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Expert Advice for Traveling With Children

Travel professionals share their best tips for traveling with kids of all ages.


By Lisa Iannucci, Travel Pulse
  
It's about that time again for no more teachers, no more books, because school is OUT!

That means it's also time for family travel.

We asked travel agents for their best tips for traveling with children of all ages, whether you’re taking a road trip or flying off on an international adventure.
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Make a Fun Travel Package

“Stock it full of books, games, candy and toys, etc.” said Denise Lorentzen of Dreams Family Travel in Hughson, California. “It keeps them occupied. Make sure you have everything you need in carry-ons too, including medicine, gum, chargers for electronics, a change of clothes (especially for young ones), blanket, pillow and their special items like a favorite doll, stuffed animal, or blanket.

"This helps ease their anxiety too.”

Electronics Save the Day

“Traveling with children can be challenging,” said Margie Lenau of Wonderland Family Vacations in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“Some airlines have great in-flight entertainment, but sometimes you need a computer or iPad to take advantage of it. Download their app before you leave home. Electronics can save your sanity when a child is tired or bored. You can download their favorite movie, book, or game, too, and bring it with you.”
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Build in Timeouts

And not in a bad way, according to Chris Caulfield, CruiseOne Franchise Owner and Vacation Specialist in Croton on Hudson, New York:

“Cruise ships today have so many fun activities that it is hard to remember that you are on vacation and relaxing should be part of it. My family likes to take a break before dinner. Kids relax and watch a movie or color, while mom and dad enjoy the balcony. Everyone can get ready for dinner at their own pace, and we are recharged for a night full of activities.”

Set Safety Boundaries

On the cruising note, Lillie West of Independent Vacation Specialist with Cruises Inc. in Springdale, Maryland, says to talk to your children about safety:

“Be sure they realize that a cruise ship is just a floating city. If you would not let your kids run around in a big city by themselves, then don't let them run around on a cruise ship by themselves. Set parameters and let them know that you will be checking on them from time to time.”
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Stay on Schedule

If your child eats at certain times or naps around certain times, Lori Wall of Destinations to Explore suggests that you plan around it and plan for it:

“If you have a picky eater, there is nothing worse than being in the middle of the ocean or up in the air and your child wants Goldfish. You aren't going to find those on your ship.”

Pick the Right Accommodations

“While there are a wealth of kid-friendly hotels and resorts available, there are also those that are catered toward adult vacations and nightlife, and it will be important to qualify options before booking,” said Anthony Tucker of All Inclusive Outlet.

“With that said, many are now accommodating both—with separate areas for family-friendly accommodations like connecting rooms—so be sure to include that in your research prior to booking."

Tucker also explains that many all-inclusive resorts have kid or teen clubs with a wealth of activities to enjoy, like arcade games, movies and other entertainment for all ages:

“The fun doesn’t just stop with the young ones, however, as there are activities available for the whole family, such as parasailing, paddle boarding or any number of fun water-related activities that you won’t find near home."
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Take Your Time
 
“If you are driving, you can count on one child needing to use the restroom or needing a drink of water or being tired and grumpy for most of the trip,” said Ronda Zeneri with Cruise Planners.

“If you think about how you are going to handle this in advance, it can still be a fun-filled trip. Just allow ample time for these things in your travel plans.”
      
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Travel Magazine: Expert Advice for Traveling With Children
Expert Advice for Traveling With Children
Travel professionals share their best tips for traveling with kids of all ages.
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