Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Families with Young Children

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year. For families with young children, the holiday season can be a stressful time. With crowded airports, long lines, and unpredictable weather, traveling with kids can be challenging. However, with a little planning and preparation, you can make your Thanksgiving travel experience smooth and enjoyable for everyone. In this article, we’ll share some Thanksgiving travel tips for families with young children.


1. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is the key to a successful Thanksgiving travel experience with kids. Make a list of everything you need to bring with you, including travel documents, snacks, entertainment, and clothing. Book your flights, accommodations, and rental car well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles.

2. Pack Smart

When packing for your Thanksgiving trip, pack smart. Bring a backpack or carry-on bag with essential items such as diapers, wipes, snacks, and toys. Make sure to pack a change of clothes for your children and yourself in case of any spills or accidents.

3. Avoid Peak Travel Times

Thanksgiving is a busy travel time, so try to avoid peak travel times if possible. If you can, schedule your flights for early in the morning or late at night when the airports are less crowded. This will help you avoid long lines and minimize the stress of traveling with kids.

4. Be Prepared for Security

Security can be a stressful experience for young children, so be prepared. Make sure your kids understand what to expect at the security checkpoint, and explain the importance of following the rules. Make sure all liquids and gels are in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and packed in a clear, plastic, quart-sized bag.

5. Bring Entertainment

Traveling with young children can be a challenge, but bringing entertainment can help. Bring books, coloring books, and games to keep your children occupied during the flight or car ride. Consider downloading movies or TV shows onto your electronic device for additional entertainment.

6. Take Breaks

Long flights or car rides can be tough on kids, so take breaks along the way. Plan stops for meals, bathroom breaks, and to stretch your legs. This will help keep your children happy and prevent them from getting restless.

7. Be Flexible

Traveling with kids can be unpredictable, so be flexible. Be prepared for delays or unexpected changes in your travel plans. Keep a positive attitude, and remember that the journey is just as important as the destination.

8. Book Direct Flights

If possible, book direct flights to your destination. This can help minimize the stress of layovers and connecting flights. Direct flights also reduce the chance of lost luggage or missed connections, which can be especially challenging with young children in tow.

9. Consider Traveling by Car

Traveling by car can be a more comfortable and flexible option for families with young children. You can take breaks whenever you need to, and you can bring more luggage and supplies with you. Consider renting a car if you don’t have your own, and make sure it’s large enough to accommodate your family and all your luggage.

10. Bring Healthy Snacks

Pack healthy snacks for your kids to munch on during the trip. Avoid sugary or processed snacks, which can lead to hyperactivity and mood swings. Instead, opt for fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, and protein-rich snacks like nuts or cheese sticks.

11. Pack a First Aid Kit

It’s always a good idea to have a basic first aid kit on hand when traveling with young children. Include essentials like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. You can also pack a thermometer and any prescription medications your child may need.

12. Dress Comfortably

Make sure everyone in the family is dressed comfortably for the trip. Choose loose-fitting clothes that are easy to move in, and avoid anything too tight or restrictive. Layering is also a good idea, as temperatures can vary widely in airports and on planes.

13. Stay Hydrated

Travel can be dehydrating, especially on long flights or car rides. Make sure everyone in the family drinks plenty of water throughout the trip. You can also bring an empty water bottle with you and fill it up after passing through security.

14. Use Technology Wisely

Technology can be a lifesaver when traveling with young children. Consider bringing a tablet or smartphone loaded with kid-friendly apps, games, and movies. However, use technology wisely and limit screen time to prevent overstimulation and boredom.


Thanksgiving travel with young children can be a challenge, but with a little planning and preparation, you can make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Plan ahead, pack smart, avoid peak travel times, be prepared for security, bring entertainment, take breaks, be flexible, book direct flights, consider traveling by car, bring healthy snacks, pack a first aid kit, press comfortably, stay hydrated, and use technology wisely. By following these Thanksgiving travel tips, you can create lasting memories with your family this holiday season.

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