Kaila Weingarten, MS Ed
Are you planning to travel with your family this spring? You are not alone. Although the holiday season is the busiest travel time of the year, the beginning of spring is another busy travel time when many families in the US choose to vacation. In hopes to get a taste of early summer, according to the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, more than 68 million Americans traveled abroad over spring break in 2014. That was a 10% increase from the previous year! That doesn’t even include the number of Americans that traveled within the U.S. You can only wonder what this year’s stats will be after the wave of spring fever passes. With so many folks packing the family into the car for a road trip or hopping on a plane to Disney Land®, you’ve got to plan your travel wisely to ensure you and your loved ones have the best possible experience. But how can you get to your destination without any hiccups that may dampen your anticipation of early summer fun? Read on for some tips to get you started.
1. Plan ahead. Get your reservations and itinerary done in advance. I’m betting you’re not the only one seeking a family friendly hotel for a good price. Keep the details of your reservations handy. For young ones, scheduling travel around naptime or bedtime will hopefully allow for a calmer trip. If your child is over two, getting your child involved in planning for the trip can help ease their anxiety of new places.
2. Dress simply. Your metal necklace? Probably best to leave that home if you’re flying and don’t want to get stuck at security. Save the light pink pants for an evening out, and wear your comfy sweatpants or jeans. Try to wear slip on shoes or crocs (and for children too) if you don’t want to be stuck untying and tying. Make sure your child is dressed for easy diapering and toileting. Take some layers for yourself and kids, so you don’t get stuck in a cold vehicle. Remember-comfort and simplicity is the name of the game!
3. A backpack or rolling hand luggage makes it easy to have the essentials handy. What to include? Your child’s lovey and some toys, wipes and change of clothing (accidents happen!), and snacks. A baby carrier can be a life saver, but make sure to do a test run with it before. Organize your carry on so you don’t have to fumble for what you need. Remember special cups your child uses (ie. sippy cups or bottles) and take extras.
4. Choose the right travel toys. Get something new, or at something your child hasn’t seen in a while. Remember; pack more than you think you’ll need. You never know what delays or traffic you’ll face.
- Toddlers - Books, stickers, crayons and paper, stuffed animals, tablet with child friendly apps, blanket or lovey.
- Children ages 3-6. Bring books, simple art kits, activity/ sticker/ coloring books, stuffed animals, cards such as go fish or a matching game, dress up dolls and tablet with child friendly apps.
5. Food sets the mood. Try to keep mealtimes at the normal schedule. You don’t want a cranky child (or inner child) whining for food. Breastfeed when needed. Dress comfortably for easy feedings! Consider early evening reservations if you are eating out. By dining early, you'll likely have an emptier restaurant and a shorter wait for your food. Hope you have a safe and easy trip! Check this link for more great travel ideas.