Family travel comes with its challenges but taking trips and traveling with kids on vacation is worth it.

40 Things That Happen When You Travel With Kids

If you’re like me, you plan a trip in eager anticipation to see new things and hit the road on a family road trip. And you start to mentally prepare because there is never a dull moment when you travel with kids.

Kids are kids are kids are kids no matter where they are, and on steroids anytime you are away from home. They do things that are both scary and endearing.

Family travel comes with its challenges but taking trips and traveling with kids on vacation is worth it.

I‘ve been around the block a few times with family travel. All 24 hours will not be charming, so I bank on those precious little things in between that keep us on the quest for new adventures.

You live and you learn and to me, family travel is worth everything else that comes along for the ride.

Here are 40 things that happen when you travel with kids:

1.  Someone will throw up.
2.  Someone will have a potty accident when there are no spare clothes handy.
3.  Someone will have to go to the bathroom at the worst time.
4.  Someone will bear crawl up the middle of a crowded stairway.
5.  Someone will choose to hop vs. walk while holding your hand up and down stairs.
6.  Someone will misread a map.
7.  Someone will miss the turn while playing referee to backseat arguments.
8.  Someone will ask “How much LONGER until we get there?”
9.  Little people will run and scream down a hallway the first chance they get.
10. Someone will yell “I tooted!” at mealtimes.
11. Siblings will wrestle on the floor while waiting in a crowded line somewhere.
12. Someone will walk in front of you as slowly as they can and stop when your hands are full.
13. Sticky hands and faces will seek your clean shirt.
14. Someone will blurt out something to a stranger, like “he needs to brush his teeth!”
15. Someone will drop something. Like a toothbrush in the toilet.
16. Someone will forget something somewhere.
17. Someone will not be able to find a shoe. It’s universal.
18. Someone will spill a drink during a meal.
19. Someone will wipe chocolate across their face.
20. Someone will cry.
21. Someone will refuse to smile for a picture.
22. Someone will run far ahead of everyone else.
23. Someone will get overwhelmed and have a tantrum.
24. Little people will get absolutely crazy and loud when you need to concentrate most.
25. Someone will jump from hotel bed to hotel bed.
26. Someone will do the windmill arms in a souvenir shop full of breakables.
27. Someone will dart directly into a stranger’s path.
28. Someone will defy you in public when everyone’s watching.
29. Someone will forget every single manner you ever taught them at the table and in regards to personal space.
30. Someone will shove food in their mouth like the Tazmanian devil.
31. Someone will brood with crossed arms.
32. Someone will make you look at them like “who ARE you?”
33. Everyone will try to walk into the same door all at the same time.
34. Someone will forget all about their inside voice.
35. Someone will see something for the first time and be amazed.
36. Someone will hug someone else’s arm.
37. Someone will full-belly laugh.
38. Someone will smile for the picture and really mean it.
39. Someone will say thank you all on their own.
40. Someone will say “This is the best trip ever!”

And a few of my favorite endearing family travel moments for the road:

Riding the transport to pick up our car, listening to the seat make a funny noise.

Photo: Audra Rogers

  • On a bumpy transport bus ride, the seat made a noise that sounded a lot like a clown horn every time we hit a bump. They laughed and laughed. And they came away closer than ever.
  • We made a pit stop at a little gas station on a long drive home and my son in his adorable, loud 4 year old voice announced to the cashier, “Our mom is GREAT!”
  • My 9-year-old snaked his arms around my right arm and laid his head on my shoulder as we sat in the audience and watched a play.

That’s the stuff. That’s why we do it.

What fun adventures have you experienced during travel with kids?

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What is DisneySMMC?
Mom Getaway to Balboa Island
Best Road Trip Ever

Family travel comes with its challenges but taking trips and traveling with kids is worth it.

Traveling with kids is not for the weak. Here is my adventure flying with two kids alone.

No More Travel Until Everyone Walks, Talks and Pees in the Potty

The kids are back in school! Did you go on vacation anywhere over the break? In my opinion, there is no such thing as a vacation when you are traveling with little people. I define a vacation as a relaxing trip, and having kids in tow is anything but.

My friend Val recently took a long car trip over several days with her family. Her kids are very close to mine in age, 6 and 1. It was so funny to see her post pictures of her trip. She posted several pictures of the White House in Washington, DC taken from her car window because the kids were sleepy.

WhiteHouseCar   WhiteHouseCar2

Sometimes things just don’t work out like you thought they would. It reminded me of a trip I recently took alone with my two kids. There are no direct flights to where I was going, so I always have to take a connecting flight. 2 planes, 2 kids, and no partridge in a pear tree anywhere to be found (thank goodness because I could not have carried one more ounce of anything.)

I like to travel as light as I can but I was still overwhelmed at all of the stuff I had to keep track of. I took a stroller and a diaper bag, and my son had his bag and we had two suitcases to check. Thank you curbside check-in!

It’s always fun to go through security because you have to take everyone’s shoes off, carry the baby through, fold down the stroller and run it through the x-ray machine along with all of the other bags. And then you have to put everyone and everything back together afterwards. An extra ten hands would have been awesome.

The fact that I had the stroller helped a lot, and all was fine until I got through security to the gate and then they flipped out about its size. And then they threw my baby’s car seat down the chute like it was a load of garbage. It hit every possible bump on the way down and every little crash took a little piece of my heart and patience down with it.


I heard all of the quiet groans around us on the plane when we found our seats, as people without kids realized their lives were virtually over when they found out they were seated next to a baby. Oh the HORROR!

The plane rides were actually okay. Until my oldest son fell asleep and dropped his head down and bonked the passenger beside him. He and I both got the look of death while I tried to dig for the baby’s bottle so I could get him situated on my lap. Come on lady, I apologized twice, give me a break. I moved his head onto my shoulder, so I was completely covered in children, and life went on.

By the end of that plane ride, the baby’s diaper had leaked and he had had a runny number two. ARGH! Really? In the already impatient huff that everyone’s in getting their bags out of overhead compartments and waiting for them to LET US OFF THIS PLANE ALREADY, I have the added enjoyment of a mess on my leg before I can even deal with getting our bags.

I was thankfully towards the back of the plane so we made our way into the tiny bathroom. They actually have a litle changing table that folds down in there. So there we are. Me, the baby and my 6 year old, crammed in the tiny airplane stall getting the baby changed. I was actually grateful for the solitude.

I had to carry the baby all the way to the baggage claim area since they wouldn’t let me check the stroller onto the airplane. I had to pick it up in baggage claim with everything else. I was never so glad in my life to see our family greet us at the end of the hallway! It was a glorious finish line!


I have a bazillion awesome pictures from our trip home. We made a lot of great memories and we got to see people that we don’t often get to see, so even after all of that, it was totally worth it in the end.  But barring any emergencies or once-in-a-lifetime free trips to irresistible locations, I’m opting out of any further travel alone with children until everyone walks, talks, pee pee’s in the potty, and carries their own crap.

My friend Val agrees. Trips with littles are a good idea in theory and on paper, but I think we both consider our trips extra notches in our parenting belts, and lessons learned.

For now, I’m content making great memories in the comforts of my own home, and I’m so happy to host anyone that would like to come and visit us. Happy trails!