We are about to embark on the tween years very soon over here at Food, Family, and Chaos! My days will soon be filled with attitudes, drama, and lots of eye rolls. Someone save me, please!
Tweenagers can be hard to deal with at times. Then you add a family vacation in the mix and it can be a recipe for disaster. I’m here to give you the pep talk and tell you that you can do it!
Here are our top tips to helping you survive a family vacation with a tween.
1. Download movies to an iPad before you leave for the airport.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but anyone who has ever traveled with children knows that an iPad can literally save the day. We went on a recent vacation and neglected to download any movies because we just figured we would do it at the airport while we waited. To our shock, the wifi at the airport wasn’t working (because isn’t wifi always soooo dependable.) Needless to say, it was a rough 3-hour flight for both kids and parents.
It’s also a good reminder to bring comfortable headphones, not the cheap earbuds.
2. Figure out your dining options BEFORE you go.
Packing snacks is always a necessity even with kids this age. But most likely you will still need to eat in the airport at some point. Some kids are still picky eaters at this age and you want to avoid the 20 minute “where do you want to eat” conversation at all costs! Knowing what your options are beforehand can make things so must easier. You can do your research online or download the GateGuru app to help with this.
3. Pack smart and weigh your luggage before you leave for the airport.
There is always that one family that you see at the airport pulling underwear and shoes out of one suitcase and stuffing it in another because their luggage is too heavy. You definitely don’t want to be them! Weigh your luggage on a scale at home and check the baggage policy of the airline you are traveling on.
Be aware of the regulations for carry-on toiletries. It’s never fun when the TSA guy makes you throw away your $20 bottle of fancy shampoo. Fix this before you get to the airport.
4. Let everyone carry and wheel their own luggage.
I’m gonna tell you this loud and clear and I want you to listen hard. Are you ready? Your kids are now old enough to carry their own backpacks and wheel their own luggage! I know, it sounds like a revelation. Gone are the days of mommy and daddy the pack-mules.
5. Pack blankies and stuffed animals in your carry-on.
Yes, your kids probably still have something they like to sleep with, whether it be a blankie or a special stuffed animal. And yes you will be in a disaster if they are in checked luggage and that luggage gets lost. Be sure to pack them in their carry-on (that they will be carrying themselves) for safe keeping.
6. Book your flights wisely.
Everyone wants to try to save money when it comes to traveling, but booking a flight that has multiple connections and adds 3 hours to your travel time might not be the best choice. Everyone is irritable, parents and kids included, during a long day of travel. Getting to your destination as fast as possible may be worth a little extra money.
The same logic applies when choosing a flight time. Most kids I know would not do well on a midnight flight. Even though you might have the best intentions and think they will sleep through the flight, trust me they won’t! It will lead to a rough and cranky 1st day of vacation.
7. If you can, pack an extra set of clothes for your kids in your carry-on.
You wouldn’t believe how many drinks kids can still spill on themselves and everyone else at this age. Enough said!
8. Make sure you pack chargers for all your devices in your carry-on.
One charger, even if you all use the same kind, is not going to cut it here. Nobody is going to be happy when their iPad dies in the middle of that movie that you actually remembered to download before you left for the airport.
Hopefully, our tips and tricks can help you have a happy family travel experience. If everyone is still talking to each other by the time you reach your hotel then we have done our job. Happy Tween Traveling!!