Your baby screaming on a crowded plane. Your 5-year-old asking repeatedly, "Are we there yet?" Your tweens and teens fighting in the backseat. Not to mention, lugging multiple suitcases, bottles of milk, toys, snacks, strollers and more.
This is a vacation?
Visit your local library and see if they have travel kits available.
-Natalie Joy, Medford
Involve your kids in the planning process. If they're old enough to use the computer for research, ask them to look up the country, city or town you're visiting and find five interesting facts to share with the rest of the family.
-Leslie Gesser Pric e, Rockville Centre
See if there is a Pea Pod or a green grocer type of service that will send essentials to the hotel. We did this at Disney and didn't have to pack diapers, soaps, juice boxes, etc.. It was the best thing ever!
-Christina DeOliveira Caputo, East Williston
A ring pop will keep a toddler quiet for almost an hour!
Audio books! The library is full of family-friendly stories everyone will enjoy.
Try to think of the vacation from a child's point-of-view. Just being in a hotel room is exciting. Bring a board game and spend some great quality time together, not running off to the next great thing. Remember to pack an old toy and a new toy. We pack bread and peanut butter -- for when the mac 'n cheese on the children's menu at the restaurant wasn't the one they like, or you go for a hike and have a chance for a picnic. Talk to them about the activities before you go, and give them a choice when you can so they can be part of the planning. Then be flexible. Let go and have fun, because they will follow your lead. Remember, you are creating their childhood memories.
-Jeanne Kavanagh-Hohne, Commack
We've only done road trips, but if we leave at bedtime and drive through the night, he usually stays asleep the whole trip. Amazing because he doesn't do it at home, LOL.
-Meghan Sherwood Hillen, Hampton Bays
New toys, coloring books, games for the trip, 3-sided crayons (they don't roll off tray tables), plenty of food/drinks, supply of plastic bags for spills, vomit, etc., baby wipes (even if you don't have a baby), portable DVD player with headphones, new apps on my phone and iPad -- we travel a fair amount so I have a whole bag of tricks!
-Dawn Remick-de la Liera, Freeport
I always found a few new toys or items hidden in a bag helps when you or the child needs a break.
-Debbie Kruer, Westbury
I always brought new toys, games and puzzle books, and everyone's absolute favorite treats. Give the treats sparingly and never reveal what you have hidden in your bag of tricks. Works like a charm! Also make sure everyone is fed and has enough bathroom stops.
-Carol Slack, via Facebook
Take Scrabble pieces with you and while waiting for dinner spell words, foods that we are going to eat. Bring snacks in fun containers and then decide what you can collect from the trip and hide in the containers and have the other people guess what you collected. Bring a camera for the kids and have a photo contest. Also, don't forget to bring their favorite sheets, pillows and a stuffed animal so it feels like home. The best tip I have is to place glow stickers on the floor and make it look like a runway to the bathroom so they don't wet the bed!
-Cori Bailey, via Facebook
When we took the girls, ages 3 and 4, on a plane, we had a "special" dollar store present every "fill in time frame....1/2 hour 45 minutes"...whenever we thought they were getting bored. I made sure they were little things they could actually be creative with and play with. It worked out great!
-Nicole Bastiaanse-Fritch, via Facebook
Since Matthew was under a year old, we weren't so worried about the same things you'd worry about with older children. My main concern was making sure that he wasn't uncomfortable for take off and landing, We scheduled our flights around his bottle schedule so he was drinking on the way up and down. Then we also used a pacifier to help keep his ears from popping. As for mid flight, we just brought our iPad that had Sesame Street episodes on it which we watched, plus a few toys.
-Leslie Kolstein DiChiara, Wantagh
DVD player in the car and lots of snacks!
-Cassandra Mosmen, via Facebook
Crayola dual sided dry erase crayon board. One side is white, the other black. The special crayons color on both sides and erase easily. This kept my son Ben occupied on a six hour flight just before he turned 2.
-Bridget Kearns Celis, via Facebook
Toddler headphones for my 3-year-old and a slew of games on the iPad. And the Aqua Doodle! It's like an etch a sketch but with a water pen. We survived an eight hour flight with ease.
-Julia Mantovia Moschitta, Cold Spring Harbor
A book bin between my two car seats, snacks galore, and water bottles for my twins! Not to mention kiddie tunes if you can tolerate them.
-Amy Reynolds, via Facebook
We avoid snacks and drinks because of car sickness. Audio books make them very happy. But mostly, I let them be bored for an hour or two. It's amazing the games two kids can invent in the back seat without any electronics. It also makes them sleepy!
-Maureen Ryan, Brooklyn
A portable DVD player!
-Carrie Sollin, Lynbrook
Most people get annoyed when parents travel on flights with screaming, seat kicking children. It is so important to make sure that essentials are packed to provide the little ones with the things that will make a successful trip. If flying, parents should consult their doctors for the right way to relieve air pressure on take off and landings. Bringing liquids on planes is restricted so bring empty baby bottles with you and purchase drinks when you clear security so the kids can drink when the pressure changes. Kids need to be occupied. Mommy and/or daddy are not there for personal nap time. Bring toys, a compact video player and videos, and for older kids coloring books, crayons, Play Dough, and more. Bring books for some reading to the kids. Most often, if kids are appropriately occupied, they and everyone else on a flight will have an enjoyable trip.
-Miriam Hanan, via Facebook
What are your tips when traveling with kids? Share your tricks below and follow me on Twitter @JenBergerKids.