Summer Travel with Kids, a Surviver's Guide

The promise of this view is what will get me through that long flight! 

The promise of this view is what will get me through that long flight! 

I want to start by saying that I am so excited for my family's upcoming European summer vacation. We are headed to Ireland where we will meet Dan's parents and stay at their family farm house. It is such a special place and I am so grateful for the experience. However, the best part will be leaving our kids with his parents for one week while we jet off to Italy! Now, here is the inevitable bad news- you can't drive to Europe. In fact to get there you must take a brutal 10 hour flight. It is made even more brutal because we will have three kids, aged 5 and younger tagging along :) Below I highlight some of the items that helped the last time we tackled this trip, I hope they help. And yes, one is a fanny pack...

1. Snacks for kids. I know this is obvious, but I mean load up. Load up on "special" snacks. That means give them juice and candy. All the crap you normally say no to, give in. We had no issues with "sugar highs", they just thought it was so unbelievable they were being handed starbursts from their parents. We thought it was unbelievable that it entertained them for an hour. I do however pack healthy, sustaining foods as well. I like to pack the "boring" food in cute food pouches, so that it still feels like a treat.

2. Entertainment. The first time we traveled a long distance with the entire family, I packed everything AND the kitchen sink. Everything, no matter how I tried, got disorganized and we ended up using practically nothing. Less, is more in this category. A good set of headphones to watch movies is a must! My kids love binge watching on their favorite shows, so I load up the iPad with the favorites, and try to make sure they haven't seen the episodes previously. Next, my favorite is the ever so popular Water Wow's. They are genius, no ink, just water and loads of fun. This trip, I am going to give these plastic bubble blowers a try, they look so cool! The last item we bring is one new toy. I let each kid chose a toy from Target that must be saved for the airplane. The only rule it must be silent and small enough to fit in their backpacks

3. Hands Free. I can't stress this enough. I love Herschel backpacks, they are so cute and yet beyond practical. I have a large one that I can stuff all my carry on needs plus diapers, etc. The kids each have one as well. They put them under their seats for easy access to all previously mentioned entertainment items. Lastly, and I hope I don't lose you with this one, BUT I got a Herschel fanny pack and I LOVE it. I can stuff everyone's passports, and essential items that I might need at a moments notice. Don't judge, just embrace :)

Hope some of this helps!