404 Queues with little ones

Queues with little ones


While most people with young kids will say that flying is the hardest part of traveling, I disagree. I think it’s queues. They’re everywhere. Perhaps a good way to prepare for a trip, especially to theme parks, is to stand in the longest line you can find for 30 minutes and see what happens.

Let me know, though, as I really hate lines and will never force myself into one without any benefit.

So, how do we deal with this?

The culture of the queue

First – queuing is a cultural thing. Here’s a sample of different types of queuing cultures.

  • First come, first served.
  • Loudest is first.
  • Survival of the fittest.
  • Whatever, we’ll all eventually get helped.
  • Pick a number.
  • Show me the money.
  • What’s a line?

Now that we have that out of the way, figure out what the line culture is where you’re going. Then remember that what may be considered rude where you’re from, might not be rude where you are going. So, get over any feelings of being polite or you’ll still be standing in line as I’m posting the Z for this challenge.

Very basic queue etiquette

Regardless of the above, there are still some line rules that you just don’t break.


  • Don’t push pass people in any line that is roped off.
  • If people are going in or out of a place (subways or elevators), let the people out before going in.
  • Don’t look at the reservations book to find the last name of someone else and pretend you are them.
  • Actually, never pretend to be someone you aren’t just to get preferential treatment.
  • In dangerous situations – women and children first


Dealing with long lines and waits

Kids aren’t good waiters, so prepare some spur of the moment games and distractions to keep everything fun. Here are some ideas:

  • Play two truths and one lie
  • Talk about what’s around you via the game I spy
  • Take turns with the game 20 questions
  • Recap the things you’ve done and discuss what you will soon do
  • Take selfies on your phone, post them to IG #queueselfies
  • Eat a small snack

If you have any fun line anecdotes, tips on how to queue in a country you’ve visited, or suggestions for keeping wait times somewhat fun, let me know in the comments!

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Adventuring at Home‘s blog is about life in Charlottesville, VA. Her take on the A-to-Z challenge are things she wants to do in her 20s. Check it out!

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  1. I love your list of queue rules! It’s a shame a few basic queue rules are not followed by everyone. If they did I’m sure the queues would disappear a lot quicker!

    • I don’t even think I touched on the queue rule of boarding and exiting a plane. I just can’t believe how people are sometimes.

  2. Hmm, etiquette point 2 doesn’t seem to apply in London! However, on the whole queuing is a very British pastime. My pet hate is people who breeze up to the front and ask if anybody minds if they go first because they’re in a hurry (aren’t we all?) then get upset when you say you do mind. Maybe that’s just the gallus Glaswegians (i.e. cheeky).

    • Etiquette point 2 is really common sense, but I don’t think it applies anywhere. I’ve heard of some cities (was it London or New York) that make signs and posters trying to explain the complicated process of letting people exit first.

  3. Ann, All good suggestions and good on ya for not saying to give them a video game. Kids need to learn to be “bored” and become patient. Your way will help them with that! Excellent post!

    • Thanks. I wish I could say that we don’t use electronics, but we do. For some reason, though, we haven’t needed them for lines yet. And it’s really rare to find kids under their teenage years playing games on their equipment where we live. I think people would get disgusted – ha ha! I try to keep them as a last resort on flights and the rare restaurant experience. (Rare being the times they don’t want to sit and wait at a restaurant – they are getting better at it now, but some days aren’t so good.)

  4. One of my most difficult experiences with our little grandkiddos was standing in a queue at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We had to park the stroller before lining up. The two-year-old kept trying to escape, and could easily get under the metal railings that were keeping us all in line. But we couldn’t so easily get under them to catch her! Donna On Palawan @ Quintessential San Diego From A to Z

    • Two is a rough age for standing in line. I’m lucky that a lot of the zoos in my area don’t have anything that requires a line – other than the cafeteria. But, the grocery store continues to be a challenge.