Traveling with your kids helps to expand their world view. By now, you’ve probably spent a great deal of time planning your trip and booking your transportation and lodging. The time that you’ve invested into making these plans will pay off when your trip goes well. Now, it is time to start thinking about the logistics of your actual trip. Taking your kids along on a trip doesn’t have to be a headache when you know how to head off trouble before it starts.

1) Leave Plenty of Extra Time In Your Schedule

Many of the issues that come up with taking kids on a vacation happens when parents get rushed for time. Don’t try to do everything at the last minute. Instead, pack your suitcases ahead of time, and make sure to get plenty of restful sleep the night before. Then, set your alarm clock to wake you up early so that you have tons of time to get your kids ready and out the door.

2) Talk to Your Kids About What to Expect at the Airport

Kids tend to get excited in new places. The airport is often crowded, and your kids will be required to do things that are new to them such as go through the security line. If your kids are old enough to understand, then talk to them about how they will need to walk through the metal detector and send their items through the x-ray machine. Making sure that you child knows that they will get their favorite toy back at the end of the security line will make parting with it much easier.

3) Use Extra Time to Eat and Use the Restroom

Trying to help young toddlers in the airplane bathroom can feel like a lesson in gymnastics. Try to take them to the restroom while you wait for your boarding call. This is also the ideal time to grab a bite to eat and pick up bottled water or snacks that you want to take on the plane.

4) Plan Fun Ways to Wait to Board

The time that you spend in the waiting area for boarding also represents your kids’ last chance to burn off some energy. Some airports have play areas for kids that are worth checking out. If yours does not, then have some ideas to keep them busy. Younger kids might enjoy watching airplanes take off through the window. Older kids can play a scavenger hunt or explore the general area while they wait to board.

5) Pack Something to Help Equalize Ear Pressure

Younger kids cry and get cranky when their ears hurt, and they may not know what to do if this is their first experience flying. For babies, giving them a bottle during take off and landing can help. Older kids can use a lollipop or gum to generate the sucking sensation that helps their ears to pop.

6) Throw a Few Surprises Into Your Carry On Bag

Longer trips come with the risk of your child getting bored. Throw a few new toys into your diaper bag and keep them a secret until they are needed. Something as simple as a new coloring book could help to keep your kid’s behavior under control.

You might not be able to plan for everything, but you know that your children will need to eat and burn off their energy. Having a plan in place makes it easier to navigate those times when you need to keep your children happy. With a little bit of work and patience, you can all arrive at your destination ready for fun.

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