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What to do When You're Traveling with Children
Traveling with children can either be a lot of fun, or a complete nightmare! Even the most mild-mannered child can turn into a complete terror when shut aboard a plane for several hours or when stuck in an airport lounge over a long layover. If you're planning an upcoming trip for your family, check out the following tips to help make traveling with children easier.
The most common symptoms of air sickness are dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and sweating. To a lesser extent, some air passengers will describe vague symptoms or simply complain of feeling unwell. While it is unlikely you will be able to prevent all of the symptoms of air sickness, the following tips should help at least to lessen the severity.
Talk to your child about the trip
Keep the details of the trip upbeat and exciting. If you're nervous about the upcoming adventure, you child will be as well. Find pictures online to help your child see where you're going and how you're getting there.
Pack several travel toys to keep the children occupied.
It may be a pain to lug around a bag full of toys, but it's far better than the alternative of a screaming child. Depending upon the ages of your children, you may also want to pack a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or an assortment of books to keep them distracted.
Take an assortment of snacks.
Food is comforting and can often help calm a nervous child. Pack crackers, fruits, and cut up vegetables. Stay away from the sweets – the last thing you want to do is to over-energize your children before climbing onto the plane. Also consider small bottles of water or low sugar fruit drinks to keep your kids hydrated.
Plan some fun travel games.
If traveling by car, consider some of the games that require your children to watch for certain landmarks, cars, or other items. There are also travel bingo games that can be a lot of fun for children ages six and up. These games require the children to find different things, such as RV's, overpasses, red barns, etc and mark them off on a bingo card. When they score a bingo, you can have a small prize for them.
Take breaks throughout your journey.
If you're traveling by airplane, consider how long the flight is. You may be better off to consider a layover if the flight is going to be longer than four hours. Even just a couple of hours in an airport can provide a nice respite and a chance for your children to stretch their legs.
Consider traveling at night.
It's much easier to deal with children if they are asleep! However, this could also ensure you are exhausted the next day, so plan some extra time to recover when you reach your destination.
Help your infant during air travel.
If you're traveling with an infant on an airplane, be sure to pack a pacifier or a bottle to give to your baby during takeoffs and landings. This will help ease the pressure on the child's ears and reduce the likelihood of him or her wailing uncontrollably.
Plan for motion sickness.
If your child is prone to motion sickness, speak with your pediatrician before leaving. He or she may be able to recommend some natural remedies, or may even prescribe Dramamine for older children. Of course, you should be aware that this will probably make your child very sleepy, so you'll need to leave some extra time for recovery once you reach your destination.