By Robin Anderson
Traveling can be a challenge for even the most experienced business person; but when you add a couple of children to the mix, eager with anticipation to see their favorite princess or superhero, to say that traveling is a challenge is an understatement.
So what can a frazzled parent do to make their dream vacation a reality? Here are a few tips to help you plan your next family vacation:
Keep the kids involved in the planning. Purchase a destination or city guide and let the kids review it and mark the attractions and places they want to visit. Get older kids an inexpensive digital camera and a journal and encourage them to write down their memories of the vacation.
If you have young children or kids who have never flown before, explain to them what will happen at airport security. Your kids will have to walk alone through a metal detector, enter the full body scanner, or the “air puffer” without their shoes. This can be scary.
Don’t set your expectations too high. Understand that when you travel with kids nothing is easy and if something can go wrong, it will. Then be prepared to go with the flow. After all, you are on vacation.
Pack an arsenal of emergency supplies. Aside from the standard bandages and medication to treat an upset stomach, bring fever reducer, allergy medication, a laundry stain stick, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, a small flashlight, chargers and extra batteries. If you have young children, pack extra clothes in case of spills or accidents. Also throw in some empty quart or gallon sized zipper top bags. They can be used to store anything from soiled laundry and sundry items to souvenirs or shoes.
Pack a backpack of snacks and activities. Choose your books and toys wisely. Toys and games with small parts are difficult to keep track of and often end up on the floor and under seats. Art kits with blank paper, colored pencils and crayons can keeps kids occupied for hours. Bring a few old favorite toys as well as a couple of brand new toys.
The novelty of a new toy alone is enough to provide hours of enchantment for any child. Video games, DVD and music players also have their place when traveling.
All it takes is a bit of time and planning to make your family vacation a reality.