As summer is now in full swing, many of you will be going on vacations, weekend getaways, out of state visits and so on. Traveling can be stressful for anyone but traveling with kids has the potential to be a nightmare. The Bosca family has taken several trips to the beach, Italy and some others. Here is some insight on how to best plan your travels to cause the least amount of stress.
Make a game plan
Keep everyone in the loop on what is going on. When the whole family is informed there are less questions on what the plans are. Give a deadline to the kids on what day they need to be packed with a list of general things they will need. This way they have some guidance in their packing.
When flying, give time.
A rule of thumb for flying, especially with children, give yourself at least two hours in between your first plane landing and the next one taking off. This gives your plane some time to be late and you time to get to your next flight, use the bathroom. By giving yourself no less than two hours in between connecting flights will minimize your chance of running from gate to gate.
TSA Pre-check…what a dream!
You can sign up for TSA pre-check through your airline so you can go through a separate security line. This can help you avoid the hassle of unpacking your suitcases, going through pat-downs and other security procedures. TSA pre-check can make your security check a much easier process.
If you have younger children, be sure to bring their favorite coloring book for the plane or car ride. Does the Gameboy have fresh batteries in it? Is the iPod packed and charged? These little devices can be a great distraction for kids on long car rides or plane travel.
Travel with toiletries
Bring your toothbrush and some deodorant on the plane. Baby wipes are also a good option. You never realize how icky you feel until you have been on a plane for 10 hours or more. Bringing socks or a light wrap to keep comfortable is always a good idea. Let’s face it, airplane blankets don’t always do the trick.
If you are a frequent international flyer, paying for Global entry may be of worth to you. $100 per year gives you an easier check in off of international flights when you come back into the U.S.
Pick your seat wisely
The bulkhead is the best place to sit on the plane. It’s practically like sitting in first class while you are in coach. The rows in front of the exit row do not recline. (You will also have to be the person to help assist people in case of an emergency and no one wants that.) Pick the window if you like a view, pick the aisle seat if you like to get up a lot.
Security…don’t test it
Don’t try to take any outside liquids through security. Wear clothes that aren’t too loose but not too tight that they are uncomfortable for travel. If you wear clothes that are too loose on your body, TSA will have to do pat-down for security purposes. Don’t wear too much jewelry because of the risk of setting of sensors. Even some lotions and perfumes have been known to set off security sensors. And lastly, wear shoes that slip on and off easily.
Are we there yet?
Explain your travel time to your younger children in a way they will understand. If you have a car ride that is six hours, tell your child that it will take six episodes of Spongebob to get there. Saying three hours means nothing to a child who doesn’t understand time. When they understand how long it should take to get to somewhere, it may reduce the number of times you hear, “Are we there yet?”
Most importantly, after you arrive at your destination, have a good glass of Italian wine to wind down from your travels. Wine helps everything.