Travel is an amazing gift to give to children. Giving your child the opportunity to see, touch, taste, smell and hear new things is an amazing learning experience that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. I travel a lot with my kids, including my daughter who has cognitive and physical disabilities, so I know how important it is to be prepared. Here are ten useful tips that can make your travel planning easier. See you out on the road!
1. Start Early
Getting your children used to cars, planes, new situations and places early will make travel easier and
much more enjoyable for the whole family.
2. Involve them in the planning stages
Once you’ve chosen a destination, share it with your children. Show them pictures and videos online of
where you’re going and what you’ll be seeing and doing. Find a children’s book associated with your
upcoming destination. Once you’re there, your children might remember the book and its characters
which will help make them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.
3. Visit your local airport
A great thing to do with your children before their first flight is take them to your local airport. Pack
a picnic, park your car at the end of the runway and let them watch the planes take off and land. This
prepares them for the loud noises and the power of the planes and gives them a chance to ask questions.
4. First Time Flyers
As the day approaches for departure, visit www.tsa.gov The TSA has a wonderful section for flying with
young travelers. Your children can watch an animated video that will give them an idea of what to
expect. They also have fun printables and a terrific section for parents about flying with children with
5. Give your children their own backpacks
This is great fun because you get to go shopping together and they can choose their own travel bag.
On the day of travel, let them pack their backpack with some of their favorite things like headphones,
stuffed animals and toys. Knowing that the bag belongs to them gives your children the feeling of
responsibility and ownership. When returning home from your trip, put the bag away so it becomes a
symbol of travel and adventure. When I bring the bag out, my daughter becomes very excited!
6. Make sure all electronics are charged and the chargers are packed – Trust Me!
7. Pack a new toy or video
Before the trip, purchase a surprise for your young travelers. Don’t give it out too early. Let them play
with the things they brought in their own backpacks and when they start getting antsy, pull the item out
of your own bag. Works like a charm!
8. Pack lots of their favorite snacks!
Who doesn't love snacks?
9. Make plenty of stops on car trips
Keeping in mind that travel with kids is never a quick thing allows your family to have fun along the
way. Try to stop once an hour on long trips. Bathroom breaks, snack breaks and stretching breaks help
keep the trip fresh and the kids happy.
10. Give them and yourself some downtime
When on vacation, it’s normal to want to squeeze in as much as possible. Carving out a few hours a day
for downtime will make all of you much more productive and happy when out visiting the sites. Give
your children time each day to swim in the pool, watch a video or read a book. This time will give their
bodies a much needed break and it will give you a much needed break, too!