Traveling with Kids? Tips From the Fernandez Family. (don’t laugh). And some travel goodie giveaways too!

Travel tips from the FERNANDEZ FAMILY?  Are you freaking kidding me?   Yes, I know, we could write a book on our travel misadventures.  However, with our misadventures comes the opportunity to learn from our many, many mistakes. 

travel families vacation tips

Yes, that is a camera man from Fox23 following us around at the airport. At 4:30 A.M.

In fact, we also had some help from Tulsa’s own The Gadget Company (my hubby’s favorite store) and Ding-Bats (THE go-to shop for baby and child gear) on some VERY helpful travel gadgets. 

 We’ll be showing them to you on today’s Marnie’s Mommy Moment on Fox23 Daybreak this morning.   And the awesome owners of these shops (Amy Adkins and Nicole Randolf) have agreed to give my readers gift certificates to their stores so you can also share in their awesomeness.  Just leave me a comment on my blog and you’ll be entered into win a $25 gift certificate from The Gadget Company and  from Ding-Bats! (they have online stores, so you don’t have to live in Tulsa to shop!)

And for those that know my husband for more than five minutes know that he is slightly anal.  But that trait comes in handy when packing for six people and schleping kids across the country.  He’s come up with a list of tips that probably saved our marriage on this last trip. 

travel tips vacation with kids

Yes, it's all "happy happy" until someone loses a boarding pass...

Shane’s Travel Tips

(editorial comments provided by his wife)

  •  Combine clothes into luggage based on who shares a room together – we did this for our California trip and it was so helpful. 
  •  Pack with a goal of no more than 45lbs per bag and pre-weigh before arriving at the airport. This leave 5lbs per bag for souvenirs/gifts purchased abroad   – The Gadget Company has a nifty little scale just for this purpose. 
  •  Pack all non-twist top toiletries in a zip lock bag and compress the air out before zipping closed. – Shane is much better at this than me.  I always end up with a bag full of exploded goo. 
  • Use the frame of the bag and shoes to protect fragile souvenirs on the way home
  •  Packing order:  (This is SO Shane – as I just throw things in there…don’t you all go thinking that I am this organized). 
  •        Bottom of luggage-Base layer of pants/shorts
  •       Middle of luggage- Fragile or bulky items (shoes, toiletries, hair dryers) surrounded by fill (underwear, socks, rolled t-shirts)
  •       Top of bag- dress shirts, sport coats, dresses
  • Use a bag that can expand but do not let your spouse know that it does – (too late Shane.:))
  •  Use luggage that has a unique look for easy identity at baggage claim – Ummm, our military themed sniper bags usually do the trick. 
  • Assign a bag to the kids and make them work for their vacation.  It’s helpful if they can walk first. Baby J didn’t do too well at carrying her diaper bag.
  •  Carry a piggy back strap
  • Fill the inside of your shoes with underwear, socks, etc to protect the shape of the shoe and fill voids
  •  ALWAYS carry spare underwear in your carry-on.  And make sure they are clean.  And hole-less. 
  •  Sit your kids down at baggage claim.  Leashes that you can tie to the chairs work too. 🙂  The Gadget Company also has a cool little luggage locater…you might be able to use it on the kids too…
  • Don’t forget the charger for the cell phone or computer – We’ve learned our lesson the hard way on this one.
  • Guess what?  You can check your stroller at the gate.  Learned this one the hard way too.  Baby J got REALLY heavy lugging her around the airport after our flight had been delayed like 15 times. 
  • And save your travel reciepts for at least six months.  This came in VERY handy when Budget Rental Car tried to blame us for a wreck that we did not do.  And they sent us a bill for TEN GRAND.  If we had not kept the receipt that showed our mileage when we turned in the car – they probably would have tried to take us to court.  Needless to say – we won that battle and will NEVER EVER USE BUDGET AGAIN. 
  • Make a lot of noise as you approach security with your family.  The guards will see you coming and give you your own security line. 
  • Make sure you are all sitting together.  I forgot that little detail and I ended up with a squirmy and fussy Baby J on my lap in between two very large men for a four hour flight.  And our boys ended up next to some unsuspecting man who I am pretty sure will never fly again.
  • Oh – and make sure your baby has her favorite toy.  For Baby J, this would be her Mr. T. Talking Keychain.  Everyone in our waiting area got to hear “I Pity The Fool” on repeat.  For like an hour. 
  • Travel tips family vacation

    Baby J's Mr. T impersonation...

But the most important thing?  Patience.  And a sense of humor.  Oh yeah.  And Shane’s number one tip?  Bloody Mary’s on the plane.

travel tips for families

Nicholas doing a little light reading on the plane.

Happy travels!  And don’t forget to comment for your chance to win gift certificates to The Gadget Company and Ding-Bats!  (they have online stores, so you don’t have to live in Tulsa to win!)