We recently had the opportunity to speak with Katie Sankare from The Sankare Family on Instagram, a mother of two who loves to travel with her children. In this interview, Katie shares her experiences and insights into travelling with kids. Katie provides valuable advice for parents looking to embark on adventures with their little ones. Let’s dive into her travel tales and wisdom.
1.How many kids do you have and how old are they?
We have two children – Laila who is 6 years old and Maya who is 2 years old.
2. When and where was the last time you travelled with them?
We have done a few short overnight and weekend trips around New England recently, but our most recent flying experience was in March 2023 when we went to Florida and New York City. We stayed in Florida for 9 days, visiting family and we spent 5 days at Disney World. Then, we flew to NYC and spent another 8 days there visiting family and our favorite spots in the city before flying back to Maine where we live.
3. What was that experience like?
Overall it was a really fun experience! Of course there were a few meltdowns from the kiddos, particularly after a delayed flight and a long day at Disney World, but overall it went very smoothly and we all had a blast.
3. Where do you plan to go to next?
We are actually heading to Quebec City, Canada in a few days! We are driving (it is a 5.5 hour drive from where we live) and spending 4 days there.
4. What’s it like travelling with kids in general? Have you adapted anything on your trips to suit them?
I love travelling with kids. Sure, there are moments that are challenging and things don’t always go as smoothly as if you were travelling with just adults, but it is so fun and rewarding to see them experience new places, foods, and cultures. We have definitely adapted our travels quite a bit since having children. Before kids we would pack our days on vacation full of activities and things we wanted to see and do. Now with kids we definitely move at a slower pace and build in rest times during the day. We don’t always get to see and do everything we want to, but we try to prioritise our must-do things first.
5. What are you kids favourite travelling snacks?
They love apple sauce pouches, Annie’s snack packs like cheddar bunnies, graham bunnies, and chocolate covered pretzels for something that feels more like a treat.
6. Do you have any activity essentials for your toddlers on flights/trip?
Yes, I find that it works best for us if we bring a mix of familiar things and new things. It’s always handy to have a few of their favourite toys/activities with us, because their favourites are their favourites for a reason and also it brings them comfort and familiarity. However, I’ve found that bringing a few novel toys/activities can be such a big lifesaver when they start to get fussy because you can pull out something new and exciting! I love picking up the little colouring packs from the dollar section at Target to use on trips – both my 2 year old and 6 year old get excited to use them!
7. Do you prefer to travel by train, plane or boat?
We prefer to travel by plane. Our kiddos really like flying and generally do pretty well with the whole process. If you can plan flights around times that will work well for your kiddos, it really is a great way to travel as a family.
8. What’s your ideal family vacation?
Somewhere where we can get a good mix of activities/sightseeing and rest/relaxation. We love being in or near a city to be able to experience art, culture, food and activities. Our kids love being on the go. However, I love to have at least a day or two where we focus on resting and recharging, whether it be at a beach day or a hotel pool day. I think it’s important to make time to relax and hopefully return from vacation a bit more refreshed and rejuvenated!
9. With young kids, do you prefer early morning flight or late night flights? Why?
It depends on how long the flight is! If it is a flight around 4 hours or under, I definitely prefer mornings. Our 2 year old never naps while travelling as she is always way too excited and doesn’t want to miss anything! For that reason I always avoid a nap time flight and try for early morning. However, if the flight is 5+ hours I definitely prefer night flights. We flew to Paris on an overnight flight when the girls were ages 5 and 11 months, and it went so smoothly. Both of them slept almost the whole flight!
10. Any travel tips you swear by?
I think the biggest tip and thing I tell myself before every trip is to just be flexible. Expect that it won’t all go perfectly or smoothly and that it is OK. It’s so common to have travel delays, lost items, a cranky kiddo, unexpected illness, etc. and the more you can just be prepared to go with the flow and adapt the better. Also, if you model being flexible and calm for your kiddos, they will pick up on your energy and also be more calm and flexible when faced with unexpected challenges during travel!
11. Travel gadgets or essential you recommend?
I always have the rain cover for our stroller with us at all times. I swear, if I don’t have the rain cover with me it is always a downpour!
12. Do you have basics you always put in your medicine kit?
I’m a bit of an over packer when it comes to the medicine kit. I always feel like if I have it all and I am prepared then I won’t need it! We always carry children’s pain reliever for any unexpected illness or fever, Benadryl for any allergies, Neosporin and band-aids for any cuts or scrapes, and sunscreen!
Shop This Trip
Destinations: New England, Disney World
Activity essentials: Annie’s snack packs, colouring packs
From the excitement of flying to new destinations to the challenges and rewards of exploring with young kids, Katie’s experiences offer a glimpse into the joys and occasional meltdowns that come with family travel. Her tips on adapting itineraries, bringing familiar and new activities, and embracing flexibility serve as valuable advice for parents planning their own journeys. As we conclude this interview, we’re inspired by Katie’s dedication to creating memorable experiences for her children and her commitment to finding the perfect balance between exploration and relaxation. So thank you Katie from the Sankare Family for sharing their travelling experiences with us! Make sure to follow the The Sankare Family on Instagram.
About Katie Sankare
Katie, her husband Gimbala, and their children Laila (6) and Maya (2) – The Sankare Family – from littleonestravelguide love to travel and share tips and ideas for travelling with little ones. They have family and friends who live all over the world on many different continents. Many of their travels are to visit them. They also love to explore new places, whether it be adventures close to home around Maine and the Northeast United States, or far away in other countries. They hope to inspire others to travel with their little ones and share what works well during their travels so that others can enjoy smooth, happy, exciting adventures with their families!
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