Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Top 5 Family Travel Tips

Recently, the Travel Channel asked me a question about our top tips for family travel. I compiled this list and figured I share them on the site as follows:

1. Attitude is everything: expect problems, go with the flow and everything will work out great. The journey is hard and travel with children is even more difficult. But if you treat your trip as an adventure, problems, mistakes and mishaps are just small obstacles for your warm band of explorers to overcome. I mean, seriously, do you think that Dora would have left a period of two hours to get her? Indiana Jones would stress because the restaurant had no chicken fingers? This holds true both for parents and for children. If a dog can smell fear, you think your better than seven years can. If you get stressed when you can not find your hotel, your kids get too stressed. When you think of it as "exploring the neighborhood," everybody feels better.

2. Things to bring:

* Remember to drugs. It's always a good idea to travel with some children Tylenol (or whatever you prefer), so that you do not have to worry about tracking down a drug store in a strange neighborhood 11 hours depending on the amount of space you have, you may want to bring small containers of cough syrup or Claritin as well. Finally, some parents swear by it and some parents hate, but Benadryl can go a long way. Especially with long flights, which gives you something of the child to help them sleep everyone can be much happier.

* And certainly not forget the baby wipes. Even if your child was not in diapers during the Clinton administration, baby wipes are invaluable when traveling. As a reader wrote, "You can clean your hands, faces, toilet seats, almost anything with them. On a hot day, you can even wipe your face and neck with them to cool slightly. "

* Other useful items. Become dirty kids, especially when they are traveling. Bring a small container of detergent special travel (tides your garage is not working), then use your hotel sink to eliminate damage to your child meatball accident. Ziplock bags have thousands of uses and resume virtually no space. Bring a variety of formats if you can. Finally, a small, robust and night can help transform a frightening in a hotel room comfortable den.

3. Leave at the right time. If you nap children, the use of their schedules to your advantage. For example, if you have a long journey, see if you can not leave an hour before the scheduled time of their nap. Most children can be entertained for a short time for you to buy some time right there. Once they fall asleep around their normal nap time, you just buy you one or two hours of happiness on the way to your destination. It can work for both flights. If you want to push your luck with this strategy, consider a red-eye flight. Especially if you go to the ocean to the other (at least in the United States), you can try to entertain a kid of 6 hours on a flight of the day or you can have them sleep on a flight that leaves at 11 am . Be advised, however, it is a high-risk, high-return maneuver. When executed to perfection, you get on the plane, give your child and her teddy bear wake up 3000 miles away. When things go wrong, however, you are awake all night sustainable shrapnel from the people sitting near you and the entire family is transformed into zombies cranky the next day.

4. Making the most of your flight.

* Do a bit of advance planning. I always start with check the layout of my flight and try to resume the good places. Map alleys, windows and think about where to put your family. Do you want everyone in the same row or would you really rather spread a bit because Johnnie Janie still get under the skin of individuals? You can get creative here.
* Meals. For airlines that continue to serve food, most children have food. They tend to include more kid friendly options and often come with toys or stickers.
* Council separately. Many airlines have dropped special for families with young children. If this is an option for you, think about it, especially if there is only one adult. But for me, I love their parents' separation to minimize the time you spend on the aircraft. Send Daddy Sherpa from the first with the most tricks as he can carry. Keep Mom or Grandpa or anyone else in the boarding area of the door until the officers physically you onto the plane. In this way, your children can run around energy and burn in the boarding area much more spacious than the 672 square inches they will try to occupy for the next four hours.

5. Choose your toys and books wisely. Toys with many small moving parts are bound to end up as empty food. "One-trick" toys also take the express train to boredom city. Things like a good set of portable art supplies with crayons, markers and paper can be turned into hours of fun (or at least distraction). One school of thought is to bring your kids favorites. If you can play daughter at home with her Groovy Girl for four hours, it's probably a pretty good bet that his entertainment in the car too. Another school of thought suggests toys held in reserve for trips. Save a couple of brand new toys to be unveiled dramatically when your child is on the verge of collapse.

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