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Dear Mom

APRIL 10, 2023

Dear Mom,

Any tips or recommendations on traveling with small children?  With the holidays coming up, I am already worried about traveling on an airplane to visit family with my three (under the age of 8) kids.


Darcy Ure - 5th grade essay chairTravel tips for young children:

1.  Bring your own pack n play with you. Since we were traveling in so many different hotels, I wanted my baby’s sleep not to be disrupted so I brought our pack n play. So even though it was a new hotel, with different smells and sounds, her familiar crib was the same every night and she slept so well.

2.  Sound machine. Just like the familiar bed, the comfort of white noise lulled her to sleep and felt like home.

3.  Car seat on the plane is a must for toddlers. So worth it for nap time and to keep them restrained.

4.  A small back pack with new crayons, stickers, coloring books, snacks, and a few new dollar store toys work wonders. Tell the kids they can’t open them up until after takeoff so it’s exciting and the anticipation gets you some free time.

(All of these can be adapted for road trip as well.

Enjoy it!!  Family travel is my favorite. I truly believe in it. Memories to last a lifetime!!

Darcy Ure, Mother of 7


Version 2Travel for holidays: I like to go to the dollar section of Target and pick out a few new coloring books, toys, etc for the trip. Great ideas for staying busy without screens: pipe cleaners with beads or fruit loops to string, marshmallows and toothpicks, stickers and colorful card stock.  Lastly, LOTS of snacks! You can never have too many snacks! I give each child their own brown paper bag of snacks to enjoy at their leisure. For young children, don’t forget to pack an extra outfit for not just your child, but for YOU as well. This might come in handy for a mom who is comforting a motion-sick when the unexpected happens.

Natalie Kjelstrom
2017 California Mother of the Year


Dear Mom,  I travel quite frequently for work and each time I return home, my children want to know if I brought them a “trip treat.”  Any thoughts on how best to handle this situation before it spirals out of control??

Sheila MonkeHi there dear lovely ‘Dear Mom’… here is my response to ‘gifting’ when returning from travels…

Our children really looked forward to small bags of Cheetos for example… easy to pick up at airport and an extra special treat that they did not normally receive at home:)))

Sheila Monke, 2014 Nebraska Mother of the Year




10891526_1647745535452893_406588046246471593_nWhat a wonderful opportunity to teach your child a character trait! Yes, bless the child with a “trip treat” but call it a “character treat.” Before each trip introduce a new character trait for them to be working on while you’re gone. For example – gratitude. Upon returning with a little prize (toy, candy, etc), say, “Sara, what is gratitude and how did you exercise it while I was gone?” Sometimes they will get the treat and perhaps other times they won’t. Great way to teach them character development like tolerance, dependability, obedience, faithfulness, self-control, generosity, honesty and more.

Pam Kanaly, 2015 National Mother of Achievement


IMG_1566My husband did a lot of traveling when we had small children. He often brought home free stuff from his conventions or the hotel. Kids should be happier that their parent is home than that they get something.

Re: travel games. I put together a travel bag with games like magnetic gadgets like geo-shapes, checkers, animals, insects and/or people. Bingo boards with pictures. I spy with my little eye… is a fun game that helps kid learn how to describe things by color, shape, size, texture etc.  Drawing with a pencil and a paper is always popular.

Lila Shoemaker, 2014 Arizona Mother of the Year

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