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Travel, Kids, and Making Memories : Flight Deals for Families

“I guess we can’t have kids then.”

That was something I said to tease my husband when we left dinner with our friends. They had just casually mentioned that they had decided they wouldn’t travel until their youngest child was at least seven. The problem was, they had two kids under the age of two and told us they wanted more!

I did the math and that was WAY more years than I could handle not traveling. 

So, it’s been our ongoing joke: Kids = No fun.

Obviously, children are a great source of joy and we do actually want them, and thankfully, we have loads of family and friends who have shown us that having kids doesn’t have to mean you put all the other things you love in this world on a shelf for later. 

And specifically, they have shown me that traveling - one of the things that brings me great joy - is not something to save for later.

Here are some things I’ve learned to make traveling with kids a reality. 

I’ve traveled with our friends and their toddler to Europe. Twice. My sister-in-law is homeschooling their four boys to prepare for several months in Italy later this year. My friend flew with her newborn back and forth to Texas to visit family countless times last year. They all show me that travel is not only possible with children, but is actually an incredible experience for everyone.

In my many, many observations of parents making travel possible, the one thing they all have in common is that they normalize travel. They travel with their children when they’re young, and often, to make sure that travel is something they (the parents) and the child are both used to! They all start small: a quick nonstop flight. Each chance they have to normalize all the odd things about travel will only make their bigger trips that much easier. 

family on travel vacation at the beach

If you’ve got big dreams of someday taking your children on an adventure (and I hope you do), the best thing you can do is to get them ready NOW so their sense of adventure and flexibility is developed over many opportunities. 

Here are five nonstop flight options from Memphis you may consider in preparation for the trip of your dreams:

Memphis to New York City

Price: $120-$200/person

Nonstop on Delta/United/American

Flight Time: 2 hours 40 minutes

If you’ve got plans to go to Europe, New York is a perfect place to prepare. Major European cities are usually walking cities, and that’s the best way to explore. New York can give you an idea of how long your kids can walk, how well they will do in museums, and can help you get used to navigating public transportation. And you can manage all of these new experiences in English.

travel deal to New York City

flight post liner

Memphis to Orlando, Florida

Price: $50-$120

Nonstop on Allegiant/Spirit/Frontier

Flight Time: 2 hours

Orlando has a shorter fly time, and the fun waiting for your kids on the other end is nothing short of magical. Ten major theme parks ensure that no matter the age of your kids, you’ll find something age appropriate for everyone. 

To minimize stress, keep in mind that budget airlines charge extra for carry-ons. Pack light and have your children bring their own backpacks, even if it is just their own in-flight entertainment, so they learn to carry things. Tip: checked luggage is often cheaper than carry-ons on budget airlines. Check a bag for your whole family. Remember, in travel, less is [almost always] more. Part of a “trial trip” is learning what you do and do not need with you. Better to learn now than while you’re dragging full-sized suitcases through the cobblestone streets of Europe. 

flight post liner

Memphis to Fort Lauderdale/Miami, Florida

Price: $60-$197

Nonstop on Allegiant/American

Flight Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

If your main concern about traveling with children is the flight, Florida is a great option. With short fly times, you’re able to go somewhere fun without long flights. 

If this is their first time flying, talk to your kids days before the flight about what they can expect. Walk them through things like security, which will mean parting with their favorite toy as it goes through a scanner. Let them know airplanes are loud, but it’s not a scary sound and headphones can make that sound go away. You know your child and what might be scary for them. Talking to them about it ahead of time is a great way to normalize it. 

nonstop flight deal to Ft. Lauderdale

flight post liner

Memphis to Los Angeles, California

Price: $80-$200

Nonstop on Allegiant/Spirit/Delta

Flight Time: 4 hours 26 minutes

Keep in mind that travel to the West Coast is a longer flight time. If you’re up for the challenge, you’ve got theme parks, pristine beaches, and incredible weather waiting for you. You also have the option to navigate a large city or just lounge on a beach. You’ll see how your kids do in a variety of environments and will get to answer the following questions: what items do my kids need on a beach? Can I really carry that much stuff? Do I need a stroller at a beach destination? 

travel deal to LA

flight post liner

Memphis to Denver, Colorado

Price: $40-$200

Nonstop on Frontier/United

Flight time: 2 hours 45 min

If you want to take your kids on an outdoor adventure, Denver is a great place to start. With four national parks, Colorado is an outdoor playground. 

flight post liner

Long story short, a smaller trip before your dream trip will teach you how your kids deal with change and unpredictability. But it will also teach you how YOU deal with change and unpredictability. Kids will follow your lead, and if you can show them that a long line in security is no big deal, and a delay with your flight isn’t anything to stress about, it will go a long way toward your trip’s success. 

Now, no more excuses. Go take that trip you’ve been dreaming of with your kids and give them some lifelong memories!

hiking with kids

901 flights owner

Ashling is the owner of 901 Flights, a flight deal subscription service that alerts Memphians when prices are low. Her goal is to get Memphis out and traveling more, without breaking the bank! The average flight deal she sends is 50% or more in savings from typical flight prices. You can learn more and get started on your own travels at 901flights.com or by following 901 Flights on Instagram.

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