I ran across an article on the Travel Smart Blog with 10 tips for traveling with kids. Within the past few months we’ve taken several road trips with the kids so this immediately caught my interest. Who would have thought a few years back that the ol’ mini van would come in so handy (I know Ronnie is rolling her eyes saying, meeeeeeeeeeeee) LOL. Here are their top five tips:
1. Pack light: Bring only the essentials. The more you bring, the more you have to keep up with and the heavier the bags. Kids can require a lot of stuff: car seats, strollers, cribs, high chairs. Check out http://www.babysaway.com/ where you can rent gear instead of packing it all. Some car rental companies also rent child safety seats and some hotels offer childproof rooms or cribs upon request. Call ahead and find out which items you can cut from your packing list.
2. Expect the unexpected: Not to contradict tip #1, but make sure you have plenty of what you need in your carry-on: diapers, wipes (which are great for a multitude of things), medications, change of clothes, snacks, and a secret coloring book.
3. Bring toys and games ““ quiet ones: Be sure to bring something to keep everyone entertained, but leave the singing Barneys and beeping video games at home. You and everyone else will be glad you did. Backpacks for each child: Toddler or teen ““ give each child his own backpack to carry with their chosen toys/books/etc. The catch is if they pack it, they carry it. Trust me, one heavy backpack experience and they’ll learn just how much to take to Grandma’s.
** Parents Note: check the backpacks to make sure there are not any toys with water elements (ex. a toy train car) or Play-Doh (TSA considers this a potential explosive device.) as they will be confiscated.
4. Car seats: Do NOT count as checked luggage on any airline. You will NOT be charged. Get yourself a durable car seat cover and check it for your trip. Nicole’s secret tip: when your suitcase is over 50 lbs, avoid the overweight fees and stick some of those extra clothes in the car seat bag.
5. Airplane seats: If your child is under the age of two, then he/she technically does NOT need a paid seat on the plane. Be prepared to prove your child’s age. I.E. ““ birth certificate. I recommend that you purchase a seat for your infant once the child is mobile (even if he’s only one year) especially for flights over 2 hours in length. The airplane seat allows them their own space to wiggle and dramatically reduces on-board melt-downs.
For the complete list click here.
BMWK fam, what are your favorite tips for traveling with the little ones?