Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first family vacation, if you’re going to maintain any semblance of sanity, you’ll need to remember one (not-so) little thing, and it’s not food or a toy.
You’ve tailored your travel arrangements to suit your child’s schedule. You are super-organized, and arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Delays and line-ups won’t affect your plans, since you’ve planned ahead and have enough distractions and snacks on hand. And even though you packed your bags weeks in advance according to an extensive packing list, if you forgot just one small thing, your travel days are bound to be unpleasant. When you’re traveling with children, be sure to pack your patience.
Because, in spite of your best efforts, stuff happens. Someone will spill something, or thow up on someone. A flight will get delayed, or cancelled, or it might just sit on the tarmac for hours and not go anywhere. Your knees will be jammed into the seat in front of you, and that person will repeatedly try to recline. Sounds like fun, right?
It’s not in my nature to be a Negative Nellie, but these things happen at the best of times on the road, and chances are, they could happen when you’ve got your kids with you. You’ll occasionally come across someone who has a romanticized view of what air travel is like, but the days of relaxing before, during, and after a flight are long gone for most of us – now reserved only for those who can afford such luxury. For the rest of us cattle, we hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
So find your happy place and make sure it’s close by when you need it. Keep your cool for the sake of your kids, and you’ll all be much more relaxed when you get where you’re going.