Kerry Lyons is THE mom we all envy! She has five kids (including identical triplets), works full time in Marketing, runs marathons as a hobby and still manages to maintain a thriving blog, The Lyons Den. If this is not enough, she is also funny, smart, energetic and super sweet. AND she travels with her brood on a regular basis - from domestic road trips to international vacations. So I reached out to her to get her five best tips on traveling with multiple kids. Read and book your next trip!
"Even though Culture Baby delivers the cutest, coolest kid stuff from around the world right to your front door, sometimes you still need to spread your wings and take flight. If that flight should include your globetrotting offspring, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure smooth sailing at 35,000 feet.
Allow extra time. It seems obvious but whenever I’m traveling solo, I’m always down to the wire -- sweating as I repeatedly check my watch, wondering if I’ll make it through security and dashing to the gate just as they’re about to close the door. Do NOT take this approach if you’re traveling with your family; the one time our family did, we missed our flight. Why? Not because the gates were closing but because we needed to check our bags and to do that, you need to check in at least an hour before departure for domestic flights and often even more so for international destinations. Lesson learned! We now build in extra time and suggest you do the same. This way you won’t be foiled by unexpected traffic, a lost binkie or an explosive
Flying time = feeding time. If you have a baby, have a bottle at the ready. If you have a toddler, a sippy cup or lollipop will do. In fact, a lollipop will work wonders for kids of all ages. Having something to suck on during takeoff and landing will minimize your little one’s discomfort. Once airborne, many kids turn into serial snackers, which as it turns out, isn’t a bad way to help pass the time. Pack some finger foods in your carry on to avoid the overpriced, unhealthy options that still prevail at most airports. For the little ones, Cheerios, raisins and Goldfish should do the trick – especially if you mix it up and call it trail mix. For bigger kids, pack their favorite snacks and be sure everyone drinks a lot of water so they’re hydrated when they land; this is especially important if you’re heading to another time zone – being well hydrated will literally help you all to bounce back more quickly.
Don’t travel light. Since you can’t predict if your flight will be delayed or your kid will be the one in need of the barf bag in the seat-back pocket, it’s best to be prepared. Be sure to pack extra extra diapers, wipes, provisions and outfits – including a change of clothes for you if you can squeeze it in. You may feel like a pack mule as you load your brood on board but no one wants to land in London (or anywhere else for that matter) in pee-soaked pants… which could very well happen to you if your lap baby’s diaper springs a leak. In this instance, it’s better safe than sorry!
Keep ‘em busy. Fortunately, children are easily entertained. Unfortunately, they probably think “entertainment” includes kicking the seat in front of them. While your kids will find this extremely amusing, your fellow passengers will not. The solution? Carry a few things in your carry on to keep their hands busy and minds engaged. A notebook with some crayons and stickers offers bigger kids a great way to create their own travel journal. Little ones will like coloring too but for other options, consider pipe cleaners, PlayDoh, Matchbox cars or a mini Etch-a-Sketch. Having a bag full of fun will keep your kids happy and the woman in the seat in front them even happier.
Embrace electronics. There’s a good chance you’re already in the habit of sharing your phone or tablet with your junior gamer. If not, by the end of a long haul flight, you will be. Download some new games, shows, books, movies and apps before your trip and try to include some content about your destination. Like us, many children like to “know before they go” and it will make their travel experience all the more memorable when they witness the sights they’ve seen or read about firsthand. Don’t forget to fully charge all your devices before your departure and don’t put your chargers in your checked luggage -- there’s a good chance you’ll need to recharge before reaching your final destination.
With these tips in mind, you should find those friendly skies even friendlier and arrive at your destination with your sunny disposition in tact."