Nothing is worse than the trip home after the most amazing vacation ever! Everyone is tired (ok fine…grumpy) from a week of fun and slightly sad (devastated) because it’s over. No one wants to sit around the airport waiting for a flight. 

After our most recent Disney Cruise, we arrived at the airport at 9:30 am and didn’t board our plane home until 4:40 pm! 

Here are my favorite tips for a fighting chance at a smooth waiting period when everyone just wants to be home…..yesterday. 

  1. A backpack for each traveler (mom and dad shouldn’t be the only pack mules) with some of their favorite things. Be it a comfort blanket, stuffed toy, or electronic tablet, having things to occupy the time is a must. 
  2. Something new. A new toy purchased in secret while on vacation or a trip to the airport gift shop, (in our case the  Disney Store, we fly in and out of Orlando A LOT) will be a nice surprise for mini-travelers. 
  3. An extra set of clothes in a large zip-lock bag. A longer waiting period equals more time for the possibility of an accident to occur. Throw in a package of wet wipes and you are set! (The ziplock can double as a barf bag – yes I know, GROSS, but we are talking real life right?) 
  4. Snacks… Snacks… and oh yeah, MORE SNACKS. You just can’t go wrong with snacks. Before we board our flights we take the kids to pick out one treat to enjoy while in flight. 
  5. Frequent journeys to stretch little legs. Trips to the gift shop, snack kiosk, food-court, and bathroom help to break-up long periods of sitting.  Making it as fun as possible is key. It’s ok to allow them to linger in the gift stop making the super difficult decision between toys or which rice crispy treat they want for the flight. You have time, so why not? 
  6. Invest in TSA pre-check. The less time spent waiting in lines the better. I can’t tell you how much we love this! 
  7. Stay hydrated. Throw an empty water bottle in everyone’s backpacks. Most airports have filling stations after you go thru security, at the very least water fountains. 
  8. Headphones for those tablets! You don’t want to spend your entire waiting period at the airport or even the flight receiving shade from everyone around you who is tired of hearing YouTube Kids.
  9. Research on-site airport hotels that might have a day-use room available. You can nap, shower, and just might get lucky with a pool! 
  10. Last but probably the most important. Patience. Melt-downs MIGHT/WILL happen. It’s ok. Every parent has been thru it. 

Are you planning your next family adventure? I CAN and would LOVE to assist! Contact me at, my planning services are complimentary!