This spring break I took my daughter, Leigh, to Phoenix, Arizona during her spring break. As a mom with three kids, I know that preparing for any trip can be stressful and traveling with children can be an extra challenge. Since my three children are now 12, 14 and 15 years old, trips have definitely become much easier. Below are some of my favorite travel tips with kids that have continued to help me over the years.
1. Get them involved: From planning to packing, your kids’ participation is key. Sometimes looking forward to a trip is as memorable as the trip itself. Give the kids a map and share a few photos of their destination to give them a sense of where they’re going. If they are old enough, let them pick out clothes they’d like to bring on the trip. The more the kids are involved, the more excited they will be.
2. Bring one and ONLY one carry on: Make it easier for yourself by not taking too many items on your flight. You will appreciate only having one bag per person to keep track of and carry.
3. Pack snacks: Flight meals will not necessarily time well with your child’s needs, and airport food is not always suited to the palate of a toddler or child. Bring your kid’s favorite snacks to hold them over until you reach your destination.
4. See the doctor: If you’re going overseas, see your doctor at least two months prior to your departure. When making the appointment, mention the ages of your children and ask if they need any vaccinations specific to your destination.
5. Bring new toys, books and magazines: Buying new books, toys, or coloring books that the kids have never seen before will hold their attention throughout the flight. Just as we love burying ourselves in a new magazine, the kids will love exploring their new treasures.
6. Have some fun: Don’t forget to try a new activity or something out of the ordinary to ensure everyone has a memorable time. For example, why not try a horseback ride or family-friendly cooking lesson on your trip. Check with the tourist office in your destination to learn about free activities or guided tours. Over the years when my three kids have had to write school papers on their favorite moments, our family trips have always been the focus!