>> May 21, 2013
Traveling with kids doesn't have to be a stressful event. There are many elements that will be out of your control, but with a little creative packing and planning, you won't be sweating those delayed planes or sudden bursts of rain.
1. Start with a Good Breakfast
Encourage your family to start the day right with a healthy breakfast. Your kids will be less likely to suffer a major meltdown right after you get to the day's activity and you'll save money because you won't have to spend your kid's college tuition at the snack bar.
2. Try to Keep Nap Schedules
Although it may interrupt the flow of your day, try to maintain your child's nap/quiet time routine. Chances are, there will be lots of stimulation and your kid will need a little bit of time to "reset" after a full day. Everyone will be happier in the long run and it will be easier to get back to your normal schedule when you get home. Tip: Family-friendly hotels in Orlando and Disney World destinations have quiet hours to ensure a goodnight sleep for you and your family!
3. Bring Portable Activities
You can find many graband go craft kids at the store or make your own. The first big, long plane trip I took with my girls, I raided my local craft store for easy-to-carry crafts. I found a couple flat plastic boxes and filled them with textured papers, crayons, stickers, colored string and beads. I put the beads in a travel pillbox so any disasters would be limited.
4. Pack Lots of Snacks
It's better to have a crumb-filled purse than to endure the wrath of a hungry child. Pack things like pretzels, fruit snack/leather, animal crackers, and dried fruit. I always bring a couple boxed milk containers for my milk-loving second child. Lollipops are great "You've been great so far, have a treat" surprises/bribes.
5. Keep Hands Clean
New experiences can mean lots of new dirt and germs. In one survey, 40% of adults admit to not washing their hands aftersneezing or coughing. Imagine what's on those door handles and stair rails! You can keep everyone healthy for the ride home by washing hands as frequently as possible.
Be kind to parents traveling with kids. If you can, give them a hand or a lollipop or two. You'll not only support a fellow parent, you'll build up some good karma for your next trip.