FIRST CIRCLE LEARNING CENTER • BLOG POST NO. 10

tips for traveling with children

Traveling with children may never be ideal, but two parents or adults can count on each other for support in tight quarters during a flight. The best advice? Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared!

general travel

• Wear comfortable, stretchy clothes & bring a change of clothes for children as well as adults.

• Invest in a carryon bag or backpack with lots of compartments and use stick on labels so you’ll know where everything is.

• Emergency supplies should include: Kleenex, paper towels, kitchen towels, wipes, quart/gallon size zip lock bags (to contain…….whatever)

• Grapes, small crackers, small cheese slices, cheerios & cereal packed in snack bags or small plastic containers are healthy, easy snacks.

• Bring toys & treats to dole out over the duration of the trip. Also try coloring apps & games on phones & tablets.

• Charge phones & all gadgets ahead of time & pack chargers. Use “find my stuff apps” to keep track of easily lost items – phones, tablets & cameras or attach a “Tile” ($20 on line) to locate lost items.

• Be extra alert while traveling as the combination of kids & luggage can be very distracting. Be aware of other travelers, & when traveling with more than one child, frequent head counts are a must.

• Lolli-pops may help prevent epic meltdowns; (regardless of how you feel about sweets) an occasional treat can save you from the ultimate embarrassment of a screaming child.

airline travel

• Babies don’t require a separate seat on a plane if they are under 2 years old, but well traveled parents suggest that you buy a seat for your infant for long flights.

• Some airlines supply bassinets, call ahead to make arrangements & to find out airline policies & special services. You can also find your seat assignments on line.

• Car seat carriers fit nicely in an empty seat & are the safest way for an infant to travel on a plane. A baby car seat is best placed next to a window so it does not impede other passengers from getting around seats in an emergency.

• If you can afford to pay for extra leg room, it makes it a lot easier for all concerned.

• Pack enough diapers, snacks, & formula – and then some !

• You never know when a flight might be delayed or a connecting flight missed.

• Get to the airport at least 2 hours before your flight and allow at least 30 minutes to get through security.

• Go right to your gate & get your gate check tickets for stroller or car seats; if you’re renting a car at your destination you can rent a car seat & avoid the hassle of bringing one from home.

• Let the kids burn off some of that excess energy in the lobby area or browse the airport gift shops.

• Take advantage of family boarding, but be aware this means extra time confined to your seats.

• Feed baby at take off & landing to help ease the pressure on baby’s ears.

• Keep in mind the flight WILL end at some point; you may be able to distract toddlers with stories about who or what you will see when you reach your destination.

• Don’t forget to print boarding passes & put them in your carryon bag. Program phone numbers, hotel, Grandma’s, or neighbor in your phone in advance.

• Several child locator devices are available for little wanderers consisting of an ankle band that works with a phone app.

• You can also try something as simple as writing your phone number on the child’s arm.

car travel

• Before embarking on your trip make sure you vehicle is in tip top shape. Check tires, oil, all fluids & windshield washers. • Some emergency supplies you may want to consider are: maps, battery jumper cables, a tow rope, emergency flares, blankets, energy bars, a spare tire & jack, rags, simple tools, a flashlight, kitty litter and a small shovel. • Babies and Toddlers are used to sitting in their car seats for short drives, but during a long trip they may get restless or feel too confined. • If an adult or parent can sit in the back seat, it’s a lot easier to attend to the child’s needs, or distract them with simple toys. • If the child is restless & really tired of being confined, it’s best to go to a rest stop for a break. A diaper change, food, and some freedom will put them in a much better frame of mind. • Never take a child out of their car seat to feed in a moving vehicle; accidents can happen in a split second. • Ask your doctor about motion sickness meds before giving them to your child.