Lifesavers for Traveling with Kids

September 14, 2018


We had our first international flight this week to the Dominican Republic, and a first time on a plane for a few of our kiddos! I think they were more excited about the flight than the actual vacation. We were pretty lucky with low airport traffic and lines both in Atlanta and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and got through really quickly. (We shared some tips for getting through customs here.) Here are a few lifesavers for traveling with kids that especially came in handy on the plane!

  1. Headphones – These were inexpensive and fit Rocco and Azelie well! We knew they would be the toughest to keep content during the wait on the flight so we bought a splitter as well and they were both able to use the tablet at the same time. I pre-downloaded Blue’s Clues and Little Bear as well as a few learning apps that they were able to use in flight. Azelie still lost it about an hour and a half in from being over tired and over contained, but she passed out and slept the rest of the way!
  2. Fire Kids Tablet – Last minute we bought the amazon fire tablet to have for the plane. I am so glad we did.  Since we had such an early rise time and several long waits for things, having the headphones and tablet prevented some toddler-pocolypse moments. I love how simple the interface is as well.
  3. Face and hand wipes for all the messes when you aren’t near a restroom, as well as Thieves Hand Purifier in every bag for hand sanitization. I may have gone overboard cleaning their hands every few hours, but you mamas know just how awful being sick on vacay can be;) I was willing to do anything to avoid it!
  4. Hand fans – The Punta Cana airport doesn’t have A/C, and it’s very humid so Gabe found these that are easy for kids to use and keep cool with. So this is ideal for any hot weather destinations!
  5. Neck pillows – Found these awesome hooded neck pillows from Love Taza’s travel line for kids, and they have come in handy for both car rides and flights now. Gabriel, Max, and Veronica LOVE these. They fit easily in their backpacks and gave them the ability to nap even in the middle seat.
  6. Water wow pads – These are inexpensive and good for the younger ages because it gives them the satisfaction of painting using only water! You fill the small pens and “paint” the pages as colors appear. I also picked up the color wonder markers and paper since they make no mess.
  7. Cubcoats – These are brilliant. Stuffed animal friends that unzip and turn into sweatshirt hoodies. These have been Max’s bffs the past few months, so we brought a few along for them to have during the plane ride.

A few other things we loved having were backpacks for each of the older kids with their activities to use at the airport. Rocco even insisted on wearing one, and he surprisingly did really well with it! I also filled my own backpack with snacks for the plane which came to the rescue more times than I can count.

Lastly, I researched some natural sleep aids for babies, and Zarabees sleep tablets came to the rescue. We ended up using this mid-flight when we had some super cranky tired toddlers, and it worked like a charm. They both slept for the second half of the flight. Any other helpful travel aids for kids you have used?


We knew we didn’t have more hands available than two suitcases so we made it work! We checked the two large suitcases, so we only had backpacks to carry through customs and security. This freed us up to hold Rocco or Azelie when they got tired of walking.

I won’t deny that traveling with kids can be all kinds of crazy at times. All things considered the flight went very well, and it gave me a little more courage to try again sometime. However, toddlers abroad are still toddlers. They made sure to get in their meltdowns as soon as we got to the hotel room. So believe me, we aren’t exempt from stressful moments where I question why we travel. Then we get to see them experience a new world together. The time they have together always grows their friendship, and THAT is worth a little sweat and tears;)

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  • Did you use the sleeping aids as directed or did you feel you had to consult a doctor? I use Luna’s sleep aids for my 4 yr old occasionally but am curious about zarbees as they say it’s ok for younger kids.

    • I think it’s always safe to ask your doctor! I am not familiar with Luna’s, but I used Zarbees according to bottle directions! Since it uses melatonin, a natural sleep supplement that doesn’t have groggy side effects I felt confident using it:)

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