Must know tips when traveling with kids
Traveling is not easy venture. However with a bit of planning, and luck, your family travel time can be pleasant and enjoyable.
Traveling is not easy venture. In fact, sometimes the ‘getting there’ is more of an adventure than you bargain for. We’ve all heard stories of travel woes, hang-ups and hold-ups; especially during the holidays. And we’ve all seen the “Home Alone” movies…Kevin!!!!!!!!!
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of planning, staying on top of things and a good bit of luck, your family travel time can be pleasant and enjoyable. Here’s how…
- Keep everyone’s travel documents with you at all times. Keep everything in a purse-sized file folder. Keep each person’s in a separate envelope so you can hand envelopes to the authorities rather than a bunch of papers.
- Make sure you get everything back. If you hold up the line checking…so be it. Don’t leave until you are satisfied you have it all back in your possession.
- Dress appropriately for going through security checks in airports, etc. Why cause yourself unnecessary time and stress by wearing lots of jewelry, etc. No one’s looking at you anyway. They’re all trying to get somewhere too.
- Take what you need but don’t take more than you need. If you’re going to be gone more than 4 days, pack for 5 and do laundry. It will save on room in the car or baggage checking fees on the plane.
- Make sure you have emergency contacts and medical information in your purse such as a list of medications family members take regularly and any existing medical conditions someone would need to be aware of. Having these things readily available could save your lives in the event of an accident.
- Take a few simple, yet fun things for kids to do to occupy their time. Boredom is the number one traveling issue between parents and children. Children over the age of 4 or 5 will enjoy listening to you read chapter books to them. You can share wild times with Junie B. Jones, a mystery adventure with Nancy Drew or learn what it was like to be a child in another place in time with the American Girl books. As for the toys, don’t take things that have small, removable parts. And whatever you do, don’t take toys that make noise.
- Stay together!!! Remember Kevin…. No, seriously, stay together. Don’t let your children out of your sight. Okay, you don’t have to share bathroom stalls, but let your children know that unless they are over the age of 12 and can scream bloody murder that they aren’t to exit their stall before you do.
- Make sure you pack some essentials in your purse-baby wipes, gum, ear drops, motion sickness medication and bandages. FYI: the cute bandages stop tears 50% faster than the boring flesh-colored ones do.
- If traveling by air, arrive early so you don’t have to wait in long lines. Kids hate lines.
- If traveling by car, take frequent bathroom breaks and even breaks to just get out and walk or run around for 5 or 10 minutes. You’d be amazed at how much that helps.
- As for snacks…keep them sugar-free (why would you do that to yourself) and no-mess. Apple slices, carrot sticks, string cheese and pretzels are great choices. And if you’re going to be traveling for less than 3 hours, skip the snacks altogether. No one is going to die of starvation in that amount of time.
- Traveling by train is a relaxing way to travel-even for children. Being free of car seats makes it a bit more fun and the staff will often talk to children about the trains-how they work, etc.
- Don’t let your children infringe upon the rights of other travelers. A baby is going cry, yes, but make sure you have what you need to quiet them as quickly as possible. Expect your children to use good manners and remain within their ‘personal space’, speaking quietly and not throwing tantrums.
- Allow your children to have fun. Traveling can be a grand adventure. Know they are going to get a bit cranky at times, know they are going to ask lots of questions and be ready, willing and able to make the trip an enjoyable one for everybody.