How to Survive Thanksgiving Travel with Children

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Tonight is the eve of what is typically one of the busiest travel days of the year – the day before Thanksgiving.  I remember living in New York City for grad school and flying home to Texas the day before Thanksgiving.  It was always an entertaining experience, to say the least.  Fortunately, I now live a mere two streets away from my parents, and Thanksgiving is actually at my house so I don’t have to go anywhere tomorrow but to the grocery store for some last minute items (which is just about as terrifying as the airport the day before Thanksgiving).

In addition to full flights, one of the things that makes travel this time of the year more challenging, is that people who don’t fly on a regular basis are in the airport and aren’t always sure of what to do or where to go.  For frequent travelers, navigating security and the airport is second-nature, but to people who do it once a year or so it is a totally different ballgame.  Additionally, there are many families with children flying.  While I am clearly a big supporter of traveling with your family, it is much more challenging than traveling alone.  Get a bunch of traveling families and occasional travelers together and you’ve got the potential for one big cluster bomb in the airport.  Lord help us all if you add weather delays on top of that. 

You can pretty much go to any mainstream news or travel website today and fine some general tips to make travel this week easier.  You know, get to the airport early, check your flight status, be patient, yada yada yada.  That is very true, but I’m not going to rehash that info here.  Instead, I am going to compile some of the different posts I have written about traveling with little ones in the hopes that they can help you be better prepared if you are taking to the sky with your little ones in tow.


Planning and Preparing for a Successful Trip

Toddler Packing List


The Airport:

Navigating the Airport

How to Wait in Line with a Toddler Without Murdering Anyone


The Flight:

Babies on a Plane: Part 1

Babies on a Plane: Part 2

Traveling with a Lap Child (Planning)

Traveling Alone with a Lap Child (Review)


Little C’s Traveling Friends:

Traveling with a Four-Year-Old

Traveling Internationally with a One-Year-Old

Traveling with Twin Toddlers

Traveling with a 23 Month Old Little C


I have more “Traveling with a Toddler” posts coming soon, but if you can think of topics you would like to see and/or want to share some of your stories with me, please do!  I will be thinking of all of you traveling this week and I hope you have safe, on-time, and uneventful travels.

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  1. Mp, I’m concerned that FBI agents are going to be knocking down your door any minute because you typed ‘cluster bomb in the airport’! 😉

    • @Kris, ha ha – funny and so true! Maybe I should have used the four letter word I was actually thinking of instead. 😉

  2. @Rick, you have good eyes! I thought only my parents could spot that. 😉 I actually have a friend on FB who noticed it too (without me even telling her about the seminars or the Nightline segment) and she captured an image of me in the crowd. I may post it here for fun. It was a great segment that will likely bring some new miles and point collectors to our group!

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