Taking a family vacation can be a very enjoyable time but depending on the ages of your children, it can also be a bit overwhelming. If you are planning a trip, it is best to really plan ahead in order to ensure that your children and you enjoy the perfect vacation. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will make your travel a bit easier to bear.
- Plan Ahead
Before your travel date, it is important that you plan for the unexpected. Many things can happen when you are away from home and being prepared is the best way to deal with all of them. Begin by having a calendar that you can mark to show your children when you are leaving. This will help to excite them about your vacation and help you to plan for packing and other tasks that need to be done before you leave. Depending on the ages of your children, you can allow them to pack their own suitcases. Have a list of things that they will need to take with them and allow them to do the actual packing. When planning your own packing list, make sure that you are bringing along things that will keep your children occupied when needed. Wait times at the airport and on flights are the perfect opportunities for coloring books and crayons as well as small travel games that are age appropriate.
- Arrive Early
Anytime you are traveling with children and have a specific timeframe, it is important that you arrive as early as possible. In order to ensure that you make your flight, you should plan to arrive at the airport at least an hour earlier than your boarding time. This gives you adequate time to get everyone checked in and get your luggage checked in and also allows for those last minute trips to the restroom and other things that children may need. You should take time before your arrival to explain to your children that they must undergo security checks. Child type equipment will need to be passed through an x-ray machine so if you have smaller children in strollers or baby carriers, it is best to remove them before you reach the checkpoint. Younger children may become frightened at the checkpoint so it is important that you help to prepare them ahead of time to avoid a meltdown when it comes time to pass through to your gate.
- In the Air
The Federal Aviation Administration allows for infant seats to be taken on board but there are certain regulations. These seats have to meet safety standards and must be less than 16 inches in width. Knowing this can help you speed up the process of boarding your plane. Once you are safely onboard, help children to stay occupied with the bag of activities that you packed. Once your plane is in the air, get up with your children and move about a bit. If you are on a rather lengthy flight, younger children can get very agitated by being forced to sit for long periods of time. Walk them to the restroom and even up and down the aisles to keep them from being closed in. Remember to keep chewing gum, water bottles and pacifiers on hand to help soothe the air pressure on your children’s ears and a few snacks may also be a good idea if your flight is more than just a couple of hours long.
- Other Things to Keep in Mind
There are a number of risks associated with traveling and particularly when traveling with children. It is important that you keep your children with you at all times and safeguard them by not allowing them to speak to strangers. If your hotel has a swimming pool, ensure that you practice water safety and always keep sunscreen on hand with an SPF of at least 30 to protect children from sunburn.
Planning the perfect family vacation is not difficult as long as you take the time to plan ahead. Bring along activities for the flight and any long vehicle rides and remember to plan your itinerary around the needs of your children. If naps are needed throughout the day, plan in a little resting time in between sightseeing and other activities.
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