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Tips for Traveling with Children


Christmas is just around the corner. Last year, the AAA estimated that 96.8 million Americans traveled during this time to visit family and friends. Traveling can be stressful, especially if you have little ones. Figuring out how to keep children entertained during a long road trip, attempting to traverse a busy airport or (heaven forbide) flying with a child can make the best parent want to pull their hair out. Which is why we've put together some traveling tips.

For those flying, Natalie Green, writer for Nooga.com, suggests to bring new toys on the plane.

"Before our first trip to Chicago, I raided the dollar aisle at Walmart for some small toys I could break out on the flight. I snagged a few toy dinosaurs, a squishy rubber duck, about three different sticker books and a few other trinkets. I didn't let my daughter see any of the new toys until we had boarded the plane and were on our way. Her entire collection of in-flight treasures cost me about $10 and held her interest the whole time. Our trip to Chicago doesn't take long, so if you have a longer flight, you might also want to consider a small DVD player with headphones or a tablet loaded with new games," she writes.

Also, dress your children in sensible shoes, meaning shoes that are easy to take on and off. As many travelers know, everyone (including children) must take their shoes off at security, so make it easier on yourself and dress your children in manageable shoes.

Children (and adults alike) can experience their ears popping when the plane takes off. Chewing gum can alleviate this pressure and help make the plane ride a little more bearable for your young one.

For those driving over the holidays, also remember that having lots of snacks and preferably ones that you don't have often will make a road trip a little more special.

When driving, you can select your departure time based on when your children travel best. If you have a younger child that still naps, try to plan your departure time close to nap time.

Make long trips a little less stressful by allowing your children to use their electronics. You may have a limit of screen time during the week at home but you can make an exception for the road trip which will make the time go faster for the children and parents.

Lastly, take intentional breaks. Look for a mall with play area or something interesting to see along the way. The goal may be to get to your relatives house in the shortest time, but time outs for a change of scenery help children sit for longer periods of time. And in the end, you make memories and often the kids will remember the journey more than the visit itself. Have a safe traveling Holiday!

Family, holiday, travel


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