Tips for Traveling with Young Children

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Perhaps those who find it most difficult to take vacations and travel in general are parents of young children. These people face a variety of challenges, such as dealing with naptimes while traveling, bringing mountains of baby supplies, checking additional luggage and entertaining their children in small, confined spaces. Thankfully, there are several helpful tips that can make travel easier for these harried adults who are in desperate need of a little downtime.

travel with kids

travel with kids

One of the most important things that parents can do is be organized. Parents should consider the length of the drive or the time of the flight before committing to a set of travel plans. In general, it is easier for very young children to fly rather than drive because they will not be confined for such long periods. Most domestic flights are five hours or less, and airline passengers can unbuckle their seatbelts and move about the cabin for short times. Layovers also provide time for children to burn off energy and to get a snack and use the bathroom. Parents should plan ahead by making lists of things to pack and by being sure to bring extra clothes, diapers and snacks.

Parents should find simple, inexpensive ways to keep their children entertained. If they have the money and the space, they could consider purchasing simple, inexpensive gifts to give their children for each day of travel. For example, recommends coloring books and crayons, a small car, a new book or an electronic game. These gifts will provide children with something to look forward to and will provide hours of fun each day. Parents can also come up with fun travel games, such as I Spy.

Traveling by air can bring its own set of problems. Babies and toddlers may really struggle with the change in air pressure. Parents can try to give infants a bottle or toddlers a sippy cup to drink from during takeoffs and landings. Children may also want their favorite stuffed animals or blankets if they are not used to flying because they may be scared. Parents should consider loading a few movies onto their tablets that can be watched in-flight.

It can be expensive to travel with children. Although they may be small, it is still pricey to find hotel rooms with enough beds and to purchase three meals each day for them. One of the best options when spending these large amounts of money is to find a credit card that richly rewards each purchase made on it.

One of the best credit card options for young families who frequently fly domestically is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Card is what we found when we used the comparison tool from This card comes in two versions, the Plus and the Premier. Although the Plus may appear to be the better option at first because of its lower annual fee of $69, the Premier may actually be the wiser choice with its annual fee of $99. Families who have $2,000 of purchase on their cards within the first three months after opening their accounts will receive 50,000 bonus points in their accounts, which is enough for two domestic flights. Premier cardholders also receive 6,000 bonus points every year that they keep their accounts open. This is equal to $80 towards a domestic flight and completely makes up for the increased annual fee.

Rapid Rewards cardholders can earn points every day. While each dollar spent on Southwest earns 2 points, each dollar spent on any other category, such as gas, groceries or clothing, earns 1 point. Each point is worth about 1.5 cents on domestic travel with Southwest. Since Southwest bought out AirTran, the airline offers an even larger fleet of jets with more times and areas of service.

There are several reasons why Southwest is the perfect choice for families, especially for those with young children. Southwest does not pre-assign seats. Although parents may worry that they may be split up in the airplane, Southwest gives boarding priority to families with children under the age of 4. In addition, parents can bring one stroller and one car seat for each young child at no additional charge. These items can be checked at the check-in counter or at the gate. Southwest does not charge for the first two bags for each paying passenger, allowing families to bring all the clothing, toys and baby supplies that they need at no additional cost.

Traveling with young children is not always easy. It takes confidence, determination, patience, and large amounts of planning. Choosing the Southwest Rapid Rewards Card is one way that parents can ease the burden of traveling. With this card, they can quickly get rewards, earning them free travel on an airline that offers convenience and savings for every flight.




  1. Uplifting Families says

    Great tips and tricks to survive travel with a young one. We went out of town this past weekend and I was surprised that my youngest did very well in the car. It was only a few hours away but it was his very first road trip. We had a tablet that kept him entertained for most of the trip. Thank goodness for portable chargers too!.

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