When Traveling with Kids, Bring One Thing: A Plan

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September 1, 2011

With Labor Day here, a new school year beginning, and the infamous Portland rain just around the corner, many families will be planning last-minute getaways in the next weeks, trying to squeeze some fun out of the last of summer. To help get you onto your family’s next adventure, here are a few tips for traveling with children that will make vacationing more enjoyable.

On an extended road trip with the stress of tight schedules, food preferences, and lodging reservations, excessive arguing can be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back. A lot of these arguments stem from issues with boundaries.

Separate entertainment systems are a great way to keep kids occupied and out of each other’s hair. Portable DVD players, iPods, or personal video game systems are all good options. Just remember to bring along headphones, or everyone has to listen in. Books or drawing materials are other great options.

Flying with children, particularly infants, can be a challenge. Instead of a large, unwieldy stroller, try using a sling to get through crowded airport security lines. Be sure to pack only what you can carry and have children’s essential items like medication easily accessible in your carry-on bag. While formula, milk, and juice for infants and toddlers are exempt from the restrictions on liquids, you will need to declare it when you pass through the security checkpoint. If you have children with allergies, check ahead of time with the airline to see what type of meal, if any, will be served.

There are hundreds of tips and tricks out there for a successful trip with kids but the most important tip is this: do your best to be prepared. Between flight delays, traffic, and bad weather, expect the unexpected and keep kids busy. And remember to have fun – this is your vacation too!