How to Survive a Trip with Small Children


Welcome to Be Our Guest Fridays!

Be Our Guest Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Tanya from Mom’s Small Victories and Helen from My Novel Opinion where we feature guest posts by our favorite bloggers and authors. We started this feature as a fun way to give back to the blogging community. We are excited to share with you these creative, inspiring and knowledgeable bloggers.

My Co-Host Helen from My Novel Opinion

You can find my fabulous co-host Helen on her blog, on Facebook, on G+, and on Twitter. See her blog for more ways you can find Helen.

Today’s Guest Post

I am happy to have my blogging friend Rachel from A Life in Tune with us today for Be Our Guest Fridays. I met Rachel through a mom and goals blogging group and love hearing about her travels with her husband and two young kids. It amazes me that she ventures internationally with her little ones and though there are bumps along the way, she is showing her kids the world and having a great time. I live vicariously through her travel stories as it seems till now I primarily only Travel the World in Books. I am so excited she’s here to share her travel tips with us. We are hoping to take our kids on a big trip this year before the youngest starts school and I’ll definitely be taking these tips to heart when planning our itinerary. Rachel is also a piano teacher and music therapist so stop by and check out Rachel at a Life in Tune after you tune in to what she has to say here as our featured guest. Welcome Rachel!


Photo Credit: A Life in Tune

How to Survive a Trip with Small Children…Without Going Crazy!

By Rachel from A Life in Tune

It’s no secret that trips are different when you bring your children, whether you have one child, two children, or six children. I don’t know how many of you are planning trips and vacations for 2015, but I wanted to share some of the things that have worked best for us when we have travelled with our young children just in case anyone is considered taking a big trip with their kids in tow.

My daughter is currently 4 and a half years old, and my son is 21 months. They have both been travelling with us since they were infants. We literally took them for extended weekend trips while I was on maternity leave. There was no way that I could have a month or two off of work and not go anywhere! Also, my daughter has been to Europe with us twice and my son has been once.

In the past, I’ve written about things we have done to prepare our children for big trips and I have also written about ways we kept our kids busy while in Europe last May. Here are a few more things I thought you should know!

1. Assume that they will throw fits.

This is a tough one for many parents. I absolutely hate when my kids throw fits, but all kids throw fits at some point. It is still frustrating when you are out and your kid decides to complain about something totally ridiculous, but just accepting that that is going to happen is going to make you much more prepared to deal with it. That being said, we have always felt that the kids can throw a fit at home or they can throw a fit while we’re on vacation. It will happen either way!

2. Plan things you think they will enjoy.

A lot of making a trip with little kids work has to do with how you plan. We typically plan more than we think we can do in a day, because that’s just how we do things, but we tend to look at the plans as options and we assume that we will not do all of them. We also tend to plan kid-friendly places for the mornings, because the kids tended to nap in the strollers in the afternoons, so that is when we went to the “boring” places, like museums, etc. We also tried to plan outdoor things at least once a day and stopped at almost every playground we came across to let them burn some energy.

3. Pack snacks.

If you have kids, you probably already do this, and vacations are no exception. Their little bellies don’t hold as much and they tend to get hungry before we do, so we always made sure we had some healthy snacks available. This also helped to keep them busy if we were on a walking tour or something.

4. Give them something to do.

You know your kid and what they like to do. Make sure you bring something they can do in the stroller, train, plane, etc. I would never assume that my child would be interested in anything we are doing, even if I really thought they would like it. When we were in Sintra, Portugal last May, I really thought my daughter would enjoy visiting Pena Palace and I even showed her pictures of it before we ever left the country, and she was super excited. The day we were there, I cannot tell you how many times she told me “there’s nothing pretty here” because she was in a bad mood. My husband and I simply ignored her outrageous remarks in the hopes of avoiding an all-out fit.

5. Be flexible.

I over plan our trips, and I am not afraid to admit that, but one thing I have learned to do is to plan for things to go differently from the way I have planned them. Kids are people, too, and sometimes they have their own ideas about what they want to do, and unfortunately, those plans don’t always fit with ours.

That being said, I hope you will consider taking your children on a trip this year!


About Rachel:

From her About Me page:

Photo Credit: A Life in Tune

I am…

…a mother of two beautiful blue-eyed babies …a wife to a software developer …a music therapist …a pianist …a piano teacher …a lover of books …a traveler …an aspiring writer

I blog both for my readers and for myself. A Life in Tune is all about trying to live a life in tune with myself, those around me, and with my belief about what is best for my family. My posts cover a myriad of topics that includes natural birthing, being a mother, travelling, frugal living, cooking, and more. I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it!

Feel free to contact me at anytime at uepianogirl (at) gmail (dot) com.


Thanks so much for sharing your traveling with kids tips with us Rachel. I look forward to introducing our kids to other countries, cultures and experiences that only travel can provide. Time to get our passports ready!

Where have you traveled to with your kids? Where would you like to go? What destinations are on your bucket list?


  1. Thanks for sharing these tips for Be Our Guest Fridays! We moved overseas when my daughter was 2, and I once calculated how many air miles she had flown by the time she started school. I can’t remember the number at the moment but it was much more than I had flown by age 18! Both of my children travel well long distance, but these tips will certainly come in helpful if they ever decide not to cooperate 🙂

  2. Wow – this post is timely! I’m leaving at 5 am tomorrow morning with my 4 and 2 yr olds for a 6-7 hour drive. We pack tons of snacks, toys games, DVDs, iPad, anything you can think of. And – yes – they always have meltdowns anyway!

    1. Ohh good luck Sarah! Getting there is half the battle and keeping them entertained away from home is the other! Hope you have a safe and uneventful car ride.

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