Flying with little ones can present many challenges. My family travels often, and I have learned the hard way that there are certain steps I can take to limit my stress. Here are five tips for traveling with kids that should help to alleviate this stress and make traveling with kids actually enjoyable.
#1. Pack the right attitude. If I complain about the heat, the delays, the service, the food, etc., my child picks up on that and he complains, too. If I remain calm and stay positive, so does my son.
#2. Capitalize on your child’s enthusiasm. We recently traveled to Florida and my five year old was extremely excited. Our first task was to hit our local library for books about flying, airplanes, and aviation. We spent a couple weeks ahead of time reading and discussing these books. This was a great time for us to discuss any fears our son had about flying.
#3. Paint a picture for your child. We spent several days ahead of time researching activities and events in the area where we were going to be vacationing. Our son could then picture what our hotel and surrounding areas would look like.
#4. Keep them busy. We helped our son brainstorm a list of items to go in a small back pack he could carry on the plane. We made sure it was big enough to hold items to pass the time in case we were delayed or he didn’t sleep, but small enough for him to carry. Items we chose: notebook, markers, stickers, action figures, snacks, blanket, and favorite stuffed animal.
#5. Be souvenir savvy. To avoid airport meltdowns when your child sees a gift shop, talk to your child ahead of time about souvenir choices. If you want them to get things from your destination, explain ahead of time that you are just window shopping or browsing at the airport.
Every vacation is unique. I can’t promise you’ll never experience hassles, but following these traveling tips can start you out on a positive note!
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Do you have any special tips for traveling with kids?