If you have ever traveled with small children, you know how nerve-racking it can be. The stress level kicks up a notch when you are flying. Even short trips can be exasperating with an inconsolable toddler or multiple children. Maintenance delays and aircraft issues, traffic jams and construction, and many other un-anticipated issues often extend an already exhausting experience. Luckily, with a little bit of pre-planning, there are some easy ways to keep the kids occupied and happy while traveling, even on long trips.
As a family of five, we don’t fly if we can drive. However, with extended family on the other side of the country and three boys close in age, I can’t deny that we’ve been the parents on the plane with the shrieking, crying children; the ones that quickly become everyone else’s nightmare. Through trial and error, we discovered that there are a few things you can do to make everyone’s trip a lot more cheerful, while minimizing the stress of a long plane ride.
My 10-year-old daughter stands motionless before a large black-and-white photograph of two girls on a beach. Nearby, her 12-year-old sister studies a photo caption, while my youngest tugs me toward another set of pictures. We linger unexpectedly during a summer afternoon in the gallery hosting this unusual traveling exhibit about Anne Frank. One would never guess the moans and complaints preceding our visit - moans and complaints that often surface at the suggestion of something new. But this successful outing gives me hope.
Health precautions, securing documents, packing and communications are at the top of every traveler's list. There are so many things parents can do in advance of a trip to help things go smoothly," says Scott von Eschen, President, adventurescrosscountry.com.
Here are the best tips and precautions for the international traveler:
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