By Carie Connell

I travel a lot with my two kids age 4 and 18mo.  I think one of the most important things to do on the long plane rides and tons of wait time is to organize and plan properly  ( I know you were asking for new products or ideas but I wanted to share what our family does…we travel a lot and I have got it down to a science). The most important things are ENTERTAINMENT, FOOD and TIME MANAGEMENT.

Electronics

We remove TV and most electronics away from kids for a week prior to travel (we are a family that doesn’t watch much to begin with). This helps them really get excited about movies and games while we travel.  We pack dvd player or iPad games, etc. (kid size headphones are a must)  to entertain the kids. We also bring coloring/activity books, crayons and any favorite card game or book at the time of travel.  I try not to bring out the electronics until the kids get antsy, and usually make it 3-4 hours without it.   I  also wrap a couple of little surprises (little trinket gifts that you find at party stores) and keep them in my purse so that when the going gets tough with the child I can pull out a surprise to change the mood or reward for such things as good listening or patience..etc.

Food

I feel that feeding you child nutritious food on the go is tough but so important to maintain blood sugar levels and moods.  Most people don’t realize how food or lack of food can affect a child’s behavior.  I make sure prior to travel we have a hearty breakfast and I pack meals (depending on how long flight) for each child.  Then I pack individual snacks and family snacks. I keep them eating every 2 hours. Healthy snacks such as berries, carrot sticks and hummus, cucumber sandwiches, celery and almond butter…etc. I stay far away from sugar on the day of travel and we drink tons of water.  (And yes we do use our WEXY bags for the snacks: it keeps an element of surprise to the healthy snacks).

Time Management

It is so important to make sure you have plenty of time…don’t be rushed and stressed out because the kids become stressed and the crying or fighting starts up. Traveling with kids takes a lot of extra time.  Time is your friend, so get an early start and stay on cruise control and all those hiccups like long security lines won’t stress you out.  Look at the day like an adventure and traveling with the kids will become much easier.