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Summer Travel Tips & Tricks

Survive summer travel with kids with these tips for every age and stage



Vacations should be exciting, but sometimes traveling with kids can feel more like work than a break. Try these helpful tips to make sure both you and your child have a fun and memorable time.

Travel with a baby

  • To help your baby feel more comfortable sleeping away from home, have him sleep in a portable travel bed for a few days before the trip.
  • An early dinnertime means the restaurant should be less crowded. You should find plenty of space to park your stroller as well as a shorter wait for food.
  • Most airlines don’t make you buy a ticket for infants if you hold the baby on your lap throughout the flight. If this doesn’t sound like something you want to do, call the airline and ask about discounted ticket prices for infants or if there are empty seats on the flight where you can belt your child into a government-approved car seat.

Travel with a toddler

  • Buy new toys before the trip. On the journey to your destination, your toddler will be engaged with her new toys and less likely to get bored and cranky.
  • A room with a view will provide your toddler with a distraction while you’re at the hotel, especially when you need a five-minute break.
  • If you’re flying, bring a lollipop for your child to suck on during takeoff and landing. It forces her to swallow, which will stop her ears from hurting from the change in cabin pressure.

Travel with a grade schooler

  • Have your child get his own bags ready. Give him a list beforehand and check his bags after he has packed to make sure he remembered everything.
  • Pick an upbeat song to play every time you get in the car. Make sure it’s one your child likes, as this song will become a reminder of his vacation.
  • In five years, your child might dread looking at embarrassing family vacation photos, even if they’re ones he asked to take. To make sure he has a memento of the places he’s visited, buy postcards and write what you did on the back. Store them in album or box when you get home.

Travel with a Tween or Teen

  • Ask for your tween’s or teen’s input into the trip. Children in this age group can often feel detached. When they help plan, they will not only feel more involved, they’ll probably have a better time on the trip since they’re doing activities they picked out.
  • Don’t buy your tween or teen cheesy souvenirs. Choose something she’ll be comfortable showing her peers.
  • Teens feel more at ease when they are being treated like adults. Get adjoining rooms so your child can have her own space, give her some spending money and let her sleep in at least one day. If you’re on a cruise or at a resort, encourage your teen to hang out in the teen club so she can make friends. This extra time will allow you to do activities your tween or teen finds boring, hang out with other adults or have a romantic evening with your significant other.

Meredith Strom is a MetroKids co-op intern and an English major at Drexel University.

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