Some of our most popular articles have been about traveling with kids because a lot of us do it and almost all of us are nervous about it. Whether you’re taking a long car ride or hopping on an airplane, departing from the normal routine and controlled environment of home can easily result in kid meltdowns, parental arguments, or tense interactions with fellow travelers, even if the trip ultimately leads to lifelong family memories.
We say this not to scare you but to let you know this is totally normal, par for the course, the price we pay for traveling with kids. It will get easier in time. Until then, we’ve rounded up our best travel tips here, including a brand new printable packing list.
If you’re planning to travel out of the country, check out our advice on applying for passports in San Francisco and our writer Jeanne’s insights from her European vacation with her husband and toddler.
Keeping Kids Entertained
We’ve got lots of ideas for you on how to entertain your little ones on the plane or in the car. “Dear God Are We There Yet? Keeping Kids Happy-ish on the Road” covers activities for infants through toddlers. “5 Activities (and 1 Zen Reminder)” shares even more brilliant ideas for occupying tiny people in tiny spaces, and even our packing list offers some clever and simple ways to distract young children on long car rides.
Packing for the Kids
We’ve shared specific brands of favorite travel gear for flying with babies and toddlers, and we’ve expanded on the helpful tips and links in “Packing List for Family Getaways” to create a comprehensive printable packing checklist for you to use for your next trip.
We’ve tried to think of everything, so you don’t forget anything. But, as you’ll see from the collective advice of our writers, the best thing to bring on your trip is a positive attitude. Have fun! Even when the going gets tough, you’ll laugh about it later.