Traveling is stressful, especially if you have kids. I certainly know as a first time mother of a 6-month old. Whether you are going by plane, train, or automobile... the majority of what makes a smooth trip involves entertainment, food, and incidental coverage.
Entertainment: This is all dependent on the age of your child, but the premise is the same. Keep your kids busy. Pack plenty of reading materials, coloring books, small games and gasp… the tablet! A lot of parents limit media time but traveling should be an exception. Your trip can be so much more smooth and calm if the kids keep busy.
Food: Having plenty of snacks at all times is key to avoiding mini meltdowns. Don't assume the airport or convenient store with always be open or have what you need. Be sure to stay proactive about feeding your little ones since it's usually harder to calm down a toddler that is in full meltdown mode than keeping him or her satisfied with frequent small snacks.
Incidental coverage: Accidents happen, especially when it comes to traveling with kids. You may think you are already carrying too many bags through the airport but it's a lifesaver to have an extra pair of clothes squeezed in your bag to address the unexpected. This includes extra clothes for you too, mama. There is nothing worse than traveling all day and being covered in your child's vomit. Always pack plenty of wipes, diapers, and clothes in your carry-on. It's worth it!