Are you yearning to taste the magic of travel but scared of soaring the skies with the kids? The trick is to plan ahead rather than winging it. It’s possible to survive tantrums, delays and bad food if you’re prepared. Here are a few tips from seasoned travel moms to help you on your way.

  1. Plan. The hours you spend researching the most kid-friendly restaurants and hotels with a pool will pay off in spades.
  2. Pack light. Have you ever finished a trip and thought, “Wow I should have brought more luggage!” Of course not. You’ll have more fun if you aren’t saddled with a heavy load. One trick for packing: get ready the day before, when you have time to cut your stuff in half.
  3. Bring the essentials. Kid-friendly headphones can make an international flight a breeze as the children watch movies or TV. Make a list for your carry-on—you don’t want to be caught out without enough baby wipes or healthy snacks to survive a long delay.
  4. Allow enough time. If you stay calm, the kids will reflect that easy-going mood. Get everyone to bed early the night before and allow an extra hour at the airport. The airport itself can become part of the adventure if you’re not hustling the kids because you got there late.
  5. Take direct flights and door-to-door ground transport. You’ll cut your transit time in half and arrive with rested, happy kids and a stress-free brain. It’s worth the extra cost.

  1. Traveling abroad for pleasure? Choose a family-friendly destination. Italy, for instance, is famous for its welcoming attitude toward young children. If you’re breastfeeding, find out the customs in the country you’re headed for.
  2. Remember to relax. Schedule in your TM sessions when the kids are napping or trade off downtime with your partner or another mom. When you feel refreshed and alert, the whole trip will go smoother. Remember, you’re on vacation, and that means “me” time for you too.