10 Travel Hacks With Kids For Successful Family Travel

travel hacks with kids for successful family travel

We’ve enjoyed several incredible trips to our favorite travel destinations as a family, from Hawaii and Canada to South Korea and Japan. Traveling with your kids can be tough, I know, but you can definitely prepare in advance to make things easier during the travel day! 

I like to think I’ve gotten the hang of travel with kids, from figuring out our must-have baby travel essentials to the best travel snacks that keep everyone fully satisfied. I’ve found, though, that traveling with kids can leave me feeling exhausted and in need of a break. So, if you’re like me, here are some travel hacks with kids to make your family trip a success! 

travel hacks with kids for successful family travel

10 Travel Hacks With Kids For Successful Family Travel

Pack several quiet entertainment options.

Keeping your kids happy and entertained when traveling makes for a way better travel day than the alternative. Trust me, mama. This is why I highly recommend packing quiet entertainment options. Quiet portable toys can be great for younger kids, while books can work great for older kids who can read on their own. 

You can also pack a tablet with headphones and download your kid’s favorite shows, movies, games, etc. While you might be breaking any set screen time rules, it’s worth making the exception when traveling!

Gate check your stroller or car seat.

Traveling with a stroller or car seat can be difficult, I know. But, there are some nice advantages to gate-checking your stroller or car seat. It can help prevent any damage, and it can be helpful to have a stroller or car seat as you walk through the airport. This is especially true if you have multiple little ones! 

Each airline has its own policy, so don’t forget to check the airline’s site before you head to the airport. Most airlines will let you check them for free, but it’s good to be sure. 

Always pack anti-bacterial wipes.

I worry about the germs on planes when traveling, so packing anti-bacterial wipes is essential. You can’t be sure if the area you are sitting in has been cleaned recently, so wipes can come in handy. Whether you need to wipe down the tray or clean your kid’s hands and face, you’ll be happy to have them!

Bring more than enough snacks.

I find that the in-flight food options typically aren’t the healthiest or most satisfying, and my kids don’t always like them. So, I prefer to pack a bunch of snacks before we leave the house. While you can find healthy food in an airport, it can be costly! And it’s definitely more than I’d want to spend!

It is important to consider TSA rules when bringing food on a plane, so here is a list of snacks to take on the plane that you won’t be forced to throw away before boarding the flight! 

Pro Tip: To help with popping ears if needed, pack a few lollipops!

Choose the right seats. 

Sitting in the right place on a plane can make a huge difference. Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years to keep in mind. Sitting toward the front of the plane can help prevent motion sickness, but if you’re potty training, it might be better to sit toward the back of the plane. This can be even more important if it’s a long trip!

Also, depending on the plane, sitting in the back can make dealing with incidents easier since you’ll be closer to the bathroom. You can also get a flight attendant’s attention mid-flight quicker since you can typically find flight attendants toward the back of most planes.

Involve your children in packing. 

Packing with your kids will make packing for your trip more time-consuming, but it can be a good learning opportunity for them. They can pick the toys they want to take or the outfits they would like during the trip, and it gives them a sense of control and excitement. It can also lead to your kids becoming better travelers themselves. 

When your kids are old enough, use individual bags for each child and allow them to carry their own carry-on. This will take some weight off your back and give your kids easier access to their toys. To make sure you have everything you will need, check out my kid’s carry-on packing list post. 

Board the plan last.

It can take a while to board the plane and while many people may say to board first, if you board last, your kids have less of a chance of becoming restless. 5 minutes sitting still before the plane takes off is a lot easier than 30 minutes for some kids. Instead, your kids can get a bit of energy out before boarding if needed!

travel hacks with kids for successful family travel

Always bring a change of clothes.

Accidents are impossible to predict, so consider packing a change of clothes ( or two! ). You can pack the change of clothes right in your kids carry-on. I also recommend packing Ziploc bags for any dirty clothes. Hopefully, nothing happens, but it’s always good to be prepared. 

Get TSA Precheck.

Airport security can take a long time, especially during busy travel times. Applying for PreCheck at so that you and your kids get through quickly is definitely something I recommend. Children 17 and under are allowed to use the TSA PreCheck when traveling with a parent or guardian, and it’s important that TSA PreCheck appears on the child’s boarding pass. 

Don’t forget about yourself, mama.

Whether it’s a soothing face mask or a neck pillow, don’t forget to bring flight essentials for you! You also deserve a comfortable flight experience!

Doing a bit of self-care to make the flight a bit more enjoyable is absolutely worth it. I don’t love flying, but practicing self-care or finding ways to relax while traveling can help, especially when you’re dealing with different time zones.  

family travel with kids

What are your travel hacks?

Let me know about the travel tips and tricks you’ve discovered over the years. Traveling with kids can be so challenging but traveling the world can create long-lasting memories and makes it all worthwhile! 

Hopefully, this advice helps your travel day run more smoothly! For more helpful posts just like this one, check out my post on what to pack for a road trip.

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