Traveling with kids? Tips to make the trip less difficult

June 2, 2023 | (Rachel Nania)

WASHINGTON — It’s no secret: Many parents know just how difficult it is to travel with children. But traveling with young ones doesn’t always have to be a dreaded experience.

Leslie Morgan Steiner, parenting expert and blogger for ModernMom.com, says she travels alone with her three kids often — and did when they were little, too.

“I was that mom who had a 2-year-old kicking the seat in front. And there’s only so much you can do, and it’s a stressful situation and you feel terrible and it really makes it much worse when the other passengers, or heaven forbid the flight attendants, give you mean looks or somehow imply it’s your fault because you dared to have children in the first place.”

Now that her kids are older, she has tips for other parents on how to keep the next travel experience a calm one. Steiner says the first thing parents can do is be prepared, well before leaving for the airport.

“Be well-rested yourself because it’s going to be long and difficult.”

She also advises packing lots of “props” in a carry-on bag, such as little games, quiet coloring activities and special treats to distract the kids.

“This is not the time to discipline your kids or be harsh with them; this is the time to beg and threaten your children to behave. That is what works.”

If your child is pestering other passengers, Steiner says take control of the situation. If your little one mindlessly kicks the back of the seat in front of him, take his shoes off.

“It’s not as vibrating if you do that,” Steiner says.

“I also think it’s really important to be incredibly nice to your fellow passengers; ask them for help and accept help if somebody is nice enough to help you with your kids.”

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