If you’re planning a trip with the family, you want things to go well. Traveling with children can be a hair-raising adventure. Luckily, Kidology, Inc has some tips for you to save your next family vacation. Of course, car and plane travel have their own unique challenges, so we’ve broken both down for you.
Take to the Skies
Traveling by plane offers you the convenience of not having to drive and allows you to reach your destination faster. However, if you have children, plane travel can be less than fun. Here are 4 things that you can make your flight go more smoothly with the kids.
- Book an early flight. If you have young children, they’re more likely to nap on the flight if it’s early and less likely to be fussy. Meanwhile, if you have older children, they’ll be able to look forward to having time to enjoy your destination before night falls.
- Set expectations with your kids. Make sure that your kids know what to expect from a flight, especially if they’re young. Toddlers and young children might get scared when the pressure changes or if you hit turbulence. If they know what will happen ahead of time, they’re less likely to get upset. Likewise, if your children understand what rules they’ll need to follow on the flight, they’ll be better behaved.
- Dress in layers. Because temperatures can change drastically between home and your destination, make sure to dress in layers. That way, if it’s warmer than you expected, an outer shirt can be easily removed. Meanwhile, you can pull on the sweater if it’s colder than you anticipated.
- Bring small, contained activities for your kids and surprises for the little ones. Make sure that older children have books to read or other activities to keep them busy on the flight (including headphones if they have a hand-held game console). For toddlers, get a surprise they can open and play with on the flight. They’ll be delighted with getting to open something and their little hands will stay busy.
On the Road Again
Some families prefer to go on the road with kids so that they avoid mid-flight tantrums (or just to save a little money). Car travel, however, has its own aggravations. If you’re taking a road trip with your kids this year, here are 3 things that you can do to make the trip a little easier.
- Travel overnight. An overnight driving trip has two big advantages: you hit less traffic in urban areas and your kids will sleep on the trip. Make sure that you plan your trip ahead, however, for safe stops during the night and choose well-lit gas stations for fuel and bathrooms.
- Take travel activities and car-safe snacks. If you’re taking a long trip, or if you’re unable to travel at night, at least some of your trip will be during the day or early evening. Have snacks your kids can enjoy, including bottled water, and travel games and activities to keep them busy.
- Add a couple of hours to your travel time for stops and activities. Your trip will go better if you give your kids a chance to stretch their legs. You’ll also need a little extra time for the little ones to use the bathroom (or even to nurse safely if you have an infant). Make sure you give yourself plenty of time for stops and look for places where you and the kids can get out of the car to enjoy a view, pick out items at a rest stop, or just get some fresh air.
Whether you travel by car or by plane, the most important part is to enjoy your trip. Family trips only last as long as your kids are kids, so give yourself time to enjoy the moment. If you do find your kids getting fussy or even throwing a tantrum, remember – you’re not alone. Every parent deals with outbursts and fussiness. Take a breath, ignore any looks you might be getting, and help your child settle down and get into good spirits.