Taking a 14-hour fight or even a 1-hour fight with a crying infant aboard is daunting. Desperate to get some shuteye, we roll our eyes and wish the loud screeches away. It’s annoying for us, sure. But it’s worse for the embarrassed parent!

Traveling with a child, or children, will always be an uphill battle. And yes, sometimes it will drive you (and others) insane, but that doesn’t mean family travel can’t be made easier. Here are some tips to keep your cool while traveling:

Don’t be shy. The sound of a screaming child is enough to melt our brains, especially in an enclosed space. Ask your neighbor for help. They want the crying to stop just as much as you do and will be more than happy to lend a helping hand.

Move slowly. Avoid getting sucked into the airport rush by giving yourself plenty of time to get through security and to the other end of the airport without breaking a sweat. And if you do sweat, pull out a cooling facial wipe with the faint aroma of flowers and wipe the sweat away.

Use lightweight items. No one wants to be the mom who can’t fold up that bulky stroller holding up the entire line when boarding a bus, train, or flight. Light strollers allow for easy movements. Speaking of lightweight, keep a facial mist at the top of your bag to spritz and refresh your skin after those stressful moments.

Plan, plan, plan. Traveling may be the one time the universe doesn’t allow things to smoothly fall into place. In fact, one thing or another will likely go wrong! Think about everything from the moment you step out your front door to the moment you arrive at your destination. A plan of action will greatly reduce unexpected bumps. Make lists. Do you have a nagging feeling that you’re forgetting something? Before your trip, make a list for yourself and each member of the family. When it comes time to pack, just go down
the list. If you don’t have time to make a list, find one online.

Opinions matter. Include your kid’s needs in the vacation planning. Find out where they want to go, what they want to do and when they want to do it. This will greatly reduce bickering and disagreements as everyone’s likes will be considered.

Prepare an anti-stress kit – this is for yourself! Make a small kit of things that instantly soothe your body and mind. This may include anything from a cooling cucumber sheet mask to lavender scented socks. This kit should always stay at the top of your bag. The last thing you want to do is stress over looking for your anti-stress kit.

Keep calm and take a deep breath. You may think that you don’t have time to take care of yourself, but in fact, you do! When you finally get the kids to settle down, stop fighting, and stop crying take a moment to treat yourself. This is your moment to reach into your bag and grab the anti-stress kit. Sit back, apply your sheet mask and slowly drift away to your happy place.

By Dr. Nirali Patel