When you are traveling with children, extra preparation is required to make your trip go as smoothly as possible. Whether you are traveling across state or across the world, advance planning will help to insure that you and your children can arrive safely and without too much stress.
When flying, always let the ticketing agent know you are traveling with children. They will often issue you pre-boarding passes which will allow you to enter the plane first. You should also plan in advance so that you can make sure your seats are together. If your child is prone to ear infections or motion sickness, discuss options with your pediatrician in order to avoid these problems on the flight. Some parents prefer to fly on nonstop flights because you do not have to switch planes or deal with layovers. However, some people think that having a break can help their children relax, get some food, and settle down before traveling on the next leg. If your children are young, make sure you bring car or booster seats with you, or arrange to have them included with your car service.
After securing your travel arrangements, you will want to begin packing for your trip. If you travel often, you should consider purchasing some quality luggage. Samsonite luggage, for instance, is quite durable and will hold up through repeated travel with children. Child size luggage is also available and can help children feel included and grown up. You should pack a few extra outfits for each child in case of accidents. Place each outfit in a zip-lock bag and write the child's name on the outside. Remove the air from the bag, making it as flat as possible. This will allow you to pack more into each suitcase.
You should also bring a carry-on bag for each child. Pack a complete change of clothes for each child in their bag. Books, coloring books and crayons, and electronic toys can help the flight go quickly. Make sure you pack headphones for each child, as well as extra batteries. You should consider packing snacks and a water bottle or juice box for each child as well.
Do not forget to label everything and include an address label inside the luggage. Discuss with your children what to do in case they are separated from you.
Traveling with children requires a few extra steps in order to be prepared, but it is worth it when you can enjoy a family vacation together.