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Traveling with Young Children

by Eugenia Lazaris

Oct 21, 2017

© Serban Enache | Dreamstime

Travel Tips

When planning a family vacation, parents usually have one goal in mind: family fun. But traveling can be filled with pitfalls for the unprepared traveler. Add young children to the mix and disaster is waiting around every corner. Follow these simple tips and your well-deserved vacation can be filled with memories, not nightmares.

Make sure your routes are mapped out ahead of time. Knowing where you are going is key to your success; trying to navigate new places is tough enough on your own but with a child in tow, everyone’s patience can wear thin. When traveling by air, a great website to use is AirportTerminalMaps.com. This helpful website provides up-to-date information on airport terminals so you know where you are going once you get to the airport.

Plan for extra time to deal with the unexpected. Murphy’s Law tells us that whatever can go wrong, will, and traveling with children really puts this old adage to the test. While it is virtually impossible to anticipate and plan for every possible bump in the road, if you give yourself some breathing room you can at least have the time to deal with things as they come up.

Playing at Airport

© Nadezhda1906 | Dreamstime

Allow kids plenty of time to burn off pent-up energy. Many airports have play areas and kid zones. Use them. Let your kids play and get anxiety out of their systems at the airport so they are not so wound up on the plane.

Avoid sugar and caffeine at all costs! The last thing you want is your kids running up and down the aisle on an airplane or bouncing around the back seat while you are trying to drive safely.

Bring healthy snacks so kids have something to munch on during unexpected delays. Everyone is guilty of getting a little hangry now and again, and children are no exception. Keep the previous tip in mind and make sure those snacks are not loaded down with sugar. Bring a supply of granola bars, dried fruit and dry cereal.

boy with iPad on Airplane

© Danil Roudenko | Dreamstime

Surprise the kiddos with new activities and books. It is no secret kids love surprises, and this trick works great when you need to keep them busy on a long trip. Bring along a stash of new toys, games and activities they don’t have at home. It’s easy to stock up ahead of time at your local discount store before your trip.

Don’t forget the chargers! Nowadays no one goes anywhere without electronic devices, and kids are no exception. They are getting more and more proficient with smartphones and tablets every day, and traditional forms of entertainment are quickly becoming a thing of the past. They can play games and watch cartoons and movies for hours on end, but not if the device is dead, so make sure those chargers are packed and accessible. When a device is running out of juice, just plug in and rest assured meltdowns have been averted.

Last but not least, the most important tip of all — have fun with your little ones. They grow up so fast, and these opportunities to make memories with them are precious so enjoy them to the fullest.


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