With Spring Breaks going on and Summer Vacations approaching us I thought I would share some helpful tips on traveling with children. I work for the airlines and travel quite a bit with my children. These tips I will share have worked for us & traveling with our 3 children ranging from ages 5-5mo old.
First of course you choose your fabulous family vacation destination.
The next thing we do after we book all of our reservations is we like to tell our children where we are going and show them on a map where that is compared to where we live. This gives them a visual of how far away we would be traveling too.
When traveling by either plane or car I seem to always have the same "travel bag" for each mode of transportation. I always make sure to bring lots of treats to travel with. Airlines I have found are great about this too. The only thing I do not bring is drinks unless they are 3fl oz or less, security will make you discard them. Treats are great to have for road or air trips. Those little tummy's seem hungrier when they travel!
In our bag I always bring some sort of coloring books, crayons, washable markers, paper, colored pencils etc. Something to keep them occupied for a while. I usually bring the small boxes of crayons to save space.
I LOVE having books for them to read. Picture books of where we are going are my favorite so they too can get excited about the sites we are going to see, points of interest or even there may be something they want to see. You don't have to go out and by these, check your local libraries. This is a fun way to educate them on where you are traveling too.
Games are a must in our family. If we forget to bring them we always end up buying one or two. They are great while traveling, but also for when you get home and are at your hotel, time share, condo or wherever you may be staying. So many stores have great games for traveling. You can also make your own.
I again bring books, not just where we are going, but their favorites. This way they have something familiar and comforting at times of the trip.
While traveling, break up your site seeing adventures. This way your children are also enjoying themselves and have things to look forward too. We ALWAYS do this when we travel. We will stop at a children's museum, a local park, lake, beach or where ever. Somewhere where they do not have to be quite or not have to worry about not touching things, somewhere they can roam free and get all their wiggles out.
Last I address luggage. As most of you may be able to relate, this is the hardest part of a trip I think. It is one thing packing the family up and trying to squeeze everyone into the least amount of suitcase possible all while staying under the appropriate weight limit(if traveling by air). It is another loading and unloading the luggage while adding the car seats on top of it. I would just say, have your kids just take a backpack with their in flight or car travel items. Keep everything else in the checked luggage & mom's you keep the main carry on. In that main carry on I ALWAYS bring 1 extra pair of clothes per person, formula, wipes, diapers/underpants, medicine (in a clear quart size zip lock bag...again if air travel), blanket if big enough, and extra snacks. This way if by some unfortunate event your luggage is lost, you have things to get you by until it arrives & there are no worries or fears. Simplify when traveling with luggage & ALWAYS ALWAYS get the airport luggage cart. The $2-3 you spend is worth it's weight in gold to not have to carry everything from the shuttle to the check in counter.
Hope this helps & has been a bit useful. Happy Traveling!!!