• Tips for Tiny Travelers

    Whether it’s a much-anticipated beach vacation or a somewhat less-anticipated trip to Great Aunt Thelma’s house, the holidays are a time when travel is more or less inevitable. If you’ve taken trips with the little ones before, it should come as no surprise that travel is fraught with pitfalls, many of the tantrum-inducing variety. So if you want to make your next trip with the kids fuss-free, here are some tips to help.

    family-road-trip

    Prepping is Key

    At-home preparation can make or break your trip. When you help pack your kids’ suitcases, try and choose outfits that could pull double- or triple-duty. Explain that it’s OK to wear the same pants a few days in a row when you’re on the road – truckers do it all the time! Besides clothes, one thing you should always remember is a kit of essential medicines. If your daughter gets a sore throat in Peru, it’s unlikely the local farmacia will have her preferred flavor of cough syrup (and last time we checked there’s little in the way of conventional medicine up on Machu Picchu).

    Keep Them Entertained in the Car

    Car rides can be a chore so thinking ahead is essential. For a fun surprise, bring out a bag of new toys! Packs of cards and travel-sized board games are great too, because they can involve everyone. Car rides have their own set of multi-player games: I-spy, the license plate game. These kinds of games can be great, for a while, but don’t be offended if your kid wants to tune out for a while and listen to their headphones. Maybe they’ve just counted enough blue cars for one day.

    Plane Travel

    If a family plane ride is in your future, providing lasting distractions will be particularly important. To kids who have never been on an airplane before, explain what they can expect, and make sure to talk them through airport security. Also, it’s best to lay down your own personal rules for plane etiquette, like no sound on gaming devices and no blanket forts in the aisles. Lastly, remember that airlines have severely cut down on the services they provide, so if you’re expecting to be able to board before everyone else or get an extra bottle of warm milk on the plane, it’s best to check your airline’s policy first.

    Look, Listen, and Care

    Travel can put you and your family in close quarters with lots of coughing strangers and bad smells and general stressed-out-ness. But becoming a Holiday Travel Casualty is avoidable. All it takes is a little planning and a LOT of understanding. Understanding your family’s travel needs, before and during the trip, isn’t hard. It’s the best way to keep “getting there” from getting ugly.

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