As a mom of two little ones, a furry companion, and a husband, I get the challenges that come with traveling with children. From packing and planning to deal with meltdowns and unexpected delays, it can feel like a daunting task. But with a little preparation and some tried-and-true tips and tricks, you can make the journey a stress-free and enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Smart Packing.

One of the most important things you can do before setting off on your trip is to pack smart. Make a list of essentials you will need easy access to on the road and then add a few extra clothes and a change of shoes for both you and your kids. Pack some snacks, water bottles, and a few of their favorite car-friendly toys or activities to keep them entertained during the journey (remember you will be stuck in the car with these toys so noisy ones can grow annoying).

Plan ahead.

Whether you’re traveling by car, train, or plane, it’s important to plan ahead. Research the route and the mode of transportation you’ll be taking, and be prepared for any unexpected delays. I find it handy to make a written note of timings, and any changes or pit stops you will be making so you know what to expect and what the next move is. Make sure you have all the necessary documents, such as passports and ID, and be aware of any restrictions or rules that apply to your journey (if traveling aboard). Things to also plan is if your traveling over mealtimes – have a plan in place for this. There’s nothing worse than traveling with hungry children and being hangry.

Make the journey fun.

Traveling with children doesn’t have to be all about getting from point A to point B. Make the journey fun by turning it into an adventure. Play games, tell stories, and point out interesting things along the way. If you’re traveling by car, pack a picnic and have a mini road trip adventure, or if you’re flying, let your children have fun with airplane-themed activities and games.

Be prepared for meltdowns.

Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and children can have meltdowns. Be prepared for this by bringing a few of their favorite comfort items, such as a blanket or stuffed animal, and have a plan in place for dealing with tantrums. Remember to stay calm, be patient and offer plenty of love and support.

Have realistic expectations.

Finally, remember to have realistic expectations. Traveling with children can be challenging, but it can also be a lot of fun. Don’t expect everything to go perfectly, and be prepared to go with the flow. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to make memories and have a good time as a family.

I hope these tips and tricks help make your next journey with children go a bit smoother and more of an enjoyable experience. Remember to pack smart, plan ahead, make the journey fun, be prepared for meltdowns, and have realistic expectations. Happy travels and keep an eye out for my packing tips and tricks.