Traveling with Kids
Taking your kids along for a trip can be stressful, but implementing a few simple tips can ensure your family vacation is full of fun. Whether you’re embarking on a 10-hour drive or a quick flight, here are a few great ideas to keep your kids entertained and happy from start to finish.
- Expect things to go wrong. Traveling with kids is hard, so go into the trip with a flexible attitude for when mishaps occur. If you treat the obstacles like challenges, it will become a much more enjoyable adventure for everyone. Flexibility is key here; if you have older kids, they’ll probably have their own ideas for the trip. Give them a say here and let them choose some of the activities too. Giving kids, even younger ones, a sense of ownership will go a long way.
- Prepare for the worst. Aside from your attitude, there are a few essential items to pack when traveling with your kids. Baby wipes- no matter how old your kids are, things are probably going to get messy. When stuck in the car for a long road trip, baby wipes could be your savior. Another key thing to pack is medicine. Who knows when the kids will come down with a stomach ache or headache? Always better to be safe than sorry. Lastly bring a change of clothes in your carry-on. Extra pajamas are probably your best bet; in case of spillage, kids will be relieved to have an option if they’re uncomfortable for any reason.
- Prepare for that dreaded car ride or flight. From the very start of the trip, preparation is essential. Take advantage of your kids’ nap schedules and try to arrange the transportation around that time. If you’re flying, check if your airline provides kids’ meals and be sure to request one ahead of time. Along the same lines, always pack lots of snacks. A special treat can often save the day when the kids are getting cranky. Don’t forget to over pack activities; download favorite apps on the iPad, bring coloring books, stickers, or whatever you can carry.
- Miscellaneous tips: If your trip includes a long car ride, buy some cheap cookie trays and magnets. Use the magnets to stick pieces of paper on the tray, which will act as a portable hard surface for your kids to draw or color on anywhere. Another great tip is to implement a “surprise travel bag” for all your future trips. Fill this bag with little toys, treats or whatever you pick up at the store. No peeking in the bag until you leave for the trip. This gives the kids something to look forward to and some entertainment… for the first few hours at least.