Ryan Reynolds, Chrissy Teigen and More Celeb Parents Share Their Tips for Traveling with Kids
Two Words: Duct Tape — Braunwyn Windham Burke
The Real Housewives of Orange County star, 41 shares seven kids — daughters Bella, 19, and Rowan, 17; son Jacob, 14; 6-year-old twin boys Caden and Curran; daughter Koa, 4; and 1-year-old baby daughter Hazel — with husband Sean. And she's picked up a few tips on trips to Miami, Hawaii, New York City and London.
The "number one item" in her bag? Duct tape.
“Don’t leave home without it,” Windham-Burke says. “I bring it on the airplane so that I can tape the tray table shut. If anything breaks, like a stroller or a suitcase, duct tape will fix it. There is literally nothing it can’t do."
Go Glamping — Elisabeth Rohm
The Bombshell actress's favorite way to vacation with 11-year-old daughter Easton? Hitting the road and getting back to nature.
"One of the most fun ways to travel that’s super easy for parents and kids is glamping!" she tells PEOPLE. "I’m all for packing up the car and going to a beautiful cabin in the woods and keeping things really simple. I like to find affordable excursions that are close and include everything, accommodations, food, and activities."
Her current favorite spot is Pali Mountain Retreat near Lake Arrowood, California. "We're going up for Spring Break and Mother's Day weekend!"
Prevent Breakdowns with a Bottle — Chrissy Teigen
The model, cookbook author and mom to Luna, 3, and Miles, 1, with husband John Legend, once joked on Twitter, "I truly love hearing other kids cry [on a plane] now because it means it’s not my own. That’s a better feeling than silence, honestly."
But she also shared a tip for getting little ones to keep calm and quiet on a flight. "I have a system that when we're taking off and when we're descending, I give them a bottle, so they have something to suck," she told Conde Nast Traveler. "You get those little tips down and then you are kind of good to go."
Remember to Have Empathy — Ryan Reynolds
The Deadpool actor also keeps a sense of humor about the reality of traveling with little ones. "I'd rather drink a piping hot bowl of liquid rabies" than fly with kids," joked the father to daughters James, 5, Inez, 3, and a 3-month-old little girl whose name the couple hasn't shared publicly. In reality, he admits, you just have to expect the unexpected and "have empathy for parents. Because you can see they’re sweating and they’re nervous because their kids are yelling and everyone’s mad at them,” said Reynolds, adding, “I’m the same way.”
“At 2 years old they just have to rip all their clothes off and introduce themselves to everyone on the plane, it’s just like, ‘Please can we land in a farmer’s field?'” he joked.
So Many Bags of Snacks — Molly Sims
“You cannot bring just one snack,” Sims says of her hard-won travel lesson. “You have to bring nine snacks, but times it by three because they all want the same snack in their own bag.”
A few other essentials she always brings when on mom duty include: a thermometer, lotion, extra Ziploc bags, garbage bags, Motrin, Tylenol and wet wipes.
Pack Black Trash Bags — Ali Fedotowsky Manno
The former Bachelorette, and mom to Molly, 3, and Riley, 1, keeps an unusual item at hand when sleeping away from home with her little ones: black garbage bags.
"This tip was given to me by our sleep trainer and it’s such a great piece of advice! She recommended that when we travel with the kids to pack black garbage bags and tape them around the windows wherever we are staying," she wrote on her blog. "Not everyone has black out curtains ... and both of our little ones sleep in complete darkness with white noise machines on."
She adds, this is especially handy when switching time zones and trying to keep little ones on their own sleep schedule.
Immerse Kids in Other Cultures... through Trickery —Eva Amurri Martino
The actress, blogger and daughter of Susan Sarandon shares daughter Marlowe, 5, and son Major, 3, with husband Kyle. On a recent trip to Italy, Eva got creative to encourage her kids to try new things.
"I told them on the flight over that the chefs and the people who work in restaurants in Italy don’t let kids eat kid food, that kids are supposed to eat grown up food in Italy. I pulled that one out of my a—," she revealed on a recent podcast. "I just wanted to let them know that it wasn’t going to be like America, where there’s a kids' menu and to encourage them to try what [Kyle and I] were eating."
And it was a success! "They did amazing. They were eating squid," she says, though she admits, "We would tell them things were chicken a lot."