The Most Important Thing to Pack Traveling with Young Children…

girl and suitcase...
One day I WILL help you carry it… 😉

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 to pack, and it’s not food or a toy.

You’ve tailored your travel arrangements to suit your child’s schedule. You are super-organized, arriving at the airport with plenty of time to spare. Delays and line-ups won’t affect you, because you planned ahead and have plenty of distractions and snacks.

And even though you packed your bags well in advance according to an extensive packing list, if you forget this one small thing, your travel days will be unpleasant.

When you’re traveling with children, be sure to pack your patience.

Patience is the the most important thing to pack.

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 the plane might 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 Debbie Downer, but these things happen at the best of times while traveling. And they will likely happen when your kids are with you. Still, you occasionally meet someone with a romanticized view of what air travel is like. However, the days of relaxing before, during, and after a flight are long gone for most of us. That’s 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.

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