How To Survive Traveling With Your Family With Most Of Your Marbles.

In the weeks leading up to our last trip across the world to Melbourne, Australia, every time I thought about the 29-hours of flying, coupled with being away from home for 21 days, I could barely sit down I was so riddled with anxiety. As a result, I spent weeks leading up to the trip planning, prepping and organizing like a crazy person. 

In order to alleviate some of that anxiety, I made preparing for my son's needs on our journey my first order of business. And... Well...  I TOTALLY overdid it. In an effort to save you the same overthinking, preparing and worrying, below are my, 5 Sanity Saving Tips For Family Travel.

1. Choose Your Seats Wisely: Seat choice is crucial when flying with your family, especially if you don't want to sit anywhere near them! (Kidding... Kind of...) The goal when flying with your family is to sit as close to the front of the plane as possible, and of course, the ever important window seat is crucial for entertaining your child in flight. If you are flying a carrier that does not offer early seat selection, call the airline and inform them that you are flying as a family and see what your options are. The seats could make or break your journey, so make sure you get the best ones you can!

2. FOOD! Food is essential. In fact, it is the one thing that should be considered if nothing else when prepping for family travel. My rule of thumb is to consider how many meals, including snacks, we will need, and then pack accordingly. TIP: Make sure to pack plenty of healthy, low-sugar snacks.

3. Child-size Pillow and blanket--Even when flying, most long haul flights provide each passenger with a blanket, but it's more like an oversized paper towel. The pillow is laughable, at best. The last thing you want on a flight or long car ride is a freezing child. Plus, you'll have way more luck settling a child into a favorite blanket than a paper towel or your jacket. TIP: When flying, the pillow is EPIC for keeping your child's head and your arm comfy. Trust me, smashed up against the side of a plane holding a sleeping child is a recipe for a numb sore arm.

 **Photo: Ollie passed out at LAX waiting for the connection to Melbourne, Australia. 

4. Let your kid pack their bag. Explain that ONLY the things that fit in the bag can go, so choose their favorite things. Once your child has finished packing, throw in a favorite book, crayons and a coloring book, if not already packed. The bag is "THEIR BAG" to look after and dive into during downtime. 

5. Pack light and limit carry-on. It's hard enough navigating a large airport with a child in-tow, it's another to do it with six bags! If at all possible, pick an airline that allows the first bag to fly free, or, consider the idea of paying to check one large bag, especially if you have multiple connections. 

BONUS TIP: Pack as light as possible. You will buy plenty along your travels and will need room in your luggage to bring things home. 

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit