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10 Tips For Traveling With Kids

By Trisha Garbrick

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Traveling with kids can be a very stressful experience, but it doesn't have to be. With these simple tips, your family trip can be a fun and enjoyable experience for the entire family, creating wonderful memories for life!

Allow Plenty of Time: With kids in tow, it will take longer to get through airports, get checked in, bathroom stops, etc., so make sure to plan for it.

Travel During Off-Peak Days and Times: If possible, try to travel during the slower times, when the airports are less crowded and planes are not completely full. These are typically Monday-Thursday mornings and not over major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas or spring break.

Use the Bathroom: Make sure to have little ones use the bathroom before boarding the plane. Sometimes it can be a while before you are allowed to get out of your seat in a plane or before the next rest area, so try to plan in advance.

Something to Chew On: Bring something for kids to chew on or drink during take-off and landing to help avoid their little ears from popping. Bring gum or hard candies for older kids, chewy candies or juice boxes for younger kids, and either breastfeed or give a bottle to babies during take-off and landing.

Keep Kids on a Schedule: Everyone knows that kids are happiest when kept on a regular schedule. This also goes for vacations, the better you do with keeping the regular meal times and bedtimes, chances are the happier your kids will be too!

Comfy Clothes: Whether you will be travelling by car or plane, it is always wise to wear layers of comfy clothes. Layers are helpful in case of temperature changes in the plane. Also make sure to bring a change of clothes for children and at least a spare top for adults, because you just never know what might be spilled on you when traveling with kids!

Burn Off Steam: It can be tough for anyone to remain seated for hours at a time in a confined space, especially for kids! Make sure to give your children opportunities to run around, whether it's at airports, rest stops, or even walking up and down the aisle on the airplane.

Keep Them Busy: Since the attention span of most young children is about 20-30 minutes, make sure to bring a variety of things for kids to do on a plane, or in a car, such as: books, coloring books and crayons, music CD's and player, portable DVD player. Sometimes packing a few new "travel toys" can be a fun idea, too!

Bring Healthy Snacks: It is important not to load kids up on sugar during long trips, as it just makes it harder for them to remain seated. Some ideas for healthy snacks that travel well are: fresh fruit (bananas, apples or grapes), veggie sticks, cheese sticks, crackers, dried fruit and cheerios.

Don't Over Pack: Sure you want to be comfortable and have all the necessities for your family while on vacation, but try to distinguish what is actually a necessity and what is not. You don't want to be lugging ten suitcases through busy airports.

Whatever your travel plans may be, by following even a few of these tips can help keep kids happy making you happy resulting in an overall pleasant experience for the entire family.

Contact a Professional Travel Agent to start planning your next family vacation!