Taking your kids with you when you travel is great for many reasons. When children travel, they get to experience a world outside their bubble. That broader worldview helps make them smarter, more compassionate and creative than they would be without it. Hitting the road as a family is also a unique bonding experience that will spark memories you can cherish for the rest of your life.
Kids who travel are also more flexible and less likely to get stressed by bumps in the road once they get back home. Finally, the more children experience, the better they are able to understand the limitless potential of not just themselves, but also this crazy world we live in. Of course, travelling with kids in tow isn’t always easy. After all, little ones don’t always have the best control. However, as a thoughtful and prepared parent, you can help ensure a smoother voyage with these helpful tips.
A.L.E.: Always Leave Early
Hey, we all have a story about how we waited too long to leave for the airport and ended up rushing through security trying to make it to the gate in time. It happens! But when you are traveling with children, you can’t let it happen to you. Children have a way of making it impossible to get somewhere without adding on to the time the entire process takes.
No matter what your travel plans entail, you have to plan on leaving at least 15 minutes earlier than the amount of time you think you need if you have kids in tow. If you are flying, make sure there is enough time for the whole family to make it from gate to gate during if you have a connecting flight. You can also check to see if the airport you are using has a cart service available for families with small children.
Make the Most of Travel Times
Flying long flights or making long road trips can be difficult for children. Little ones come with a lot of energy and sitting still for hours on end is uncomfortable. You can make the whole process a bit easier by packing enough activities and entertainment to help them get through the trip with their sanity intact.
- Bring their tablet and earphones so they can watch their favorite television programs or movies.
- Pack a coloring book and markers that they can use. Coloring tends to be very relaxing, so this is an especially helpful tip if you have an anxious child nervous about flying.
- Invest in a few travel-friendly games that you can play together. Card games are another handy option that fit neatly in the pocket of your carry-on.
Don’t Forget Your Four-Legged Kids!
If you have pets, your children may be worried about leaving them behind. Ease their minds by making arrangements to board your dog and let your child meet the people that will be helping to care for Fido while you are on the road. Letting your kid participate in the process will alleviate some of the mystery and reduce their anxiety about the whole issue. However, don’t bring your kids with you when you drop your pup off. Dogs may cry and whimper when they realize they are being left behind, which can be upsetting to children.
If you are travelling with your dog, make sure you are even more careful with your time. Dogs need frequent stops for potty, water and exercise breaks. Some pets also get anxiety when they are on the road. You can talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medication available or look into homeopathic treatments including CBD treats and oil.
Traveling with children is great for the whole family, but it takes work. Plan a great itinerary, but pad it with plenty of extra travel time to prepare for your kids’ needs. Make the most of your time in the sky with family friendly activities such as movies, games and coloring books. Finally, let kids meet your dog boarder if they are feeling anxious about leaving their precious pup behind. If you are bringing Fido with you, add even more time for travel in the schedule and consider homeopathic treatments for anxious dogs.