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Tips For Traveling With Children

It is that time of the year again: Holiday Season! Time to cook the turkeys, put up the tree, and travel to see friends and family. I don’t know how you feel but traveling can sometimes be a pain all by yourself.  Just think about traveling with your little ones. Do not fear. We will provide you will some helpful hints and tips to help you travel with your precious ones as smoothly as possible.

  1. Prepare – Traveling can be stressful by itself so make sure you do the preparatory work needed to keep stress levels down. Make a list of everything you must pack so that you do not miss anything. Have everything packed and ready to go as much as you can two nights before the date of departure. This way, the night of you and your family can have a great night of sleep. Make sure you are aware of the travel guidelines for the method of which you will be traveling. For example, if you are taking a flight, know the luggage rules for you and your children so that you do not incur any extra fees or encounter any unnecessary problems the day of. 
  2. Book Ahead – Try to book as well in advance as possible so that you do not have a rush. This will also be a way to keep your kids excited about traveling and keep them being fearful. Get them involved with the process and they may be more excited than you about your trip. If you are sending your child to travel alone and they have a layover, try to have the layover in a city/state where you have friends or family. This way if their flight is delayed there are familiar people you and they can depend on.
  3. Do Not Rush – Arrive at the airport, bus stop, or train station early. Allow plenty of time for clearances. The less rushed everyone is the more fun you all will have. This gives you and your kids time to sight-see and take in the adventure you are about to be on. Take a lot of pictures! The more exciting you make it, the more your kids will enjoy the experience.
  4. Bring Snacks – With flights there are certain food restrictions but with the train or bus they are more lenient. Research the restrictions and make sure that you have plenty for your kids to eat without being in excess. Everyone can get a little crabby when they are hungry and this way you can avoid many meltdowns and temper tantrums. Try to avoid sweets. 
  5. Prepare For Emergencies – Do not expect emergencies, but prepare for them. Try to keep a first aid kit in your carry on luggage so that you are prepared for any bumps and bruises on your journey. If you are traveling with infants and/or toddlers, pack plenty of diapers, baby wipes, pampers, underwear, and socks. Have bug spray, hand sanitizer, and antibacterial wipes. Make sure you do not forget any medicine your kids need.
  6. Have All Identification Ready – Have all I.D.’s and Passports ready and organized. You do not want to forget anything at home and miss a flight. Before you leave on your trip make sure that they are all updated. Children’s passports expire every 5 years and you don’t want to figure that out when you are going through security clearances to an international flight.
  7. Locate Bathrooms – Locate bathrooms in the airport, the train, and at all stops. You have children and frequent potty breaks are much better than accidents with sticky and wet clothing. 
  8. Bring Entertainment – Bring books and toys for your children while you travel. There are small coloring books, puzzles, and crafts that are perfect for traveling. Also there are a plethora of child-friendly apps that you can download on your tablet and phone that can keep your child happy. When going through clearances, tell your child that everything must be x-rayed and that they will get their toys and entertainment back after they get cleared. Communicating this to your child is key so you do not have a melt down because of a favorite teddy bear needing to go through the machine.
  9. Know Your Location Climate – We who live in Michigan are prepared for most weather changes. One day it is snowing and the next day it is raining with tornadoes. It still is very important to be prepared when traveling and knowing what is happening in other places. You do not want to arrive someplace needing a thick coat because it is snowing when you only packed t-shirts.
  10. Know Your Liquids – When traveling by plane there are liquid restrictions. Some liquids that are allowed with your carry on beyond the normal limit are baby formula, baby food, breast milk and medications. Tell the transportation security in advance that you are carrying these items so that you will clear quicker and go through more smoothly. 
  11. Know Your Luggage – Different airlines have various rules when it comes to luggage for you and your children. Some children’s luggage may count towards your baggage allowance thus creating more fees for you. Make sure you are prepared and pack accordingly. Strollers and seat restraints are usually checked for free and also you are allowed to take on the plane a booster, infant seat, and bassinet for free as long as it meets carry on restrictions.  This also applies when taking the train or the bus.

 

Be sure to check out TSA’s website for more travel information and updates.

Additional Sites:
www.delta.com
www.united.com
www.aa.com
www.tsa.gov
www.megabus.com
www.amtrak.com
www.southwest.com
www.spirit.com
www.usairways.com

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