Travel Tips

Travel Tips for Families

my favorite tricks for family vacations

Traveling is one of my all-time favorite things to do, especially with my family in tow. As a mother of seven, our trips take considerable planning. Over the years, I’ve really honed the art of travel and picked up several tricks along the way. These are some of my favorite tips for keeping travel less stressful for all of us!


1. Finding the Best Flight Rates

Google Flights is a great tool for comparing flights and in turn, saving money. Start by visiting the site and then put in your destination along with airports to which you’re departing and arriving. From there, take a look at the calendar to see the cheapest flight for the general time frame for your trip.   In the past, moving the flights just a day or two has saved us hundreds!

2. Lodging

For our family, it’s much more affordable to get a VRBO vs. two hotel rooms.  Because of this, I start by browsing VRBO and then I make a folder for the destination.   You can favorite houses you like and add them to your folder to compare and find one that best suits your needs (or to save for future trips.)

3. Luggage

If you’re flying with an airline that offers free carry-on bags.  Instead of paying to check luggage, have each kid pack a carry-on bag.  Most VRBO listings have a washer and dryer in them, so it’s easy to wash clothes.  This cuts down on the amount of stuff you bring and you don’t have to worry about lost luggage or additional airline fees.
Bonus tip: I found these amazing bags from Tobiq Travel that I absolutely love for traveling with my kids. They’re spacious and separated out into different compartments instead of one large section. They’re great!

4. Traveling with baby

When my kids were babies, the Doona car seat & stroller combo was a game changer! The stroller drops off the base of the seat, which makes it so simple to click together and navigate airports. It’s also airplane certified, so once we boarded, we would put buckle the babies in their car seats into their own plane seat. We didn’t have to worry about toting around anything additional because of the compact design. Even just for daily life, the design makes life with baby so much easier.

5. Choosing seats on your flight

When we travel as a family, I always put one little with an older kid as a sort of buddy system.  We typically take up two rows, so I will put any of the “kickers” behind our seats so they aren’t bothering someone else.

6. personal items

Each of the kids have a travel backpack that I fill with items to keep them happy during travel.  Before leaving for a trip, I always go to Walmart and buy their favorite snacks.  I fill a gallon bag for each kid with their snacks and keep it in their backpack which they bring as their personal item (separate from carry-on.)  I also add a portable charge and cord to each of their backpacks along with headphones.  For the littles, I may add a coloring book or something little they can play with. Snacks and screen time can go a long way for your sanity!
Bonus: Bring a cheap, disposable water bottle to the airport and drink it before arriving so it can be stored in the backpacks. It can be filled once you get through security & will save you a small fortune. Airport snacks & water is insanely expensive, and if these get lost, it’s no big deal.

7. Prepping the night before

The night before the flight, we download Netflix, Amazon Prime and/or DIsney+ and make sure all devices are fully charged.  If we check our bags I have them each put a swimsuit in their backpack and sometimes a change of clothes just to be on the safe side.
I also make sure to pack a few extra items to make our stay more comfy. The rooms can be so dry at night, so I found a great mini humidifier to pack, along with a travel white noise machine so we sleep more soundly.

8. Take advantage of delivery

I like to place a Walmart order for snacks and supplies to be delivered the day we arrive at the house.  I do my best to line that up in advance so we aren’t running to the store as soon as we arrive and can settle in instead.  It makes for a more relaxing first day after traveling all day!

Hello, World!

9. Visiting parks & large Areas

Visiting large parks like Disney can be a little anxiety-inducing when your traveling with littles. Because of this, we always planned matching t-shirts to make it easier to spot each other. We took it a step farther and printed labels with our contact info on them to stick to their backs of the kids’ shirts, and sometimes wrote it on their arms with a pen just to be safe. This came in handy more than once!