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Tips for Traveling With Young Children

Traveling as a family can be a wonderful opportunity for your child to gain new experiences, build fond memories, and even learn how to understand and manage their emotions.

However, many parents wonder how to make traveling with young children a smoother experience. It involves certain considerations and a fair amount of planning, but it’s definitely possible. Try these 7 tips for traveling with young children on your next family vacation.

  1. Set expectations. Travel can be easier if you relax certain rules for your child. However, setting travel expectations with your child is important. Not only does it give your child structure and consistency, but it will prepare them for what to expect. Before you leave, have a discussion with your child about certain travel aspects they may be unfamiliar with and what they have to look forward to after their plane, train, or car trip. Let them know how you expect them to behave while traveling, and why.

  2. Bring snacks. Grabbing some healthy and travel-friendly snacks is likely second nature to you when running errands with your child, and traveling is no different. Snacks can go a long way in keeping your young child’s spirits up on a trip and avoiding meltdowns.

  3. Create travel kits. Whether you’re traveling by car, train, or plane, you may want to bring portable activity kits that won’t take up much room or make a mess. Your child will enjoy the novelty, and they can build certain skills while having fun. For example, some new books, travel games, activity books, and stickers with a sticker book are all great options to include in a travel kit.

  4. Choose appropriate clothing. Dress your child in comfortable, easy to clean clothes. Soft, easy layers are ideal, especially as travel often involves varying temperatures. And because accidents happen, be sure to pack a change of clothes and underwear for your child in a bag that’ll be easy for you to grab while traveling.

  5. Print boarding passes before you leave. If you’re traveling by plane or train, printing out your boarding pass before you leave will reduce the time you have to wait in line. You can also get your boarding passes emailed to you to save even more time and give you one less thing to keep track of.

  6. Board early. Most flights allow families with children to board before everyone else. This is an ideal time to get everyone settled in and comfortable without being rushed or cramped.

  7. Take breaks to walk around. We’ve all experienced that need to get up and stretch while on a long journey. Try to work breaks into your schedule to walk around and move with your child. If you’re driving, make a detour to a playground, or walk with your child up and down the aisle if you’re flying or taking the train.

These tips for traveling with young children are designed to help your next family vacation run a bit smoother. Above all, try to stay flexible and focus on doing your best.

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