One of our favorites things to do is to experience new places (and old favorites) with Bubba and Olivia. Starting this year, we'd like to travel to at least one international place a year. This year, it was Tokyo. Next year, it could be London/Paris or Italy. We've been to Canada once a year since Olivia's been born, but it's like our next door neighbor so it's kind of like flying domestic to us.
We try our best to find nonstop flights. It just works for us better. Even if it's an 8-9 hour flight. We opt for flights that coincide with Liv's naps in hopes 2-3 hours will pass by faster without her getting too antsy. If there isn't a nonstop flight and there's enough of a layover, the airport might have a children's play area. If not, we run around and play tag. It helps wear them out so airplane time is a little more mellow.
We pack as lightly as possible. If it's domestic, we consider buying things when we arrive (extra diapers/training pants, shampoo, etc). If it's international, it might be harder to find things than you'd think. We pack extras in this case.
With domestic flights, we generally don't pack any medicines (such as ibuprofen or benadryl) because we know we can find it at a local pharmacy. When we travel internationally, we pack adult and child versions of ibuprofen, benadryl (chewable tablets for children; generic brands work too), anti-diarrheal, neosporin, and amoxicillin (not mixed, in powder version) because in the event of an issue, finding pharmaceuticals in another country may be difficult due to language and/or different names.
Lots and lots of snacks. Healthy alternatives and a few treats. We like KIND granola bags, trail mix, bananas, cheerios, and pre-made peanut butter sandwiches. Note* You can not pack a jar of peanut butter on a plane. Yes, I've tried. Often times, we'll buy yogurt at the airport for Liv to eat right away. We were once on a plane with no milk so we buy a bottle after security check point now.
Our kids love to read so we always pack books. Coloring books and crayons are also helpful.
And there's alway the iPhones and iPads. We make sure to load them up with games and shows. We download at least one new one per trip. Some planes have free entertainment screens on every seat too! We pack our own headphones (we use this for Liv).
A compact stroller was our best investment ever! We went with the Mountain Buggy Nano because it fits in the overhead bins of airplanes, it's maneuverability is amazing, and it looks good (black on black!).
Depending on location, we pack our car seat. We use a travel bag for our seat because we'll be using our convertible car seat for the next 2-3 years (3-4 years total) and we want to protect our investment. We took our car seat to Hawaii, but did not take it to Tokyo. We take our car seat to any location we plan to drive in.
When traveling to another country, renting a pocket wifi in advance was the best thing we did! We wanted to prepared in an international city with kids in tow. We rented one in Tokyo and turned our phones onto airplane mode. We could look up directions, websites, and were able to text each other. If you plan to separate from one another often, think about renting two devices.
That's all I can think of for now! What are your go-to travel tips with children?