The 4 Things My Littles Needed When We Flew (For the First Time)

I’m so excited to finally start telling y’all about the three week trip we took in October to some southwest states.  Both my sister with her family (her high school sweetheart husband and five lovely littles) and my parents would be in Texas for a week for work, so we decided to meet up with them there for a mini family vacation.  We’ve already adopted the goal to visit All 50 States Before They Graduate so giving us a reason to visit Texas was all we needed to enter trip planning mode! Because we also wanted to visit some nearby states while we were out there, we flew to Dallas two weeks before meeting up with them for some road trip fun.

The flights from home were the first exciting part of our adventure.  For most of my littles, these were their first flights ever.  I was both excited and nervous.  With four littles ones on one very early flight followed by a quick connection onto a second flight, there were a lot of variables to consider.  But, here’s how I kind of approach these types of situations – how bad can it go? 🙂  We plan, prepare, and wing it when unexpected things happen.  It helps that I have the best teammate for adventure.  My husband is quick to lead, easy to follow, and a workhorse.   

But, here’s the real scoop – we love it! We love the fun of exploring new things with our littles.  For us, the pay-out is always worth the risk of things being crazy or things being hard.  Here are some things I’ve learned they need while we travel:

1. My attention.  They need me to answer their questions, relish in the excitement of the moment, set expectations, and prepare them for what’s coming next.  It’s easy for me to focus on keeping track of all the to-dos, but it’s so crucial they don’t get just dragged along for the ride. 

2. Movement.  Are your littles like mine? Sitting in a waiting area, then sitting on a plane, then riding in a car to a contained hotel room is not exactly their idea of a fun day.  Finding open space for them to move around, even if only for short amounts of time is super helpful.  Simple things like hopping from tile to tile or stepping outside to feel the shining sun are great pick me ups.

3. Good food.  I like to eat, frequently, even when I’m not pregnant. 🙂 My littles seem to have learned this from me. 🙂 Keeping this rhythm going while we travel is not always easy, but is always worthwhile.  We pack an abundance of healthy snacks and always look for fresh options.

4. Rest.  The excitement of new experiences can be tiring.  I try to anticipate when my littles need rest.  There are times when they will resist that rest time, so I then insist.  In my opinion, the little battle is worth the benefit of how they feel after the rest.  And oy vey, if they don’t rest!  

For them, it’s all fun and it stays fun for them if I keep their feelings and needs in mind.  And I gotta say, it’s more fun for me, if it’s fun for them.  Now, I’d love to hear from you! What works for your family while traveling? We fly rarely, so this special treat was great for all of us.  I’m sure there are some experienced family fliers out there with lots of helpful tips to share.  Please do! 

You can check out how we road trip here! 


  1. says

    I agree on the things — My time is one thing that I really try to give the kids when we are traveling. We have special games we play when we travel, Squiggle is only taken on trips. My kids are a bit older 9 and 13 so in some ways that has made it easier. They are experienced travelers. This summer we flew around the world — left Seattle and flew west until we got back to Seattle. I love them having their own backpacks with a blanket, stuffed animal, treat, drawing pad.

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