Hi guys! I just wanted to share some of the travel tips I’ve learned over the years. From being a full time touring singer to a traveling mom.
As some of you may know, my husband is originally from London, England and I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. We live full time in Los Angeles, California but are constantly jumping between those three areas and more. Over the last few years, I’ve transitioned from being a seasoned solo traveler to a somewhat efficient Momma traveler.
I’ll start from the beginning of my process. Packing.
I pack all clothing and shoes (for myself and Hazel) the night before. I use the rolling method and it has changed my life. Video here:
I save everything else for the day of. This might sound stressful, but for me it works and helps me not to forget anything.
We use a white noise machine for sleeping. This is useful at home, but necessary when we travel. It reminds Hazel of home and makes any new sleeping situation (Hotel, air B&B, etc.) more comfortable. This is the one we’ve used since she was born, here I like it because it can also run solely on batteries, which is crucial when traveling overseas, eliminates the need for an extra adapter.
I also recently invested in a battery operated (audio only) monitor that comes everywhere with us. Inexpensive and again, really helpful overseas. Buy it here
Its important to maintain a level of comfort for your child while traveling. I always try to recreate Hazels Bedroom as best I can wherever we go. This has been so helpful for us. I always bring her current stuffed animal sleeping buddy, and her Minky blanket here
Another thing we do every night at home is diffuse lavender oil (and other bedtime concoctions). Last time we were in London, I purchased a mini travel diffuser from MUJI that has been amazing. I can make any hotel room in the world smell and feel like her cozy bedroom in LA just by diffusing some oils I brought from home. I seriously love that thing. I could do a whole separate post on how I feel about essential oils. omg.
You can buy the travel diffuser here
Another thing I will recommend (more so for babies) is black out material for windows. Jet lag is such a pain. If you are trying to keep your child on a certain sleep schedule while traveling, these are so necessary. You can get them here. They work like a charm.
Travel Day Bag (or diaper bag)
I don’t use this bag on a day to day basis anymore because Hazel is three and out of diapers. But when we travel, this is the one we bring on the plane. I call it a “Mary Poppins” bag because you can literally fit so much in it.
It doesn’t matter where we’re traveling to, or for how long. I always pack this bag the exact same way.
Spare change of clothes
Including underwear and socks. This can be PJ’s if you have a long flight. Even if you’re just flying for an hour, kids are messy, they spill. Flight attendants bring them drinks without a lid, etc. I remember while potty training Haze, she was afraid to use the airplane bathroom. Most airplane bathrooms are loud, small and smelly. Hard for a little one to be comfortable if they’re still learning to use the potty. All of this to say, bring extra clothes and extra diapers/pull ups.
Wipes! Just bring so many wet wipes.
Stick to non perishables if you can. Our go to’s are: Goldfish, granola bars, fruit snacks and fruit cups. I ALWAYS pack something naughty too in case of a meltdown emergency. For example, I know I can get Hazel to do anything if I have Skittles or chocolate. Probably a mom fail, but we let some rules go out the window when we’re flying.
For us, play doh has been amazing. I don’t really allow it in our house, so when we fly its like a special treat for Haze. I try to get a set that has some tools like this one: and she can entertain herself for hours. Another go to for us is small surprises she can open up and discover like mini hatchimals, shopkins, etc. We also always bring a new coloring book with crayons.
Headphones and iPad
I know most airlines provide headphones but they’re not really designed for little ears. So we always bring our own. Some airlines have incredible kid shows/games built in, but smaller, regional ones like Southwest don’t. So I aways like to prep my iPad in advance. We load it with age appropriate games and shows.
*Did you know? Netflix allows you to download your favorite movies/shows so that you can watch them offline.
This one is MAJOR. As the plane ascends and descends, the cabin pressure changes, causing blockage in our ears. As adults, we have tricks to adjust like a forced yawn or chewing gum. Babies and children don’t have this skill yet so these moments during the flight can be very uncomfortable for them. It’s important to get them to keep their jaws open for this period. If you have an infant, feed them or offer a pacifier during take off and landing. For an older child, give them something to chew, like a gummy or fruit snack. This keeps a semi open jaw while distracting from the pressure change, avoiding discomfort.
Inflatable Foot Cushion:
There are many on the market but this little thing is a game changer. It turns pretty much any economy/premium economy seat into a first class seat for a kid. Filling the space between the actual seat and the seat in front of you, creating a bed for babies and small children. This is the one I have First Class Kid
and a couple of others:
It inflates directly from the air vent above you and deflates to the size of a small jacket. Super easy to pack in your carry on.
Blanket (or comfortable item)
This might not be necessary for everyone but I bring Hazels Minky blanket (mentioned above) from her bed at home on every flight. Again, it helps make everything feel a little more familiar and comfortable. Especially if it’s an overseas flight when I know she’s going to be sleeping for a big chunk. This can also be just anything that provides comfort to your child, like a stuffed animal etc.
Random Overseas Tip
When traveling stateside, it’s fine to push your stroller all the way to the gate and check it as you board. It is returned to you as you disembark the plane. Very convenient. Unfortunately we’ve found this is NOT the case when traveling overseas, particularly Europe.
Instead of returning your stroller to you right away at the gate, they actually unload ALL baggage first. Then deliver strollers/car seats separately and lastly to passengers waiting at the gate. We once waited by the gate for an HOUR for our stroller at Heathrow. By the time we got it, the customs line was almost too long to bear with a small child. If you can manage without the stroller until you get to baggage claim, I highly recommend checking your stroller and car seat with your luggage when you check in and reclaim them all at once at your destination baggage claim.
I hope this information was helpful to you. If you have any questions or want me to elaborate on something please don’t be afraid to ask. Is there something I left out? Have you used any of the products I mentioned? Let me know some of your personal travel tips in the comments below!