Traveling with Kids
As a seasoned traveler, I know how stressful it can be to voyage
with small children, and during the holidays it often becomes a requirement.
Don’t get caught up in the stress this year, follow these tried and true tips
for ensuring easy travel with your kids this holiday season.
Whether you’re flying or driving to your travel destination
this holiday season, here are a few reminders to help you and your children get
where you’re going smoothly and happily.
Preparations Are Key:
Make sure your family knows of this year’s holiday plans well in advance so
they are able to collect their favorite movies, download their favorite music
and pack up their favorite stuffed animals. Your itinerary should be solidly
planned out with a little extra room for hiccups and delays. If you’re driving,
purchase a road atlas for your car, print out directions from Google Maps, or
program and update your GPS system, and check on road conditions and closures
due to weather in advance so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Packing: When it
comes to packing it’s all about being organized. And, as it turns out, one of
the more difficult activities when traveling is packing in an organized
fashion. You will need to decide how many suitcases you’ll be packing and who
will be responsible for what bags or belongings. Don’t wait until the last
minute to pack, start early. Remember to pack up a bag full of snacks and
goodies to have on-hand during your travels. Whether on a plane or in a car,
getting into baggage once the journey’s begun might not be a viable option. We
also stick a pair of pajamas in the on-hand bag. Most of the time, our traveling
stretches into the night; changing from day clothes into pajamas while
traveling at night helps kids feel more comfortable.
Chances are your child is going to get bored and burnt-out while traveling, so,
as the parent, it’s your responsibility to have a handful of tricks up your
sleeve. Toys, puzzles, games and books are great sources of entertainment on
the go. Stick a few surprises in your on-hand travel bag so that you can
head-off your fidgety child before boredom turns into a meltdown. When you’re
driving during daylight, you and your child can watch license plates, keep
track of the different colors of cars you pass or listen to a book on tape.
When in the airplane, booklets of mazes and coloring books can be extremely
helpful when it comes to keeping kids entertained. It doesn’t hurt to have a
favorite movie on your iPod or portable DVD player to pop on when your child
Keep in Mind:
Your kids are going to be exhausted from traveling, so allow them ample time to
rest. More than likely, you will be having more activity than a typical day at
home would consist of, so keep a close eye on your children to see when they’ve
had enough. Traveling can put stress on our bodies and immune systems, so make
sure you all drink lots of water and try to eat healthy. Remember you’re on vacation
with your children. Plan out some special, kid-friendly activities you know
they’ll love and enjoy!
Make sure you explain everything to your children in advance
so there are no surprises upon stepping onto an airplane for the first time or
visiting the snow. Your child will feel more comfortable, safe and secure if
they know what to expect in advance. Remember to be flexible and have a little
fun – nothing ever goes quite according to plan, so be prepared for a few minor
hiccups and roll with the punches.
Safe travels this holiday season.