Family Travel Tips for Summer

Little girl using binoculars and standing next to luggage

Traveling with Kids

Whether this is your first family vacation, or part of an annual trip, traveling with kids has its pros and cons. Ideally, those new experiences will create lifetime memories. Realistically, screaming toddlers on planes and tantrums in public spaces happen, often in unfamiliar places.

We’ve gathered some of the best tips for traveling with kids successfully. For a little more help, add FLAT SOCKS Kids to your packing list for a tantrum-free solution for kids who hate socks.

This article covers:

Kid placing FLAT SOCKS Kids shoe insert into tennis shoe

What’s the Best Age to Travel with a Child?

Many young parents are eager to know when their kids are old enough for travel. You can travel with your kids at any age. Here’s what is recommended for each:

  • Newborns to 2 years old: Babies are usually easiest to travel with, since you can take them anywhere if you maintain a comfortable environment and routine. Just be sure to stick to their eating and sleeping schedule.
  • Toddlers: This age group welcomes more engagement. Toddlers interact more with their surroundings, but they tire and get cranky easily. Make sure you give them plenty of unstructured downtime for releasing that energy.
  • Kids 5 and older: Schooled aged children are likely to remember more than toddlers and infants, so give them a hand in planning your trip. Kids who feel empowered and engaged are less likely to get upset, similar to how you would let children pick their clothes.
  • Teenagers: Most preteens and teens can behave on a road trip or vacation. The key is making it more enjoyable for them to be with their parents by allowing them to choose sites and attractions and possibly bring a friend.

Baby on beach crying next to toys

General Tips for Traveling with Kids

The strategies you use when on vacation with kids depends on their age and demeanor. Some children love traveling right away and do well in new places while others need special accommodations, like packing sensory-friendly clothing. Below are some general tips on how to travel with kids from managing the trip itself to their behavior.

Little girl on airplane watching video on tablet

Keep Them Engaged

An uncomfortable while is an unhappy child. At FLAT SOCKS, we know this because we know kids won’t wear socks when they’re not comfortable. The same goes for your family vacation. Keeping your child engaged and involved in the planning of the trip can provide a sense of comfort and empowerment.

For toddlers, this might mean using your downtime for a trip to the pool so you can relax on a chaise lounge instead of inside the hotel room. Kids over the age of 5 benefit from having a hand in trip planning. Consider having a list of parent-approved activities for them to choose from.

Do Your Research

The days of unplanned excursions to random cities are over (for now.) With kids, it’s best to plan by researching kid-friendly destinations and activities you both can enjoy. Read online reviews of resorts, tours, restaurants, and more to see what other parents liked or disliked. Book at least one activity per day that’s geared toward children.

Pack Smart & Don’t Overdo It

If you overstuff your child’s luggage, chances are you’re going to be the one carrying it. Most essentials like diapers and toiletries can be bought at your destination anyway. For toddlers, be sure to include a couple of toys to keep them entertained and allow older children to try packing on their own.

Still having trouble fitting everything into your suitcase or carry-on? Cloth bags or packing cubes help organize and condense your clothes, bath products, and more. Even if you're going to the beach, you’ll still need socks and shoes for walking tours or indoor activities, and FLAT SOCKS sockless shoe inserts save you space with a slim design that’s easy to store.

Gray shoes with FLAT SOCKS Kids inside surrounded by toys

Stay Calm, Problems Happen

Traveling with a child isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It can be daunting, especially if you know your kid is probably going to have a screaming fit in some restaurant or theme park ticket line. Do your best to stay calm and ignore unwanted complaints from strangers. Most people will understand the situation.

Also, expect your trip to be a little slower than if it were just you and your significant other. Traveling with kids usually means taking more time to tend to their needs and avoid overwhelming them. Get to the airport ahead of time and don’t expect them to be up and moving at six a.m.

Book Early

By prebooking your flights, hotel or rental, activities like sightseeing tours, and public transport, you can worry less and enjoy more. If you’re traveling solo with your child, early check-in and preboarding makes your trip go more smoothly. This also helps you stick to the schedule and avoid waiting in long lines.

Fly Smart, Not Cheap

Booking your flight two months ahead of time can save you money, but if your flight has multiple layovers and a late boarding time, it can make flying with kids harder. Avoid layovers unless the flight is more than eight hours long, since younger children might want to burn off energy in the meantime.

The best time to fly with kids is around bedtime, too. To help make the flight more comfortable, bring along your child’s favorite stuffed animal, a bedtime story about rocket ships, or a kid’s travel pillow. Infants can usually fly as a lap seat at minimal cost, but you might want to book the extra seat to give yourself a break or bring along a car seat.

Woman sitting on plan with baby in lap

Safety First

When traveling abroad, safety always comes first. Keep track of your child by making sure they are always under supervision by you, your spouse, or an older sibling you can trust. Kids should have a note with your name, number, and hotel address in their pocket. You might also want to invest in a child GPS tracking device accessible by an app on your phone.

Plan Less (Kind Of)

Too much structure can make a kid go nuts. Instead of jampacking your day with tours, activities, and destinations, cut it in half. After breakfast, enjoy a half-day of sightseeing, go to a museum, or ride a few rides at the theme park. Save the mid afternoon and evening for going to the pool, getting ice cream, and sinking your toes in the sand for a tropical sunset.

Choose Where & What to Eat

You might want to skip the fancy seafood joint when traveling with a six-year-old who only wants fries and chicken nuggets. While you should encourage your little one to try something new, give them a little leeway the first couple of days and let them settle in. Search online for restaurants with kids’ menus.

Hunger and low blood sugar can also quickly lead to a terrible tantrum. Keep snacks on hand between meals. Indulging yourself on vacation is normal, and part of the reason we go, so let your kids have a little more junk food, too. Just be ready to counter a sugar crash with some fruit or whole grains.

Take Advantage of Perks & Discounts

Most hotels and resorts have perks that can save you money, time, and stress. From ensuite kitchenettes to kid’s clubs with complimentary babysitting services and more, these benefits are great for saving a few bucks or giving you and your partner a little getaway time.

Using frequent flier miles, prebooking public transport, and going to restaurants where kids eat free can also save you cash. You can also sign up for promotional emails from Disney or Universal Studios to take advantage of ticket discounts, free nights, and more. Save on FLAT SOCKS by shopping clearance.

What to Pack for a Family Vacation

Forget your phone charger? Just buy a new one at the airport. Forget your kid’s most beloved dinosaur? Here come the tears. Toiletries, sunscreen, bug spray, and more can all be bought at your destination. Otherwise, below is a general family vacation packing list that you can change as needed to suit your kid’s needs.

A special note: You might think a pair of sandals is enough for your child to go to the beach and skip around the pier. The fact is younger children should wear socks and closed toe shoes to protect their feet. FLAT SOCKS Kids are the best socks for kids because they’re easy to slip into their shoes, don’t irritate their feet, and they’re moisture wicking so no sweat, no stink, no hassle.

Little girl holding four pairs of FLAT SOCKS Kids sockless shoe inserts

Sample Packing List for Kids

  • Underwear
  • Pants or shorts
  • Shirts that cover the shoulders
  • Pajamas
  • One nice outfit for formal dinners
  • Two or three swimsuits
  • Shoes (flip flops, sneakers, Crocs, etc.)
  • Kid’s floaties (if needed)
  • A child-safe first aid kit (bandages, antibiotic ointment, fever reducer, pain reliever, allergy medicine, stomachache medicine, something for motion sickness)
  • Sweatshirt or hoodie
  • Kid’s travel pillow
  • Entertainment devices or toys
  • Piece of paper with your contact information on it

Sample Packing List for Infants & Toddlers

  • Appropriate changes of clothes
  • Two or three swimsuits
  • Shoes (flip flops, Stride Rites, Crocs, etc.)
  • FLAT SOCKS Kids (Toddler sizes 8 to 13)
  • Swim safety equipment
  • A child and baby-safe first aid kit (bandages, antibiotic ointment, fever reducer, pain reliever, allergy medicine, stomachache medicine, gas relief medicine)
  • Entertainment devices or toys
  • Piece of paper with your contact information on it
  • Diaper bag (Diapers or pull-ups, wipes, ointment, rash cream, nursing supplies, plastic bag for soiled items, etc.)
  • Changing pad
  • Pacifiers
  • Bibs
  • Blankets
  • Bottles and breastmilk or formula
  • A breast pump, if needed
  • Teething rings
  • Baby carrier
  • Lightweight stroller

Is it Worth it Traveling with Kids?

Woman, man and two children taking family vacation photo

Taking your kids on a summer road trip to see extended family or going to a unique destination can foster new experiences and encourage growth. Plus, family vacations are a fantastic way to spend quality time together, even if it means ditching the phone or tablet for a week or two. Follow the above tips when traveling with your kids and include FLAT SOCKS Kids in your tantrum free family vacation.


Vora, S. (n.d.). How to Travel with Children. The New York Times Travel.

October 12, L. B. U., & 2021. (n.d.). 16 Tips for Flying with Toddlers and Young Kids. Parents.