Family Kids Travel

Travel Abroad – How to Survive

April 26, 2019

To say this summer is flying by would be an understatement. I feel like the kids just got out of school and we are going on vacation. It is hard to believe that school will start in three weeks!

Our summer has been wonderful. We were fortunate enough to go on a big vacation to see dear friends and experience the beauty around the world. My kids did amazing and I am so proud of their maturity in travel.

They are no strangers to flying, but when your trip consists of 24 hours of travel you have to think long and hard on that experience. Electronic devices, kid’s activity packs, and comfort items are the ways to go. Here is how we survived!

I purchased Amazon Fire Tablets for all of my kids because of the Kids FreeTime and the family sharing (during Amazon Prime Days you can get a big discount and they have incentives for the FreeTime too). We do have old iPhones and iPads and bring those too. Basically, you need to download as many shows and movies on your device that you know your child likes. That way you do not get any tantrums on the plane. Secondly, add fun games and coloring activities. Mine like the color by numbers and some of the mazes. It is a “battle” between them on who can achieve what and how fast – help me! ha! I would also add fun books at their grade level or utilize the apps that your school sponsors. This will keep them engaged and they already know how to use them.

My mom helped me put together activity packs too. We bought these flexible binders and filled them with crayons, colored pencils, mechanical pencils, stickers, and fun worksheets/coloring pages from the internet. Use supply pouches like this to help you organize.

We started prepping for the time change by letting them stay up until the fell asleep the last 1-2 weeks of school. Don’t worry – we warned their teachers and made adjustments to help with school and their performance.

We also tried the children’s Zarbees melatonin on the flight. I am not really one for giving medicine without need, but my pediatrician and several friends provided great feedback on the product. We also used it sparingly. Basically, this medicine is not a medicine, but a natural supplement that encourages sleepiness. It does not keep children asleep. Our game plan was to use this when the kids should nap (when it was bedtime in Asia). The three older would conk out in 15 minutes and the baby took about 30. Let me tell you this helped them to overcome the jet lag. We also used it the first night there and on the return. Check it out. Here is the product we bought!

Our flight left DFW and was nonstop to Tokyo with a layover. Luckily, my hubby has status so we went to the Admiral’s club for a quick shower and snack. You get to relax and enjoy each other. You have time to freshen up and recharge too. Plus, it gives you a minute to acclimate to your environment and plan for the final leg of the trip.

In my opinion, you absolutely need to plan for this. There are a couple ways to gain access to these lounges: buy a day pass, be a guest, use a 3rd party vendor, become a member, elite status, use your credit card, and/or buy a public pass.

Finally, travel comfortably. We put the kids in pjs on the first leg of our journey. They were comfortable and this is when they had their heaviest amount of sleep. We packed a change of clothes for the layover too. I would possibly even take a spare set for kids because accidents do happen. We did invest in these leg pillows (note: some airlines may not allow them – we never asked and just used once we took off and were at the designated altitude and stowed them prior to landing). You can inflate with your mouth, the ac vents, or bring a small hand pump like this one. These were life savers because of the rules with seat belts and air travel. They provided comfort, did not deflate, and made for an all around happy kid!

Now all you have to do is enjoy your trip and do the same on the reverse leg home! Happy travels!



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