10 Sure Signs You’ve Become “That Traveling Family” You Said You Never Would Be

    1. You don’t think a thing about the fact that your kids are yelling (and laughing) at each other across the aisle (and across other passengers)
    2. The kids are covered in signs of chocolate, gummy worms, cookies and crackers – all attempts at keeping them quiet on the flights. You don’t even think ahead about the inevitable sugar crash.
    3. You stop looking people in the eye when your child (with hurting ears as the air pressure changes) has been screaming for a solid 30 minutes.
    4. You’re  ok with the fact that because the extra diapers ended up on A La Carte, it means talking small child to an even smaller airplane bathroom, dumping the poo and then putting the diaper (still dirty) back on him.  “Nope, I don’t smell anything!”
    5. You pull out all “i” devices possible.  The 4 year old is griming up the iPad, the 2 year old is practically eating the iPod.  They’re quiet, so cleaning the screen is the least of your worries.
    6. You haven’t slept in a solid 20 hours, you look like it, and you don’t care.
    7. You’re happy your kids are running through the airport (though consider dressing them in bright orange vests with flashing lights to warn people they are underfoot) because it means they are burning off serious energy before the next flight.
    8. You gaze longingly at the airport cars zooming through the hallways because you know they could carry all this gear so much more efficiently.  Instead, you double up on the backpacks, have a child strapped to your front in a Boba, have both hands full with bags of snacks and very well may have a car seat balanced on your head.
    9. You’re visibly sweating as you chase kids around that airport….and you forgot to put on deodorant that morning (at 4 a.m.)
    10. You’re leaving a solid trail of snacks, wrappers, and used kleenex….

    travelingalaskaSo, we may or may not have been “that family” while traveling recently to Alaska.  But, it sure felt like it!  Please tell me I am not alone on this one!  While we do plenty of traveling, most of it is by car.  While it may literally look like a bomb has gone off at the end of the trip, it’s easy to blast the music, bust out the portable DVD players and know that even the car driving right next to you can’t hear your screaming child on hour 20 of the trip.  AND you can stop whenever you want and let everyone run and get some fresh air.  We didn’t know how the whole traveling by airplane thing would go, but we survived….barely.




    Traveling “Essentials” That Just Make Life a Little Easier:

    Overland Equipment Taxi Bag $35

    taxiActually, this may be a bit of an essential for me.  I was getting honestly tired of our Family Travel bag that barely fit everything in it.  I wanted something that was simple, small and could handle what I needed for trips and smaller overnights or trips to the gym.  The Taxi is perfect for that.  Holds surprisingly more than it seems (deodorant, hair brush, toothpaste and brush, vitamins, medicine just in case, hair ties, etc.) and organizes everything with it’s two zippered interior mesh pockets and smaller pockets inside of those!  The two carrying handles make it easy to tote around.

    SkinFare Products, especially Tropical Nourishment $9.99

    TN_1O_1C_WEB-267x300The entire line of SkinFare is astounding, though I find myself reaching for the Tropical Nourishment stick most often to heal all our skin ailments (raw skin from blowing noses during cold season, dry skin, minor scrapes and bruises, etc.)  The packaging is perfect for travel (small, compact and biodegradable).  We deal with dry skin more than I like being out in the west and exposing our hands especially to cold temperatures.  This has been the quickest, easiest way to heal my dry hands.  I was pretty skeptical, so I have repeated tests over and over.  Conclusion: It’s the best!  A “little birdie” also told me that they are planning on coming out with a bigger tube very soon that will make applying on larger areas of your body (legs, torso, etc.) much easier.  Definitely check them out.


    Hoboroll by GobiGear $28

    hoboroll-blueWe used the Hoboroll while traveling as a way to keep the kids’ winter gear organized, easily accessible and cinched down in our luggage to save room.  It is a “tube” with different compartments you can throw gear in and then cinch it all shut.  Advertised as a way to organize small items in luggage, it works best, in my opinion, for items like small (kid-sized) coats, snow pants, hats, gloves, socks, etc. that you want to keep separated but easy to find.  You can read my full gear review here.



    Overland Equipment, SkinFare and Gobi Gear generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate these reviews.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.   You can find my full disclosure here.  Photos taken from their respective sites.


    © 2013, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.


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      1. Fun story. Haven’t traveled with my son on a plane since he had to start paying. Some day…

      2. Sounds like my family when we travel, and we usually have one extra backpack of just snacks. And since the kids all get their own seats, they each have a carryon and a personal item.

        I’ve been on a lot of business trips lately and I always see that family, and I smile a little. They apologize that their kid wants to use my ipod, or that they’re screaming, and honestly I don’t care. I know what they’re going through and I’m not about to snap at a 2 year old for asking to see my ipod or for a cracker.

        • Thank you for being that guy that understands! I think it is one of those things you don’t fully “get” until you’ve been the one with the screaming kids! 🙂

      3. I flew to Argentina from Montana pregnant and with our 14-month-old….no husband. That was a long trip. It gets better when they are a little older, but when you are sharing a seat with someone who won’t stop moving…well, like I said, it was a long trip. But, we made it there and back.

      4. Hi Amelia! Too funny!!! I love your article & I’m so glad you find SkinFare useful. The experiences my husband and I had traveling with our munchkin absolutely inspired the design of these skincare sticks. Kaia had been to Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia all before her 1st birthday! (And that doesn’t include all the traveling she did in vetro.) Keep the stories coming Mountain Mama! <3

      5. I love to travel and my wife and I plan to have children in the near future. Needless to say I read your top ten signs and laughed hysterically. Then shortly thereafter became incredibly worried. Thanks goodness for great travel products. I’ll stay tuned in for more tips.

        Thanks Mountain Mama,

        Paul Heathman

        • HA! 🙂 Um…I feel like I should email you and put your mind at ease. Either way, parenting is just a fun roller coaster you can’t understand until you are in the middle of it! 🙂 Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      6. Christa Hamilton says:

        Hi Amelia,
        My fiance and I recently found out that we are expecting our first little one. Among the many things we are considering, traveling is a big one! Half of our family/friends are in Oregon while the other half is here in North Carolina. The idea of flying with children makes us a little anxious! Your tips are helpful! Thanks!

        I also recently read an article in the Daily Mail about a couple who was flying with their twin boys for the first time. They put little baggies of candies on the seats of their fellow passengers with a note that said “Hi! We’re twin baby boys on our first flight and we’re only 14 weeks old! We’ll try to be on our best behavior but we apologize in advance if we lose our cool, get scared or our ears hurt. Our mom and dad (AKA Portable Milk Machine and our diaper changer) have ear plugs available if you need them. We are all sitting in 20E and 20 F if you need them. We hope you have a great flight!”

        Tips like these, from you and from another resourceful parent team, give us new parents a little relief from the anxiety of the “unknown”.

        P.S. We’re playing with names and I will be putting yours on the girl list. We told each other we weren’t going to look through name books, but let names come to us in a more organic way, through reading, listening and meeting people. I love the name “Amelia” 🙂

        • Oh what a GREAT idea for traveling with kids! Not sure I would be that organized, but I love it! 🙂 So glad we could help a little….the joys of navigating all the unknowns of parenting only make life more interesting! 🙂
          I will be rooting for a little “Amelia” 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting!


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