Traveling is no easy feat, even more if you are traveling with kids. I've travelled with Amal several times now, once on a very long flight to Europe and other times just traveling to neighboring countries. Each time, I've tried to make my life easier and make Amal's trip fun and enjoyable. Here are a few tips I can give you that have worked for me so they might work for you too:
1. Plan your trip
Planning takes time, and you might not think you need to plan too much but trust me, when bringing kids on holiday, you'll fell more relaxed if you know what you'll be doing everyday. Also, kids love schedules so you can already tell your little one what he/she will be doing during your holidays. It'll make him/her more excited about your upcoming trip. But beware, don't over-schedule cause you might be disappointed that you don't get to do all you had planned.
2. Make a list of things to bring
When you're going to a different country, you don't want to waste your holiday money on things that you have at home but forgot to bring. Always make a list 1 week before leaving. Things that I like to have during my trips are: wet wipes, tissues, snacks, extra pair of shoes, chargers, a good book, etc.
3. Buy new toys for your child to play during the flight
Flights aren't fun because you have to sit in one place for quite a while. When I travelled to France 3 years ago, Amal was still around 2 years old. I prepared myself for a 15-hour flight with him by buying small, cheap, fun new toys that I would wrap individually so he could have a new toy every several hours and not get bored.
4. Bring snacks and activities for your child
Snacks and activities are also essential during the flight but also during the trip. I like to go to the Family Fun website and print some images to color, or find games to print out. Always have draft paper and coloring pencils for your child to draw too. Small snacks are also useful because flights don't always have small food, except peanuts. Now, if you're going on a long trip, don't forget to ask for the kids' meal which have yummy kid-friendly food and some activities & toys.
5. All rules don't apply on flights
However prepared you are, keep in mind that flights aren't enjoyable so your child might cry during the whole flight and there's nothing you can do to stop him/her. If you're lucky, you might find a friendly air hostess or passenger who can help you out. But don't get stressed out, passengers must all understand that flying with a child is one of the most difficult things to do.
6. Try to keep to your child's schedule during your holidays
If your child likes to wake up daily at 6am, well he won't change that during the holidays (just like my son). So don't expect that you'll be able to wake up late. So prepare yourself with books and toys for him/her to occupy himself/herself while you get an extra hour of sleep. Also, if your child still naps during the day, don't even think of skipping that just because you're on holiday or else you'll have a cranky kid at night or the next day.
7. Find daily activities that your child will enjoy
Each day of your holiday should have at least one activity for your child, even if it's only a trip to the playground for an hour. Your child doesn't care about museums or famous monuments. He/she will go with you gladly to these places but be prepared to do things that he/she likes also or else you'll hear complaints like "I'm bored!" every 5 minutes.
Useful sites for traveling with kids: