This year, it looks like traveling to visit friends and loved ones for the holidays will be back on the table. Whether you’re going on a Thanksgiving trip or spending Christmas and New Year with out-of-state loved ones, keep in mind these essential travel safety tips if you’re bringing children along on the journey.
A great place to start is to make sure you have everything your child may need for the long car ride or plane trip. So, on top of medications your child needs daily, you’ll also want to have extra on-hand masks and hand sanitizer for your child as they tend to touch a lot more than adults do, especially the younger ones.
You also want to include in your carry-all things to keep your children entertained. Since you may not have access to wi-fi in the car or on the plane, download some of their favorite tv shows and movies, and don’t forget the headphones! It’s also a good idea to have snacks that you know will keep them satisfied and healthy. After all, they’ll be indulging in plenty of holiday sweet treats after you get to your destination, so keep them healthy during travel.
One sure-fire way to make great holiday memories is if you travel by car this year. And, some people may be inclined to do so as they feel it’s the safer option with what’s going on in the world right now. So, make sure you have some fun and playful playlists made for the whole family to sing along to. It may sound cliche or old school, but these are things your beloved children will remember when they grow up. And, if it sounds exhausting (it will be), make sure you drink the entirety of your French press coffee before you head out the door for your long car ride. Don’t worry – you got this!
If you’re traveling with babies or very young children, it’s a given that you won’t be taking your eyes off of them. If you have especially curious or explorative toddlers, it’s worth considering getting a wrist leash to connect the two of you if you’re going to be in busy airports together. If your children are a little older and have their own cell phones, it’s crucial to have an emergency plan in place in case anyone gets separated from one another. Everyone needs to have a list in their phone or pocket of emergency numbers and who to call if they can’t locate you. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Not only will it be cute to people that see you in the train station or airport, if you’re part of a more prominent family, sometimes it’s easy to color coordinate with one another. Airports and other travel hubs are bustling during the holiday season, so if you’re all wearing the same bright color (orange and yellow are great), you’ll be easy to spot from food courts, security screening, or those running to take restroom breaks during layovers.
If this is your young child’s first time experiencing a plane ride, it’s best to prepare them for what to expect ahead of time. While leading up to the trip, getting on an airplane may seem like the most exciting part, it can cause some anxiety when it comes to it. So, take time to prepare your child for what it will be like, noises, movements, etc. Thankfully there are books and short videos dedicated to this to help you out, but it’s best they know what to expect.
Traveling with children can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming. Don’t forget the importance of mindfulness and keeping yourself grounded, so it doesn’t become more stressful than it needs to be. Your children will feed off of your emotions, so be calm and collected, and in control. Remember that the journey is just a short part of the experience, and you’ll create unforgettable memories when you get to your destination. Happy trails and happy holidays!