How To Travel With Kids
Follow these tips on how to travel with kids to ensure that your dream vacation won’t turn into a nightmare. Whether you are traveling with your kids by car, airplane or some other form of transportation, be prepared with these activities and distractions for your children that will keep them entertained and you less aggravated. Additionally, there are tips here to help make your vacation more enjoyable once you arrive at your destination.
Things you'll need before you travel with kids:
- Portable DVD player
- Portable gaming systems
- Snacks and drinks
- Medication (i.e. cough medicine)
- Leave early for road trips. Traveling the highways are so much easier when your children are sleeping during the first few hours of the trip. By packing the car up the night before and leaving by 5 a.m. or earlier, you can hopefully get several hours down the road before your kids even awaken.
- Bring a DVD player and game players. Keep your children entertained on the road with an in-car or portable DVD player. However, remember to turn the DVD player off when traveling through sightseeing areas. A portable game system, such as a Nintendo DS, is also a good way to keep children occupied during the boring stretches of a road trip. Always remember to store all electronics out of sight when you are not in the car and to re-pack the game system if your child brings it to your hotel room. It’s never any fun to have to turn around in the middle of a road trip to retrieve a forgotten game system.
- Pack an airplane survival kit. With airlines cutting back on amenities and charging fees for others, there are a few things passengers traveling with kids should bring. For instance, many discount airlines charge for headphones, so bring your own set so your children can enjoy the onboard entertainment. Many flights aren’t offering blankets or food, so make sure to bring those items if you think your child will need them. It is always a good idea to bring at least one or two juice boxes onboard, as there are times–for instance, if the plane hits a lot of turbulence–when the attendants can’t serve drinks. Also, sucking on a juice box straw for smaller children or a bottle for infants will help alleviate the buildup of cabin pressure in their ears during takeoff and landings.
- Pack a bathing suit for each kid in your carry-on or an overnight bag. If you are arriving at a resort before check-in time, it is a good idea to have your swimsuits easily accessible so your children can change into their suits and enjoy the pool while waiting for the room to be ready.
- Stay in a suite-style hotel room or rent a house or condo. You will be able to save money if you don’t have to eat out at restaurants every night and can make some of your meals in a place that has a kitchen. If your only choices are hotels, try to get one that has a little fridge in which you can keep juice, water and yogurt you can buy from a grocery store. To save even more money, stock your room with breakfast bars, Pop Tarts and small boxed cereals for quick and cheap breakfasts.
- Take a break. When visiting places like Disney World or other amusement parks in the summer when it can be very hot, some people prefer to go to the park first thing in the morning, return to their hotel during the hottest part of the day for a nap and lunch and return to the amusement park for the evening. This will only work, of course, if you have more than one day at the park. You and your children will enjoy an amusement park more when they are well rested.
Pack an emergency kit. Kids want bandages for even the most minor of boo boos, so always have a few on hand. Two other must-haves for the road are Ibuprofen and a cough medicine that are appropriate for children. For some reason, children always seem to develop a nagging cough when you are trying to sleep in the same room with them.