Ten Tips For Traveling With Kids
Thinking about taking a summer trip with the kids? Wondering how our parents survived? Here are some tips to help you along the way.
1. BOOK AHEAD.
While flying by the seat of your pants may have been fun BK (before kids), it’s not a good idea to wing it with kids in tow. Whether you’re camping or staying in hotels, book ahead and know when you can promise the next meal, potty stop, and bed.
2. START THE VACAY EARLY.
Weeks before your trip, talk to your child about the places you’ll visit. Find them on a map and talk about the history and culture of each place. Research plants and animals. Read books set in that location. And definitely discuss the food of the region challenging your child to give it a try, when he gets the chance.
3. TAKE IT SLOW.
A little wiggle room is important when traveling with kids. Whether at the airport, sightseeing, or getting from point A to point B, trying to make kids hurry isn’t fun for anyone. Whenever possible, give them room to explore and discover at their own pace.
4. OFFER THEM THE CAMERA.
Encourage even young kids to observe their surround- ings and what interests them. Let them record their knee-high viewpoint. You might be surprised what they capture.
5. PRELOAD KID-FRIENDLY APPS.
As much as we all hate to see a small child parked in front of their parent’s cell phone, traveling is a good time to allow some well-chosen apps to step in as nanny. Take along a book and washable markers for young kids. But don’t feel guilty about also proffering a device that’s loaded with calming, distracting apps and games.
6. KEEP THINGS SANITARY.
Keep antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer close by. Wipe down cutlery in questionable restaurants. Distrib- ute hand sanitizer when there are no washing facilities. You can even cover airplane seats with crib sheets to protect from germs left by previous passengers.
7. KEEP DISTRACTIONS COMING.
Have a collection of toys to be handed out periodically, as kids grow tired of what they have. Handheld puzzles, coloring books, stickers, and word searches can help pass the time on a long flight or car journey and keep everybody sane.
8. PLAN HEALTHY SNACKS.
Nothing makes a car trip or plane ride feel longer than a bunch of kids hyped up on sugary snacks. Instead pack savory choices such as cheese cubes, breadsticks, fruit, and bagels.
9. ENCOURAGE KIDS TO KEEP A TRAVEL JOURNAL.
It might be a photo journal, a scrapbook of postcards, or a hand-written description of each location and adven- ture. This is a great way to get kids to try new experienc- es and new foods, knowing they can write about them afterward.
10. MARK THEM.
It might sound crazy but, if you’re traveling through crowded airports or transport hubs, write your cell number on your child’s arm, so authorities can contact you, should the two of you become separated.
With a little forethought and know-how, traveling with kids of any age can be enjoyable. And just think of the memories you’ll be making.