Ten Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Traveling With Kids

by Jessica on June 13, 2011

One of nature’s greatest gifts is allowing us selective amnesia for the elements of any stage of life that are unpleasant.  After spending the day at a crowded theme park, I choose to believe that my fellow park attendees are not ill mannered, but merely forgetful.  Many of them have walked in the shoes of the family traveling with small kids, but the memories of the challenges have been erased.  Soon, I will have forgotten these challenges, as well, so I make this list as a reminder to myself as to how to be helpful to young traveling families.


  1. It is nearly impossible to move a stroller through a door.  Either act like a human and hold the door for me or choose another door.  Standing there looking exasperated only wastes your time.
  2. Strollers are like semi trucks.   Once you get all that mass moving in a single direction, you cannot expect it to stop on a dime.  If you dart out in front of my gigantic stroller, I will not be able to stop and I will hit the back of your leg.  While I am smiling and apologizing profusely, I will really be thinking it’s all your fault.
  3. As much as the baby screaming bothers you, it is bothering me way more.  If I knew where the mute button was, I would have hit it a long time ago.  By all means, continue to stare and give me dirty looks while besmirching my parenting under your breath.  That helps a lot.
  4. Do not cut in between me and my line of children and then meander along at a snail’s pace.  First of all, I will now have to use my gigantic stroller as a weapon as I careen out of control trying to reconvene my brood.  Also, you have just placed yourself in between me and the kid who picks his nose and wipes it on the nearest pant leg.  Is that really where you want to be?
  5. Of course you are tired, hot, and crowded and that completely excuses you from pushing in line and grumbling to the people around you.  Poor you.  Traveling is tough, isn’t it?  Why would you expect the children around you to feel any differently?  Don’t expect better behavior from children than you expect from yourself.
  6. Children are small.  Compared to them you are like a giant eclipse of the moon when you stand at the front of the viewing area.  I know you paid your money like everyone else, but would it kill you to let the kids step in front of you.  You’ll still be able to see and as a bonus, you won’t have to listen to them whine that they can’t see for the entire show.
  7. See that lovely bench over there?  That’s a perfect place for you to stop, read your map, and talk with your spouse.  This here is a walkway, and until you became a giant immovable roadblock, we were all using it to walk.  Don’t you know that it took fifteen concentrated minutes and an act of Congress to get my whole family moving in the same direction?  Do you want to see a grown woman cry?
  8. At times, it may seem to the contrary, but I am actually trying to teach my children good manners.  They are children, and will for the foreseeable future continue to act childishly and need reminders.  Do me a favor and help me set a good example for them.  It’s awfully hard to convince children not push, shove, and yell when the adults around them are doing those very things.
  9. Excuse me sir?  Yes, you with the T-shirt emblazoned with the curse words and suggestive picture.  I’m sure you are very nice, but could you please stop making funny faces at my baby.  I am trying to pretend like you do not exist.
  10. Really, all the families with young kids are not here to ruin your fun.  It’s possible that we aren’t having any fun either, but when we became parents we vowed to help our children explore the world and have new experiences.  We’re just trying our best to do that, despite the challenges.  If you could, send a little grace and patience our way.  Thank you.


Katie June 14, 2011 at 6:48 am

Ha! I love this. :) We travel with our 20 month old often. We head to Vancouver in 2 weeks, and I’ll remember this list when I am frustrated in airports. I especially LOVE how you explain “when we became parents we vowed to help our children explore the world and have new experiences.” I feel like people rarely get that idea. Even other parents!

ICStarzz June 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

lmao @ #4, Love # 9
#8 is so freakin true!! That’s a big peeve of mine for sure.

I really liked this list. I hope you had a good trip regardless of the other impatient people around you.


Betsy (Eco-novice) June 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm

We really have such an anti-kid culture. People don’t realize this, until they visit another country, I think. My friend just got back from a month in Brasil (with her 3 children under 5, including a baby) and loved how they were given special treatment and friendly adoring looks everywhere they went. In some countries, people actually LIKE children, even if they aren’t their own. Of course, many of these countries have an entirely different pace of life, which definitely helps.

Jill June 14, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Great post – as my kids get older, I definitely selectively forget what it was like -and (sorry) become less tolerant of younger children around me! It’s hard sometimes when your kids are growing to an easier age, and you finally get to relax a bit, to remember and sympathise with those still at that stage!!

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comments!

Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Joules June 15, 2011 at 2:28 am

Preach it, sista! Can’t we all just get along? At least through one measly flight? lol

Melissa M. June 15, 2011 at 5:45 am

So true!!!!!

BTW, I’m visiting from Wobbling Over Wednesday! I would love for you to check out my blog at http://www.winforfun.blogspot.com!

Tricia June 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I love #1, 2, and 6. So true! We travel a lot with our little ones so I can totally relate.

ligata June 16, 2011 at 3:08 am

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Connie From Girl Tech Divas June 17, 2011 at 11:08 am

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