Whether loading the kiddos in the minivan or an airplane, travel with the family takes special planning (and a whole lot of patience). Use these Lifesaver’s Travel Tips as a guide for happily getting from Point A to Point B this holiday season.
I pack my boys’ clothes in gallon Ziplocks. Pack a whole outfit in one: shirt, shorts, undies and socks. Then you can just grab an outfit without riffling through the whole suitcase. My triplet boys (age 12) are now old enough to pack their own luggage and they still want to do it that way! Pack one of the sets in each kids’ carry-on in case of accidents, spills or lost luggage.
-Shirley Baker, mom of 3
Little ones need things to do when traveling. Think of things that interest your child: a favorite character, a favorite animal, coloring, building. Then make or buy some cool toys or activities that they can do on their own. You can always add in the comfort of some of their favorites, but having something new or repurposed will make the experience fun and exciting for them.
-Kara Arroyo, mom of 3
Research before you go. Make sure to research your vacation spot and find out if it is kid- friendly by either looking online or calling ahead. Places that provide activities for the children, or even childcare for a few hours, can make the trip more fun and relaxing for the whole family.
-Andreina Borges, mom of 2
I’d recommend prepping a list of items to bring that you’ll need on a daily basis for the kids or the trip in general. Life is sometimes so hectic that you have to plan well in advance so that you don’t wait until the last minute to pack bags. We start a list two months before we travel and add items up until the final days. That helped tremendously.
-Jean Marseille, dad of 3
Leave lots of time to get where you’re going in order to keep stress low. Be armed with snacks, diapers and bottles (if applicable). You will encounter people who are kind and sympathetic. You will also encounter people who are rude (including airline staff). Just roll with it.
-Jessica Carmen, mom of 2
Explain to your children what to expect at the airport and on the airplane. Let them know what takeoff and landing are going to be like, that you all may be waiting in long lines when checking in and what is going to happen while going through the security checkpoint. This will alleviate stress (for both parents and children) and squelch your children’s fears of the unknown.
-Sayeh Farah, mom of 2
Make sure to feed your children simple foods, as they may not be used to the bacteria and germs in different places. Meals that have ingredients your kids have eaten before are the best option to guarantee a healthy trip for everyone. You should also make sure the water you drink is always bottled (especially when traveling out of the country) to avoid upset tummies. This applies to the whole family, but especially the sensitive younger bellies!
-Marinella Andrade, mom of 3
Invest in a portable booster seat like the BubbleBum. It folds flat and makes traveling with little ones (or picking up cousins, friends, etc.) much less complicated. This also makes moving the family from your car to a rental car, taxi or Grandma’s car so much easier!
-Giggle Staff Tip, Parents of a lot!