Tips for Traveling With Younger Children

by Aldershot Travel Burlington -

Anyone who has ever traveled with young children knows the real meaning of true grit. We pack along our kids in the hope that we are exposing them to new cultures and doing our part to raise global citizens. Here are some tips to help make your trip go as smoothly as possible, so you and your children will get the most out of it.


Psych them up! Before your trip go to the local library and find age-appropriate story and audio books about the place you’re headed. Talk about what you learn and the things you’ll do once you’re there. Bring books along on long trips, or download someaudio apps for the car or ipod. 

Plan ahead. The more you plan ahead of time the less you will have to worry about on your trip as you navigate through the unexpected. Kids need structure so create your trip around a schedule that works for the whole family, and that mitigates the bored, cranky, tired child (& parent) syndrome. 

Let them blow off steam before you embark. Toddlers and small children are packed with energy and allowing them to release some of it pre-flight will make them more comfortable. Let them run in circles in the airport a bit (many gates now have play areas). 

Distribute baby’s clothes amongst your bags. In case a piece of your luggage is lost you don’t want it to be the one with all of baby’s necessities. 

Bring games, and travel toysHere and here are some good resources. Online you can find websites dedicated to baby travel gear, such as this and this. Bring DVDs to keep them distracted on long trips but don’t let them zone out too long or it will be difficult to snap them back out of it.

The Family Travel Network is a great resource for tips to travel with babies and toddlers. Information includes dealing with security (did you know your children have to take their shoes off too?), checking-in, packing, and resort and hotel checklists. They also have a list of 10 Great Vacations for Babies and Toddlers. 

USAToday recently published an article asking whether airlines should create separate sections for kids. According to a poll taken in August by Skyscanner, 59% of those polled supported a family section. The stats are even higher for business class fliers.You have every right to travel with your children. There are plenty of obnoxious adult travelers out there - but don’t add fuel to this fire.

Monitor your kids behavior. Kids can’t help certain things: painful ears popping (bring gum for them to chew as you ascend & descend), motion-sickness, accidentally wetting their pants. But don’t let your children repeatedly kick the seat in front of them, or play an hour of peak-a-boo with the neighbors behind them. They are going to occasionally act out, but it’s when it looks like you’re not doing anything to wrangle them that people get upset.

Ask for help from the flight attendant. Chances are they’ll have some tips of their own and resources to help you manage.

Give your child as much choice as you can. Questions like “What do you want to do first today?” might get them more jazzed about the trip. 

Give your child an old digital camera, or a disposable one. 

Visit kid-friendly attractions: (certain) museums, shows, zoos, fairs, festivals, parks, etc. Visit the places you want to, but go through them at a child’s pace.

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