The last thing you want to be in the airport and on the airplane is “that” person with the screaming children annoying everyone, silently crying to yourself. DIA is one of the biggest airports in the country. Traveling alone is quite an ordeal, but traveling with kids makes my anxiety soar through the roof. Will the security line be long? Will my double stroller fit? Did I pack enough milk and treats? Did I forget the iPad? Did I bring enough diapers? Truly, the list goes on and on.
With holidays approaching, families will be traveling to visit their loved ones. And if you’re a family like us, you have two small children with whom to brave a long flight. However, with a couple of tips and tricks, there is no need for anxiety during the holiday season, just a relaxing trip.
Skip the lines
To save time through the security lines, check out “Nexus U.S. Customs and Border Protection.” If you are traveling internationally to places like Canada (like we are this Christmas) Nexus comes in handy if you don’t have a passport. All you do is visit Nexus U.S. Customs and Border Protection and apply online. You will be asked questions such as where you have lived in the past, and then you schedule an appointment to meet with someone who will also ask questions. However, it’s only $50 per application, instead of $145 for a passport. It also doubles as a pre-check access, giving you the ability to skip the long DIA security lines, and go straight to the front with your family.
Twenty-four hours before I leave, I typically download movies, and TV shows from Netflix onto an iPad or cell phone that the kids can use. And these are shows I know will entertain them, and that they will be excited about.
This means that you’ll need to make sure you electronic devices are fully charged so that they have enough battery to sustain the kid throughout the airport and flight.
I like to pack headphones as well, so that it keeps the plane ride nice and quiet. Make sure you get toddler-friendly headphones, so the decibels don’t get too high, and you don’t have to worry about the annoying ear pieces provided on the flight. I try and purchase the more comfortable big round ones that go over the ear.
Introduce New Items
If there are any special treats or toys that your kids don’t usually get, use them for the trip! Special coloring books, stickers, treats, and action figures. You name it! Don’t use them at the same time, but pull them out little by little so your toddlers play with it for a while before the next surprise. This will help pass the time.
Stretch Your Naps
Try and stretch your children’s naps, to where they can sleep on the plane. It might be a miserable car ride, and a miserable security line, but if you can stretch their naps, and help them stay awake so that they sleep on the plane, that will give you some quiet and peace, and also help the flight seem a lot shorter.
Bring It All
I was scared that my BOB double stroller wouldn’t fit through security, or that there would be some type of size regulation. NO! If I can fit my BOB double stroller, you can fit yours! Use the airport in all its ways. Check your car seats, which each airline does for free. Put the kids in the stroller, or bring your carrier. Don’t make your little ones walk if they don’t have to; it will slow you down. Traveling with kids does not need to be overwhelming. If you make sure you have it all, it truly can be a, “Happy Holidays” for everyone.