How to Travel with Kids

This list just scratches the surface, but we're put together 10 tips for kid travel gleaned from experience, tears, lots of sweat and plenty of other kids' bodily fluids, that decorum demands we omit.

Still at home

1. Pack a carry on bag dedicated to snack food for the entire family. If necessary stash a couple of health bars into the kids' carry-ons for emergencies.

2. Distribute to each family member a zippered bag to store essentials that will be at the ready for check-in, security and more. Use a Wet+Dry Bag with two zippered pocket to store on one side: kleenex and a little emergency kit, on the other side store ID, phone, car and hotel reservations, emergency contact info, insurance card, small notebook and a pen.

3. Roll up a change of clothes - t-shirt, sweat pants, socks and undies - into each kids' carry on for emergencies. Even if you're well past days of diaper disasters, you never know when your in-flight neighbor might elbow his OJ onto junior's lap. (Yes, my hubby did this once to a little girl. She and her parents one row back were saints and my hub and I absolutely MORTIFIED! But we all survived and I live by this little tip.)

At the airport

4. Check in on line at home and bring your smartphone or paper boarding pass. For family travel, I recommend printing out boarding passes as futzing with your phone to gather all family members' boarding pass emails can be cumbersome.

5. When navigating escalators with crowds try to flank the kids in front and back for safety. During busy holiday travel opt for elevators which are traditionally lower traffic modes.

6. When evaluating TSA and security lines look for singles and business travelers to shadow for faster passage.

At the hotel

7. Try to book accommodations with a kitchenette. Even a microwave and minibar fridge are better than nothing. Saves money, time and tears when you can settle in for a quiet dinner in the room without sacrificing your sanity and negotiating with little ones after a long day.

8. If you can't book a room with a small kitchen take along a small assortment (you can buy more at your destination) of instant oatmeal, instant mac and cheese and other family favorites that you can heat up with the in-room coffee pot by boiling some water for sanity saving dinner.

On the run

9. Use a backpack for day excursions and consolidate everyone's gear. Rotate the backpack between adults to share the load.

10. Stash reusable water bottles in your day pack to refill as necessary. Don't get too thirsty. BONUS! Pack and WEAR sunscreen. And remember what Confucius said, "wherever you go, go with all your heart." I guess he meant don't leave the kids behind.

 

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10 tips for kid travel

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