Before your kids came along, a vacation with friends or your significant other was probably an exciting affair; however, a vacation with kids is no such thing. Vacations seem to become a time for the kids to further relax and the parents to further provide. Things can get hectic when you are struggling to juggle your luggage, soothe your baby, remember all your items, and more. This is why we put together a list of essentials that you will need throughout your holiday travels with the kids. Plus, we have some helpful tips and tricks that will ensure a smooth trip… Okay, maybe don’t quote us on that!SURVIVAL TIPS & TRICKS FOR HOLIDAY TRAVELS WITH KIDS 1. PLAN YOUR FLIGHT ACCORDING TO SCHEDULEIf at all possible, try to book a flight that synchs up with your child’s sleep schedule. There is no guarantee that they will sleep, but when you book a flight that is very early or late, you increase your chances of having a sleepy child on your hands. However, proceed with caution, as this may backfire; wherein your sleepy little bundle of joy may turn into a shrieking banshee from the depths of Ireland itself. If you are travelling with an infant, check for baby bassinet availabilities while booking your flight. Or, may we recommend a Montreal holiday? Just kidding, we know that you need to go be with your family or take a break from the cold; so remember, a sleepy child is usually easier to manage on an airplane! 2. HOPE FOR THE BEST, PREPARE FOR THE WORSTNo matter how calm and collected your little one is, travelling tends to bring out the whacky in them (and us, if we are being honest). So, although we want to think of our children as perfect little humans, the fact of the matter is; they will most likely drive you up the wall. And that’s okay! If this is your first holiday travels with kids, think of it from your child’s perspective: this is an alien situation with strange people, uncomfortably popped ears and very little play space. They do not find this ideal! Be prepared for meltdowns and breathe through them with your kids. We recommend that you write down a whole list of situations that could go terribly wrong, and then find solutions.Here are a few examples: “My child could have a bathroom accident”. Or maybe, “My child screams uncontrollably throughout the entire descent”. It may sound silly, but you will be prepared for the worst. If none of those things happen (or they only scream for half the time), then you are left feeling like things went better than expected. That’s always a nice feeling to have while on holiday! 3. PLAN AHEAD. PLAN WAY AHEAD FOR HOLIDAY TRAVELSWhen you plan for a vacation with kids, there is no such thing as over planning. Make a list of things to bring, pack ahead of time, leave for the airport earlier than expected, check-in ahead of time, and so on. All of these things can help ensure that your trip is not more stressful than it needs to be. We also recommend that you pack extras of everything in your suitcase and in your carry on. You never know what might happen! Plan for a 24h period without your luggage, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.Also, note that holiday travels mean you are far from being the only person travelling. Airports are notoriously busy over the holidays, cabs are harder to book, parking takes longer, security takes longer, gates are full of passengers, everyone wants to get to where they need to be and no one is calm about it. So in the wise, yet not at all related to this text in relevancy, words of Scar (yes, from The Lion King – which, by the way, is being re-released with a new version in 2019, trailer here) be prepared. 4. BRING SMALL GAMES AND AN IPADIf possible, bring some colouring pages and crayons, sticker books, a deck of Uno cards, and maybe a workbook with activities in it. We recommend bringing a set of everything for each child, so there are no fights over who gets what. If they become tired of their games, play easy sit-down games like “I Spy” or “Tic-Tac-Toe”. If all else fails; whip out the iPad. Now, normally we don’t condone plopping your child in front of an iPad for hours on end. However, iPads are our friends during our holiday travels. Be sure to download some of your kids’ favourite movies on the iPads, and some fun games and apps that will keep them occupied when they’ve become too restless. 5. PACK A SURPRISE BAGThis is just a fun little bonus tip that might help save your sanity, but it is not essential by any means. To give your child an incentive to be good on the plane, we recommend packing a small bag full of little goodies that you can get from the dollar store! Wrap them up individually, and explain to your child that every 30-45 minutes, they will be allowed to open one “present” – depending on the length of your flight and the number of toys, you may need to switch up the rules. This might be a lifesaver because unwrapping something is always fun, and when it’s something new it is even more exciting! CARRY-ON ESSENTIALS FOR HOLIDAY TRAVELS WITH KIDSIf your kid is big enough to walk around the airport, they’re big enough to carry a backpack – even if it’s just a small one! This will help the child feel like a big kid. Here are some things that you should be pack in your kids’ bag:Travel size tissues and wet wipes – in case of a mess!Some snacks – depending on the length of your flight, pack a few snacks that you know your child loves.A few sugar free lollipops/pacifier – to relieve the pressure during the ascent and descent of the flight.One cuddly toy or a blanket – let them bring their favourite toy to keep them safe and cuddle with!An extra pair of clothes – again, in case things get messy!Their games and entertainment – so they have easy access to the fun stuff.Overall, we can’t promise that any of these tips and tricks will keep your child calm for the whole flight. We can, however, definitely say that these will help you survive a vacation with kids. Although many of these tips apply to flying as well as driving with kids, here is a fully decked out article on road tripping with kids. Remember to breathe, stay calm, and always try to enjoy your trip as much as you can. And remember, you will most likely never see the people on your flight again, so everything will be fine.If you will not be travelling over the holidays, and looking for things to do on a Montreal holiday, check out our Laurus Lifestyles page. We have suggestions for date nights and family activities. We can even provide a babysitter if you’re looking to enjoy some holiday time without your kids! Note: we love kids, we think kids are great, but we also think parents need a break from kids, and that is okay. So, if you want to take back your holiday by spending a day or night without the kids, we hear you, we are with you, and we support you.