If you are planning on heading out the door on a trip with your children you are probably more worried about them than you are worried about getting yourself ready to leave. You already have your hotel reservations confirmed and the details of the trip confirmed but now on to getting the kids ready. This could be the difficult part. It is important to remember that you children are going to be going into unfamiliar situations and this could be scary for them. Before you set out you should set expectations with your children and let them know what is going to happen and how they should behave. If you follow the tips below you should have an easy traveling experience.
Preparing Babies And Toddlers Before Flying
If you are excited about taking your child on an airplane it is not necessary to start talking about it more than a day or so ahead of time. If you talk about it much sooner than that it is possible they will not even remember your conversations. Once you have the conversation you should tell him or her exactly what will happen when you get to the airport. This should include driving to the airport, going through the security checkpoints, and then getting on the actual airplane. Once on the airplane it is time to get out the activities that you have brought to keep him or her busy. Picture books are a good source of entertainment for this age.
Preparing Preschoolers To Travel
Traveling with preschoolers is a little different than traveling with a toddler. At this age they love to run around and act different things out. You should also talk to your preschooler about what is happening and maybe even act out what it will be like on the airplane or even in a car. Do not forget to tell him or her that their favorite stuffed animal or blanket will have to go through the x-ray machine at the airport. To keep the child busy while on the airplane or even while traveling in the car sticker books are a great idea as well as packing up a little bag of activities to keep him or her busy. Another thought that will help the child feel more comfortable leaving their own home is to have him or her pack their own suitcase.
Preparing School Age Children To Travel
When you are going to be traveling with older children you might find that it is a bit easier than traveling with the younger ones. In this situation you can start telling them much sooner about the trip. They will be a to retain the information better than the younger one. It might help to look at pictures of your destination online or in books to help explain where you are going. At this age you should be able to give the child a packing list and let them get their own things ready to be packed in the suitcase. It is recommended that you double check the choices he or she has made before you put them in the suitcase. To keep them busy during the travel time there are many things that you can supply. Examples of these are books, a digital camera, or anything else that will keep them occupied on the boring flights.
Traveling with children can be a traumatic experience for both the parents and the children. This can be made worse if the child does not know what to expect as well as how they are expected to behave. By setting expectations in the beginning and packing things that will keep the little minds busy you should have a good traveling experience.
Image via Flickr by Rob lef