Whether you're taking a weekend getaway one state over or plan to take a 10 hour flight to another continent, travel arrangements require some diligence and technique if you're bringing the kids.
You and your co-parent need to get on the same page and make sure you're doing everything you can to make getting from point A to point B with kids in tow as smooth as it can be. You can get started by putting the three tips below to good use.
1. Delegate Tasks Up Front
Since there's two of you, do everything you can to split up jobs. It'll make travel much easier -- particularly if you have more than one child.
For instance, one of you can be responsible for securing food, while the other is checking the family into the hotel. Bring an information packet or envelope with you that has all your travel documents, itineraries and important information. This way, you never have to worry about scrambling or wasting time.
Optimize your travel by signing up for TSA Pre-check and other services that are a godsend when traveling with kids.
If one parent is focused on choosing the route, making reservations, dealing with a detour, and any other logistical issues, the other parent should be in full force calming the kids down and keeping them fed and entertained. Whether you have to break out the tablets or engage in art projects like butterfly origami, it's important to delegate.
The two of you will get more done when you're not trying to do the same thing at the same time.
2. Know Your Kids And Their Temperament And Health
The two of you will get more out of your time on the go when you know your kids. For instance, if one is cranky when they don't get a nap, send them to bed as soon as you get to the hotel so they can adjust to the time zone quicker.
Knowing your child's typical behavior will also go a long way toward protecting them. You'll be more prepared to keep them by your side and prevent them from wandering off. By knowing your child's food intake, you'll also be better able to pick restaurants and avoid any allergic reactions.
Pack a medicine kit that has everything you need so you're never subject to store hours or finding a specific type of medicine when on vacation.
3. Learn Some Holistic Hacks
If you vacation with kids long enough, it's a given that one will have a meltdown at some point. The change in location and increase in stimuli can be a lot to deal with for some kids.
For this reason, practice some breathing exercises that can help your child calm down and better handle their emotions. If you have a long flight ahead, consider giving your child a safe sleeping supplement like melatonin, which will give them better sleep cycles. This is a far better option that trying to give your child a sleeping pill or Benadryl before getting on the plane.
Above all, make sure you have patience. With patience and these three tips, you can't go wrong with your family travel.