and large book pocket. There is no need to unload the entire play tray when it’s time to leave, the side pouches zip and fold in to make the perfect storage as an all-in-one Travel Bag. It detaches into two parts and the lower lap tray is great for toddlers. Also available in redblue or pink.

Kids Red car seat travel tray

Travel Activities for Kids Wrap-up

As children get older their attention span increases which makes it easier for them to travel for longer periods of time. It is still important to plan regular breaks throughout your journey to allow children time to stretch their legs and visit the restroom. But being prepared with travel activities for kids will make long journey’s more bearable for you and your children. And before your next family vacation check out our review of the Best Family Travel Games.

Please comment on this post and let me know your favorite travel activities for kids. Furthermore, I’d love to update the list of essential travel activities with items that you love! Tell me one activity your kid won’t leave home without?!

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

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Best Travel Activities for Kids Age 4-8
BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

stay healthy while traveling with children


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Every parent is concerned about keeping their family healthy before, during and after vacation. If you’re traveling with children, the last thing you want is for them to spend their vacation sick in bed. Whether you are planning to take a road trip or travel by airplane, there are steps you can take to avoid getting sick. We all want our family to stay healthy while traveling with children.

At the time of writing this post there is great concern around the world about the Coronavirus. Thankfully this pandemic won’t last forever, and normal travel will resume in the future. In the meantime it is up to every individual to decide what is right for their family, before choosing if/where/when/how to travel.

In this post we will discuss some strategies to help you and your family to stay healthy while traveling with children. Even if you decide to remain local and have a staycation (a portmanteau of “stay” and “vacation”) over spring break, then many of these strategies would be good practice, and helpful in everyday life as you travel around the town where you live!

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

Why does Coronavirus affect travel?

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus, and we are learning more about it every day. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. At this point, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it. Stopping transmission (spread) of the virus through everyday practices is the best way to keep people healthy. More information is available from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Strategies to Stay Healthy while Traveling with Children:

1. Practice good hand hygiene

Children’s immune systems are less developed than those of adults, and this makes them more vulnerable to illness. Most children are not typically good about keeping things out of their mouths, and they aren’t particularly careful with hand hygiene.

Washing hands often, especially before meals, is the best way to prevent illness, at home or while traveling. You should help small children wash hands and teach older kids how to wash their hands thoroughly. Using warm soap and water, lather up and scrub all over for 20 seconds, then rinse and dry. 

2. Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to stay healthy while traveling with children 

Children should wash their hands with soap and water when they can, but you should have a sanitizing gel or antibacterial wipes with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water aren’t available. 

For tips on hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer visit the CDC website here.

How to make hand sanitizer

At the time of writing we are experiencing a shortage in supply of hand sanitizing gel due to the coronavirus. I have been unable to purchase it online or in any of the local stores I have searched in Western North Carolina. If you are having the same problem, then did you know you can make your own hand sanitizer at home? It’s even a project your kids can do, or assist you with. Check out this video about how to make hand sanitizer

3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to stay healthy while traveling with children 

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Encourage your kids not to put dirty hands, or other things, in their mouth. 

4. Teach children to cover their mouth and nose

Remind children of the importance of covering their mouth and nose with a tissue, or using their elbow, when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Discard the tissue in a trash can and then wash hands.

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5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces to stay healthy while traveling with children 

Use antibacterial wipes to wipe down surfaces when you travel such as tray tables, airplane armrests and lavatory door handles. Germs linger longer on non porous materials like plastic. You should also disinfect your vacation rental or hotel room by cleaning door knobs, light switches, telephone receivers and remote controls. 

6. Get necessary vaccinations prior to travel

Before you travel anywhere out of the country, make sure you don’t need any special vaccinations. Visit the CDC’s website to check their latest travel health notices. Travel notices provide information about current health issues related to specific international destinations.

vaccination prior to travel overseas with children

7. Keep medication in your hand luggage 

You never know when your flight may be delayed or your checked luggage may get lost. Bring a travel kit to keep in your hand luggage which includes: a thermometer, Tylenol (for fever), Ibuprofen (for pain), band aids and any prescription medication. Even if you’re taking a road trip keep these items handy so you don’t have to unpack the entire vehicle just to find some medication packed at the bottom of a suitcase.

8. Learn how to avoid motion sickness 

Motion sickness is unpredictable and seems to come on at the worst possible moments. The best ways to avoid motion sickness in kids are:

  • Look straight ahead outside the car, through the front windshield instead of through the side windows.
  • Focus on a distant fixed point, such as the horizon.
  • Get fresh air.
  • Distract children by talking or singing songs.
  • Have your child close their eyes and listen to relaxing music.
  • Encourage your child to take a nap.
  • Break up your journey by making stops to get some fresh air, drink water or take a walk.
  • Do not read while riding in the car.
  • Put down electronic devices 
  • Avoid heavy meals and greasy, rich, spicy foods. 

For more details about how to avoid motion sickness in kids read this post. We discuss what causes motion sickness, natural treatments or medicines for motion sickness, how to recognise the signs and be prepared to deal with it. This will help your family to stay healthy while traveling with children.

9. Boost your immune system to stay healthy while traveling with children

The best way to avoid illness while traveling is to have a strong and healthy immune system to fight germs and infection. Your immune system is a process of checks and balances that helps fight and protect the body from disease and illness. It’s easier than you think to naturally boost your child’s immune system.

drink water to stay healthy while traveling with children

Five ways to help boost immunity: stay hydrated, eat nutritious food, take vitamins and supplements, be physically active and get enough sleep.

Drink plenty of fluids  

Drinking water helps you rid your body of toxins, and is a good way to prevent sickness when traveling. Staying hydrated helps all the body’s defenses function properly. It is especially important to drink water if you’re flying, as flights can dehydrate you. Carry a reusable water bottle so your family can stay hydrated while you travel. Our kids love the Thermos Funtainer for Kids, which is a 12 oz container available in MANY different colors and character designs. It is an insulated 12 hour cold drink stainless steel thermos, and the BEST part… it does not sweat when filled with ice! When flying we refill the water bottles once we have navigated airport security with kids

When your family travels overseas you may need to drink only from sealed bottles or cans which have been sufficiently filtered. Keep bottle water by the sink for brushing your teeth. The main reason travelers get sick overseas is from drinking water with local bacteria that their body is not used to. Other countries don’t have “bad” water, it’s just that our bodies react differently to it.

Eat nutritious food

Foods can help boost the immune system.Try to encourage your child to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products and lean protein. Also, include foods with omega-3 fatty acids, like eggs, salmon and avocados. Stick closely to your child’s normal, healthy diet. This gives kids nutrients to help fight infection, and it can also help prevent diarrhea or constipation, which children are prone to when traveling. Consider bringing your kids’ favorite healthy foods on road trips or airplanes instead of buying fast food or snacks. For ideas about healthy road trip snacks read our post about simplifying a road trip with kids.

eat nutritious food to stay healthy while traveling with children

Take vitamins and supplements

Vitamins B6, C and E are all known for their immune-boosting properties. Supplements would not be necessary if your child is getting all of these vitamins from a well-balanced diet. Some foods rich in these vitamins include eggs, bell peppers, spinach and almonds. If you are concerned about your child’s vitamin intake then talk to your pediatrician before buying any supplements. 

Consider taking a room temperature-stable probiotic while traveling to help keep the digestive issues at bay. This is especially helpful when traveling overseas to countries where this could be an issue. Consuming probiotics can help you stay regular even when the rest of your schedule is way off. While traveling, your body will likely be exposed to unfamiliar germs and bacteria, and probiotics also help boost your immune system.

To be sure everyone remembers to take their vitamins and supplements while traveling, use a travel-sized pill case marked with the days of the week.

travel size pill case for family

Be physically active 

Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living, and will help your family to stay healthy while traveling with children. Exercise can help maintain a healthy immune system. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. 

Plan outdoor activities on the first few days after you arrive at your destination. Being physically active, along with sunshine and fresh air, will help your child overcome jet lag and adjust their body clock when traveling through time zones.

Maintain good sleep habits

Sleep is important for protecting the immune system and generally ensuring that you and your child function at your optimum.  If your child gets enough sleep, it will help their body fight off sickness and help succeed at the tips mentioned above. Sticking to your child’s normal bedtime, naptime and routines will help them to sleep better. Make sure to bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket to help your child to relax and rest, so they can fall asleep  in a strange place.  

If you are traveling internationally or across time zones read our post with more advice about surviving jet lag with your baby or toddler.

sleep to stay healthy while traveling

10. Pace yourself to stay healthy while traveling with children 

Most children do not have the patience or stamina for fast-paced, non-stop travel. When you travel with children expect to move at a slower pace. It’s important to plan your vacation with time for you and your children to rest and relax. Pace yourself, don’t try to see the entire city all in one day! Try to alternate a busy sight-seeing day followed by a more low key rest day.

When taking a road trip be realistic about the amount of time your children will stay content in the car. Being strapped in a car seat gets hot and uncomfortable. Plan time in your journey to stop and let kids stretch their muscles, run around, jump, or blow bubbles. We try to break up long journeys with an overnight stay in a hotel where the kids are excited to go swimming in the pool. This is an incentive everyone looks forward to when they are fed up of traveling. Happy kids are less stressed which is better for everyone!

11. Protect your family from bug bites

Bugs, including mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and some flies, can spread diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and Lyme disease, all of which can have severe and lasting consequences.

To prevent bug bites wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Use insect repellent spray on any exposed areas.

My children and I are super sensitive to mosquito bites, which will make us itch for 3 days straight. Every time we go outside during the summer we use Cutter Skinsations Insect Repellent Spray which never feels oily or greasy, and has a pleasant scent. 

12. Apply sunscreen to protect against the sun

Be sure to apply sunscreen on children’s exposed skin when traveling, even when you’re not at the beach. Avoid extended periods in direct sun during the middle of the day when they’re more likely to burn. Seek out shade when possible and wear a sunhat. Our kids love to wear a rashguard (with UPF 50+ sun protection) when playing on the beach, in the ocean or at the pool. Dealing with sunburn on vacation is not fun for you or your child, take precautions to protect your little one against the sun.

The best way to ensure a memorable and easy-going trip for everyone is to stay healthy. Whatever strategies you use to avoid harmful bacteria, try to keep germs and illness in perspective. It’s common for healthy children to get several colds a year. Most of the time infections come from the people we love, and have close contact with; not from strangers on a road trip. 

As you plan your next vacation, choose to do a staycation, or even just travel around the town where you live then be aware and take precautions. Do the best you can to ensure your family will stay healthy while traveling with children.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.
Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

Travel with a car seat


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One of the biggest decisions when it comes to traveling with children is deciding whether or not to travel with a car seat. This decision depends on your destination, how long you will be there, how you will get to and from the airport to your accommodation, whether you are renting a car or if there are alternatives to bringing your own child’s car seat.

Will there be public transportation and the ability to walk, with little or no need to ride in a car? Are you flying to a big city where you can ride on trains or buses? Or is your family taking a cruise? You may not require a car seat if you take a shuttle from the airport to the port. Will you be limited on where you can explore without renting a car? If you will be driving in a car at your destination then you’ll need to bring your child’s car seat. Or consider renting or borrowing one.

You also need to consider if your child will be using their car seat on the airplane. And the logistics of transporting the car seat through the airport and at your destination. 

How to decide if you should travel with a car seat?

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether or not to travel with a car seat. There is not a simple answer. In this blog we will discuss child safety on an airplane, our experience of traveling with and without a car seat. The logistics of how to travel with a car seat including at the airport and on the airplane, including must-have items to make this easier. Plus various types of car seats to consider, and the alternatives to traveling with a car seat.

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

In the days before parents would travel with a car seat

I remember as a young child sitting in the back of my parent’s sports car on a cushion. No seat belt. No car seat. Just a cushion to lift me up so I could see out of the window. As my Dad took me for a spin through the quiet English countryside! My husband remembers taking road trips in the back of his family’s station wagon. He would lay out in the rear of the vehicle to sleep as they traveled through the night to the beach.

And I shudder to think about the third row rear facing seats, also known as the ‘way-back seat’. As kids we piled in the trunk to ride rear-facing in the back of the car. Do you remember those seats? Or did I just date myself?! 🤣🤣🤣

Life in the 1970’s and 80’s was a different world. Our society is much more safety conscious in this generation. There’s more for parents to consider when making safety decisions for today’s children.

Travel without a car seat

Deciding whether to travel with a car seat depends on various factors

As a parent you must decide whether or not to take your child’s car seat on a plane. There are multiple factors that play into your decision, such as your family’s needs, budget and risk tolerance. There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer. Everyone has to decide what is right for their own family. 

Some parents feel more comfortable using the car seat on the airplane. Others feel OK to take the car seat through the airport, then gate check the car seat before boarding the flight. Other parents prefer to check the car seat at the luggage counter and not mess with it in the airport. Also, if you prefer not to travel with the car seat then consider whether you can rent, buy or borrow a car seat at your destination. Certainly if you will need to drive during your trip. 

Child safety on an airplane

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends that all children use a child restraint on board an aircraft from birth to 40 pounds. Many parents choose to save the cost of an extra airplane seat and take their baby or toddler (less than 2 years old) as a lap child.

In the case of unexpected turbulence it would be extremely difficult, and unlikely, that you would be able to keep your lap child safely in your arms. The safest option is for your child to be buckled in to an FAA approved car seat.

Child Safety Restraint

The reality is that most flights do not experience extreme turbulence. And many parents fly safely with a lap child every day. The decision about airplane safety is every parent’s personal choice. 

If you would feel more comfortable flying with your child in a restraint then consider a Child Airplane Travel Harness.

The CARES Safety Restraint System is a safety harness designed specifically for air travel. It is for children 1 year and older weighing 22 to 44 pounds and up to 40 inches tall. 

Our experience of traveling without a car seat

For the most part we have arranged our travel plans to avoid needing to travel with a car seat. As our children have become older, we have either traveled to places where we didn’t need a car seat. Such as big cities with public transportation or cruises with a shuttle from the airport. On the occasions where we have needed to drive at our destination, then we have rented or borrowed a car seat from family / friends.

I prefer to avoid managing the car seat in the airport when trying to keep up with active child(ren). I have always been comfortable with my decision, except for one time in Ottawa. 

Riding in a taxi without a car seat

Our daughter was 2 ½ years old and we traveled from the United States to England and then on to Ottawa, Canada. We didn’t want to drag our car seat around for the entire 4 week trip. In England we used Grandma’s car seat or took public transportation. When we arrived in Ottawa we took public transportation from the airport to our hotel.

During our time in Ottawa we could easily walk or use public transportation to visit everywhere we wanted to go. We had no need to ride in a vehicle until it was time to make our return journey to the airport. It was an early morning flight, it had been snowing and the sidewalks were extremely icy. We felt more comfortable taking a taxi for the short 10 minute ride from the hotel to the airport. Our daughter rode in the back seat with us without a car seat. I strapped her in next to me and prayed for safety the entire ride!

In Ottawa taxi drivers are exempt from the child car seat and booster seat requirements when transporting passengers for hire. Your child can ride, legally, without a car seat in a taxi but she must wear a seat belt. They must not ride on a lap. This was the law when we visited Ottawa, it is not the case for every city. If you are considering using a taxi, or ride sharing service during your trip, make sure to check on the local car seat laws for your destination. 

Traveling with child using taxi

Traveling in a taxi with children

You may feel more comfortable using a harness in a taxi such as Ride Safer Travel Vest. This is for children 3 years and above and weight range is between 30 lbs and 110 lbs. If your child meets the requirements for a travel booster seat, look into the Mifold or BubbleBum travel booster seats. I wish I had been aware of these products when my daughter was younger.

Make sure to check all the current age, height and weight requirements for travel booster seats or the Ride Safer Travel Vest.

Options when you need to travel with a car seat

It is not always possible to avoid traveling with a car seat. If you will need your child’s car seat at your destination there are multiple factors to consider about how to make this happen. You must think about whether you will need the car seat on the plane. Or how you will maneuver the car seat (and your child) through the airport? If you are traveling solo with your child(ren) it will be extremely cumbersome to keep up with your kids and a big heavy car seat. Do you have multiple children, then how will you manage with multiple car seats through the airport? 

If you decide to check-in your car seat at the baggage counter you run the risk of it being lost or damaged at the airport or on the plane. There’s the possibility of damage that would be unseen, but could compromise the car seat safety features. For this reason you should consider purchasing a light-weight travel car seat that may be lighter and easier to maneuver than your expensive everyday car seat.

Flying with a car seat

If you choose to take your car seat on-board the airplane then make sure the car seat is government approved. It should have “this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft” printed on it. The FAA website has additional information about keeping your little one safe when you fly. 

I recommend calling your airline to verify that your car seat is approved for use on the plane and will fit in the airplane seat. Make sure to reserve adjoining seats as your car seat must not block the escape path in an emergency. Many airlines have policies that require a car seat to be placed in a window seat, and not in an exit row.

Flying with a lap child

If you are flying with a baby or toddler less than 2 years of age, then you have the option to book their flight as a lap child. For more details read our post about traveling with a baby. If you want to take your baby or toddler’s car seat on the plane then you would need to purchase them an airplane seat to use with the car seat. 

Flying with a convertible car seat

If you are flying with a child 2 years or older, then you will have purchased a seat for your child, and would have the option to use their car seat in the airplane seat. Consider whether you think your child will stay in their car seat. Or if they will want to be out of it and you’ll get stuck holding your child on your lap the entire flight. Would having their own car seat allow your child to feel more comfortable and more likely to nap in a familiar environment? Will it be a long-haul international flight, or a short domestic flight? 

Don’t miss our posts about surviving jet lag with your child and flying with a toddler.

Flying with a booster seat

If your child is older and uses a backless booster seat then be aware that you cannot use a booster seat on the airplane.

All these factors will play into your decision of whether or not to take the car seat on the airplane. Every U.S. airline allows you to check a car seat free of charge when traveling with a child. You can check your car seat at the airport baggage counter or wait and check it at your gate. If you are flying internationally check with any overseas airlines about their policy prior to purchasing a ticket.

Flying with an infant carrier and stroller travel system

flying with infant travel system

My favorite time to fly with a baby is when they are less than 6 months old, before they start crawling or walking. I love being able to strap the baby to me using an infant carrier such as the Ergo or Baby Bjorn which allows me to have my hands free.

Then I use the stroller to transport other items like the diaper bag, carry-on suitcase, winter coats, or even an older sibling who may be tired from traveling.

The nice thing about using a travel system is that the infant carrier will clip into the stroller, so I can keep that car seat with me. I will then gate check both the infant carrier (car seat) and the stroller. 

Check in your car seat at the baggage counter

Most airlines will allow parents to gate check bulky baby gear, like strollers and car seats, at no additional charge. If you decide to check the car seat at the baggage counter, then you don’t have to carry it through the airport.

Car Seat Travel Bag

Consider using a car seat travel bag to protect your car seat from dirt and damage. Or a padded car seat travel bag to provide additional protection.

You may also choose to stuff your car seat travel bag with extra shoes, bulky clothing, diapers or blankets, and then check in the car seat. This provides extra padding to protect your car seat safety features. It also allows more weight allowance in your checked bags. Just do it out of sight of the airline attendant, before you get to the baggage counter 😉 Otherwise you may be charged for extra luggage!

fly with car seat travel bag

Take advantage of gate check

At the gate request gate check tags from the gate agent. Attach one tag per item and then leave it at the bottom of the jet-way as you board the airplane. 

Use a stroller gate check bag and a car seat travel bag to cover and protect your baby gear from dirt and damage. This is especially important if you’re traveling in the winter with snow when there’s salt everywhere!

Gate checked items will usually be waiting for you on the jetway at your destination when you leave the airplane. Occasionally these items must be retrieved from baggage claim, depending on the airport.

Remember to check with your airline before your flight regarding their gate check policy, and to find out about their luggage allowance.

How to transport your car seat through the airport

Car Seat Stroller for travel

If you decide to travel with a car seat then you must consider how to transport your car seat through the airport. You will need to navigate airport security with your children and all your baby gear.

Car Seat Stroller

There are options to wheel the car seat using a car seat stroller when you fly with a car seat. Your child can sit in the car seat while you pull it through the airport.

Car Seat Luggage Belt

Another option is a Car Seat Luggage Belt that turns your rolling carry-on suitcase into an ultra-portable travel solution that works for all car seats that have a top tether.

Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels

Or consider a Car Seat Travel Bag with Wheels that are multi-directional upright rolling without needing to tilt. You can easily push or pull the bag in any direction.

There are several different options depending on the type of car seat you have, and it makes traveling with a car seat so much easier.

The different car seats to consider for travel

What type of car seat should your child use? Depending on your child’s age/weight/height will help determine what type of car seat they need. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website has a very useful Car Seat Finder to assist you with choosing the right car seat for your child.

There are different types of car seats including:

  • rear-facing infant carrier (some can be used with a stroller travel system)
  • forward-facing convertible car seat with a harness and tether 
  • high back booster with a 5 point harness
  • backless booster seat (used with the vehicles seat belt) 

Keep in mind a booster seat is not approved for use on an airplane. If your child meets the height/weight requirements, then a  travel booster may come in handy. Consider the Mifold or BubbleBum travel booster for a short ride in a taxi or a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft.   

Traveling without a car seat

If you decide not to travel with a car seat, but you will need a car seat at your destination then you have several options – to borrow, rent or buy a car seat at your destination.

Borrowing a car seat

If you are traveling to visit family or friends they may have an extra car seat that you can borrow during your trip. This is what we typically do when we take our girls to visit their grandparents in England. They already have the car seats installed and ready to go when they pick us up from the airport. We greatly appreciate this after a long flight.

Make sure it is the correct type of car seat for your child’s weight and height. 

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Renting Vs. Buying a car seat at your destination

There are several things to consider when deciding between renting or buying a car seat at your destination. You could rent a car seat from a rental car company or a baby gear rental company. Consider whether the rental car seat will be clean and in safe working order? Can they guarantee the correct car seat will be available when you arrive and need to use it for your child?

After a long journey, when everyone is tired, do you want to install a car seat you’ve never seen before, in a car that is not your own? In addition to trying to manage your kids in the rental car parking lot! Some parents prefer not to deal with this stress and uncertainty, but it’s up to your personal preference and what you feel comfortable doing.

If you are renting a car and not dropping it off at the same location where you picked it up, then you may need to buy a car seat. Or if your trip is for an extended period then the cost of renting a car seat can mount up quickly. Find out if there is a place near the airport or your accommodation to buy a car seat. Compare the cost of renting a car seat for the length of your trip vs. buying a car seat.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the question of whether or not to travel with a car seat, does not have a simple answer. There are so many variations of what is logistically possible and this is different for every family. It will evolve for every trip you take as your family’s needs change. I hope this post has helped you to think through all the various possibilities, and know what options you have to travel with a car seat. Now you can decide what’s right for your family and how you will be comfortable when traveling with your children.

Please comment on this post to share with our community about your experience of traveling with a car seat. Or how you managed without taking your car seat on the airplane. I’d love to hear about your family adventures.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.
Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

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BE Family Products Inc. or (BE Family Travel) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Using any of the links in this blog post does NOT cost you anything but does help us big time to support the continued content creation on this blog. Thank you so much for partnering with us, let’s BE Family.

 

Airport security with children


As an Amazon Associate BE Family Travel earns from qualifying purchases. Learn More

15 hacks to fly through the airport with children

Are you concerned about navigating airport security with children? You have meticulously planned your family vacation with children. You put in all the effort to choose a family friendly destination, made nap-time friendly flight reservations, ensured you have all the necessary travel gear for your family. And you learned how to apply for a passport for your baby. You researched the best activities to entertain your toddler on a plane and which kid friendly travel snacks to pack.

Absolutely, you are ready to get on with your vacation so you can take a break from all that planning. But there’s more hurdles before you can really kick back and relax… navigating the airport. From check in, security lines, the airport and then flying with your children. 

I have dealt with airport security countless times. Facing airport security with children isn’t fun, but it has to be done, and there’s plenty of hacks I have discovered to make it go more smoothly. In this article I will share with you everything you need to know so you can survive airport security with your children. And what you need to know about airports in general when you’re flying with children.

Over the years TSA security has increased significantly to keep us safe when we fly. I remember the first time I flew to the United States in 2000. The friends I came to visit were waiting for me at the terminal gate as I disembarked the airplane. That would not happen anymore. No-one is allowed that close to the airplane without passing through security!  

Use the Table of Contents below to quickly skip to any section of this post.

Before you head to the airport

Each country you are departing can have different security rules. Make sure to check the airport security requirements for the departure country before you travel. I remember flying from England with my 4 month old, and I had some breast milk I had pumped and put in a small cool bag with ice packs. I had done the same thing when we departed the United States, and it was not a problem at that time. But when we were leaving England I was told that I was not allowed to take the ice packs through airport security. Most nursing mothers know that breast milk is like liquid gold and not something you would dispose of willingly. From the exhaustion of traveling (being up since 3:00 AM), and the emotion of saying ‘farewell’ to my parents who live in England, needless to say things didn’t go well.

This Mama wasn’t happy and the airport security officer got more than he bargained for when I burst into tears. I initially thought he was saying I couldn’t take the breast milk with me, but it turns out it was just the ice packs I had to throw away. Luckily I had some extra zip lock bags, so once we passed through security I went to a restaurant to fill the bags with ice to keep the breast milk cold until we needed it.

Double check the bag your child packed

If your preschooler is anything like mine they want to “do it myself”. I’m all for encouraging independence and allowing my daughter to learn and grow from doing things without Mummy hovering over her all the time. But when it comes to airport security make sure to double check that bag your kiddo packed before you leave for the airport. Remove any toys that resemble a prohibited item. Even small toys appear much larger through an x-ray machine, and items such as toy guns or pirate swords will be confiscated. Items deemed a threat could actually shut down the checkpoint, and you don’t want to be that parent.

For a list from TSA of what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage click here.

And don’t miss out on our BE Family Kids Travel Tray to help store items and end the “are we nearly there yet” boredom.

Airport security with children suitcase

TSA PreCheck

Expedite the security process by investing in TSA PreCheck for either one or both parents or guardians. If you’re a US resident who travels often you should consider this option. You must submit an online application, schedule an in person appointment at an enrollment center, with a background check and fingerprinting. Once the TSA knows more about you then you become a Trusted Traveler. 

Enjoy expedited screening which allows eligible travelers to keep on their shoes, light outerwear, belts and you do not have to remove laptops or 3-1-1 liquids. The TSA PreCheck lines typically move a lot quicker than the regular security checkpoint. Travelers aged 12 and under are granted PreCheck status when traveling with a participating adult. Enrollment currently costs $85.00 for 5 years. Make sure that when booking your flight, your name matches your TSA enrollment name exactly (be careful of that middle initial). Otherwise, you’ll miss out. For more details about TSA Pre-check click here.

On a side note, if you travel internationally you may be aware of Global Entry. This is a US government program which allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the U.S. However, every traveler must have Global Entry to use the benefits. Just like children must travel on their own passport, they also need their own Global Entry card. To enroll in Global Entry there is a $100.00 non-refundable application fee. This can be costly if you have multiple family members. Whether it’s worth the cost would depend how often your family travels internationally. For more details about Global Entry or Trusted Traveler Programs click here

passport for kids travel

Bring ID and travel documents 

If you are traveling abroad everyone will need a passport (even the baby). Make sure you begin the process of applying for your child’s passport well before your trip. Read our complete guide to get your child a U.S. passport.

If the child is traveling with only one parent, or with a legal guardian without both parents, then it is recommended you carry a notarized consent letter from the other parent(s) stating they give permission for the child to travel, along with the child’s birth certificate. This is especially important if you are traveling abroad.

Even when flying domestically, some airlines require children to have identification for travel, such as a birth certificate. Be sure to check with your airline prior to departure.

If you are flying across time zones and concerned about jet lag don’t miss our post about surviving jet lag with your baby or toddler. 

Talk to your child about what to expect at airport security

It’s important to talk to your child ahead of time so they know what to expect will happen at airport security. Preparing your child will help the process seem less scary.

Here’s a short animated video for your child to watch about airport security. Reminding them to: Stop. Screen. Go. at the security checkpoint.

Are you flying with a baby? It will help you to feel more confident if you know what to expect and how to prepare. To learn more about how to travel stress free with a baby read this post.

Get a ride to the airport

Long term parking is often located far away from the airport terminal. It can be extremely challenging to manage luggage and your children when trying to walk, or board an airport shuttle bus, from the parking lot to the terminal. 

Consider having a friend or family member take you and your family to the airport. If their car isn’t big enough to accomodate everyone then offer for them to drive your vehicle. Other options could be a car hire service, taxi, Uber or Lyft. 

If there are two adults traveling with the children then drop-off one parent at the curb with the children and all the luggage. The other adult can park the vehicle, and then meet the family at the terminal.

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Airport security with children for family travel

Arrive early for airport security with children

Don’t be late. Allow yourself plenty of time to navigate the airport and get through airport security with children. Everything we do with children takes longer than before we had kids! You need to plan for the unexpected, especially if you are traveling with a potty training toddler.

No matter the age of your kids you never know when a diaper will blow out, the baby needs feeding, someone will start to feel unwell or you realize your kid left their winter coat in the car and now you have to trek back to the long term parking lot to find it! With kids anything is possible. These little people have their own needs and desires, and they never choose the most convenient time to need to use the bathroom! 

Planning to arrive early at the airport gives you more breathing room. It helps to reduce the level of stress because if something unexpected happens then you have the extra time and space to deal with the situation. 

For domestic flights it would be best to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to your flight time. For international flights you should plan to arrive at least 3 hours prior to your flight. During school breaks or over the holiday travel season airports become a frenzy of activity. You may need to arrive even earlier depending on your travel dates.

Flying with a stroller or car seat  

Every U.S. airline allows you to check a car seat free of charge when traveling with a child. You can check your car seat at the airport baggage counter or wait and check it at your gate. Read our post about what to consider before you travel with a car seat.

Take advantage of gate check

Most airlines will allow parents to gate check bulky baby gear, like strollers and car seats, at no additional charge. At the gate request gate check tags from the attendant. Attach one tag per item and then leave it at the bottom of the jet-way as you board the airplane. 

Use a stroller gate check bag and a car seat travel bag to cover and protect your baby gear from dirt and damage. Especially if you’re traveling in the winter with snow when there’s salt everywhere!

airport security with children

Gate checked items will usually be waiting for you on the jetway at your destination when you leave the airplane. Occasionally these items must be retrieved from baggage claim, depending on the airport.

Having access to your stroller is helpful as you maneuver through the airport. I always wear the baby in an infant carrier such as the Ergo or Baby Bjorn which allows me to have my hands free.Then I use the stroller to transport other items like the diaper bag, carry-on suitcase, winter coats, or even an older sibling who may be tired from traveling.

Check-in the car seat

Dragging a car seat through the airport can be cumbersome. It is especially challenging if you need to take multiple car seats, or you are flying solo with your children. Consider checking the car seat free of charge at the baggage counter, so you don’t have to carry it through the airport. I have friends that stuff their car seat travel bag with extra shoes and bulky clothing, and then check in the car seat. This allows more weight allowance in their checked bags. Just do it out of sight of the airline attendant, before you get to the baggage counter, so you’re not charged for extra luggage. 

Check with your airline before your flight regarding their gate check policy, and to find out about their luggage allowance.

Airport security with children at check in

TSA and security screening with children

Despite knowing airport security is necessary it can be very overwhelming to parents who are traveling with children. It can be stressful traveling with young children and all the baby gear that involves, especially getting all that paraphernalia through the security screening process. 

Before your next airport visit with a toddler you should be aware:

  • Strollers, car seats and all baby carriers will need to be screened either by x ray and/or manually.
  • Remove children from their carriers and carry them in arms through the walk-through metal detector. Metal detectors are FDA approved and deemed safe for your child.
  • Children under the age of 12 do not have to remove their shoes.
  • At no point during the screening process will you be separated from your child.

3-1-1 Liquids Rule

Did you know formula, breast milk, juice, baby food, and even liquid medications in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces are exempt to the 3-1-1 liquids rule at U.S. airport security? That’s right, when it comes to baby bottles and sippy cups you are in the clear! Just make sure to remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

If you are traveling with a baby or toddler you are allowed to bring more than 3.4 oz of:

  • Breast milk
  • Formula (and premixed baby formula in liquid of frozen state)
  • Milk products
  • Juice
  • Teethers (gel or liquid filled)
  • Bottle Water
  • Canned, Jar and Processed Baby Food
  • Essential non prescription liquid medication 

It’s likely you’ll need an additional screening if you bring these items through security, but not to worry, these screenings are completely harmless. 

For more details and a list of what food items you can bring through TSA security click here.

Here’s a helpful video from TSA with tips on navigating through the security screening process with children.

Pack travel snacks in your carry-on

Snacks such as dried fruits, nuts, granola bars, cereals, crackers and pretzels are all good options when flying. Creamy items such as jams, peanut butter and yogurt are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces or less per item. They will need to fit into a quart-sized bag when you go through airport security with children. Just make sure you take the zip-lock bag out of your carry-on prior to sending it through the X-ray machine.

Read our post about Road Trip Snacks to provide you with more snack ideas. Many of these dry snack options would be suitable for airline travel. 

Don’t wrap gifts

Are you traveling over the holidays, or going to a wedding or celebration, and planning to carry gifts? Security officers may need to unwrap your gifts for security purposes. Wait to wrap them until you arrive at your destination. There’s nothing more frustrating than all your wrapping paper and pretty bows being removed. Plan to bring gift bags and tissue paper which are easy to pack, and avoid the possibility of your gifts being unwrapped. 

Let older kids help

If you have older children then find things they can help with at the airport such as wheeling checked baggage. Giving children a job to do helps to keep them busy and focused on the task at hand. Most children aged 3 or older are able to carry a backpack or pull a small bag with wheels. Elementary age children can carry their BE Family Travel Tray, or wheel a small suitcase.

Older siblings may be capable of pushing a younger child through the airport in a travel stroller. Give children the opportunity to help and show some responsibility, while taking some of the load off you. 

At the airport with children

Once your family has passed through security you should have time for a breather before it’s time to board your flight. This is the perfect opportunity for your children to run around, explore and burn some energy before being restricted to an airplane seat.

Many airports offer a Family Lounge with a space for children to play, with amenities such as toys or a climbing structure. And in most airport restaurants you will find high chairs and children’s menus. My children love to watch the airplanes, and some restaurants offer a fantastic window view of the airfield. 

For nursing mothers there is often a Mother’s Room at the airport which provides a quiet space to breastfeed in a private setting. There is often comfortable seating plus a sink and wash area.

In the unfortunate situation that your flight is canceled, and you must spend the night at the airport, then ask your airline if a Passenger Assistance Program is available. Some airports will provide a cot, pillow, blanket and toiletries to families to help make your unplanned stay more comfortable.

Flying with children

Once you have navigated the airport and passed through airport security with children, then it’s time for the flight. Flying with children isn’t the easiest task of parenting, it can be challenging and exhausting. The thought of flying with children can even be downright terrifying, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Plenty of parents have flown many thousands of miles with their children, and then decided to take another trip which required them to fly again!

Family travel

As parents we can do hard things that will grow and stretch us. The gift of travel and the opportunity for your children to see the world is worth the extra effort. Time together as a family and making memories builds your child’s heart which strengthens the family bond. 

Please comment on this post to share with our community about how you survive airport security with children. I’d love to hear about how you crush it at the airport!

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.
Until next time,
💕💖 Ruth

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Navigating Airport Security with Kids
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