A Seven-Year-Old's Guide to Surviving Holiday Travel

Are you traveling with any little ones this holiday? Seven-year-old Toby loves nothing more than planning trips (just like his mama!), so while he splashed around in the bath this weekend, I asked for his thoughts on flying on planes, choosing rental cars and visiting relatives. Here are the 10 tips he said he’d give his fellow kids this holiday season…


Drinks on the plane: Maybe you could order a fizzy apple. That’s fizzy water mixed with apple juice. I like the beautiful red straws that come with the drinks. The flight attendants give you snacks, too. If they have peanuts, pretzels or cookies, ask for all of them. They let you.

On choosing a seat: I like the middle seat. I don’t like the window seat because I feel like I’m going to fall off the plane. If someone is sitting next to you, say, ‘Hello, how are you doing today?’ Once, we sat next to a guy who was bald. A long time ago, we met a guy with long hair. Maybe in 2012. He was really nice. His name was Jake. He was like, Hi, my name’s Jake. It’s nice to talk to people.

What to do during the flight: Maybe you can watch a show. They might have Doc McStuffins. Maybe you can put your tray table down and use it to color. Take a walk down the aisle; it’s relaxing.

On tired siblings: If your brother is crying at the end, you can carry his luggage. You can do that to help. But don’t go close to him in case he hits you. Take a step back.


On choosing a rental car: Avis has fancy cars. Avis and Hertz I would recommend as the best. They have faster cars. I’m a really good rental car picker. I like getting a Nissan Sentra or a Nissan Altima or a Kia Rio or any Chrysler. Make sure it has four doors, not two doors. You can also try Turo, which is when you rent even better cars from people. It’s not too expensive and you can even get a Ferrari! I have never done that but I would always want to. When I grow up I will do that.

On playing music: If you’re playing music in the car, play Shake Your Booty or Wake Me Up Before You Go Go or all the songs from Trolls. Basically every song from a show or movie. One time Anton wanted to play Penny Lane so many times. He was like, ‘Penny Lane, Penny Lane, Penny Lane.‘ Daddy played it a bunch of times but then wanted to stop.


Greeting everyone: When you see your aunts and uncles and grandma, you say, ‘Hiiiiii! I’m so excited to see you!’ They kiss and hug you. If you don’t want to kiss and hug them, you don’t have to. It’s nice to see what rental cars they got, too.


What to pack: Pack pajamas, underwear, pants, shirts, a toothbrush and a bathing suit if you’re going somewhere with a pool or maybe a beach. Pack your favorite toys, and it would be nice to sleep with a stuffed animal. I’m going to bring Elephanty and Max. You squeeze them into your suitcase. I always pack a jean jacket because they are really cool and snazzy. Snazzy means fancy. I know that word from Fuller House.


Writing a wish list: You can write down your list on a piece of construction paper. This year, my wish list has a Playmobil house, a Playmobil playground, a Playmobil school bus, a Playmobil plane, a Playmobil Porsche, a Playmobil Porsche dealer and caramels. Caramel tastes like chocolate. If you get a present you don’t really like, still say thank you. Ask your parents to pack a screwdriver and batteries for your trip. Presents sometimes need those things to work. If you don’t have them, you might get upset.

Waking up early: If you wake up in the night, and you really want to open your presents, you would get in trouble. You have to wait until your parents wake up. But they will wake up early that day because you really want them to. You do special things on trips. You will have fun.

A Seven-Year-Old's Guide to Surviving Holiday Travel

Thank you so much, Toby! Where will you be spending the holidays this year? What advice would you add for family travel?

P.S. 10 tips for traveling with a baby, and how to entertain a toddler on a plane.

(Photos of the boys with an Away kid’s suitcase.)