Lorry Patton's Travel Tips 'n' Tales
Book Low airfares online!
Search TTnT
Home Travel Tips Travel Tales Travel News Travel Events Holiday Packages Address Directory



Bahamas
Belize
Canada
Caribbean
China
Costa Rica
Cuba
Denmark
Ecuador
Egypt
England
Fiji
France
Germany
Greece
Israel
Italy
Kenya
Mexico
Peru
Portugal
Russia
Scotland
South_Korea
Sweden
Switzerland
Tahiti
Thailand
United States

Home / General Travel Tips /
Traveling with School-Age Kids

» » View Travel Tips by Destination * » » View Travel Tips by Topic

Traveling with School-Age Kids

by Lorry Patton

BEFORE YOU LEAVE:

* Start the trip a couple weeks before you leave by marking the days off on a calendar. Waiting can be very exciting.

* At the same time, make a list of what to pack, You decide on the type of clothing, but let the children choose their favorite items. A week before departure day, go over the list and clothing choices with the kids to make sure everything fits and is in good repair.

* Let the children have their own bags, such as a back-pack or a small carry-on with rollers. A couple of days before the big day, let them pack their bags. Let them include a small favorite toy and book to read. In your carry-on bag, pack hard candies, gum and wet ones. Your bag will also include a surprise toy for each child in case of unexpected wait times at airports or train stations and a disposable camera for the kids.

* The night before departure, at bedtime, discuss safety and security rules, like where to meet if you get separated and who to call if the adults get sick.

* Decide on how much money the kids can spend each day for anything they want.

* Make an itinerary of each day's plans and include a couple of activities that are flexible and optional. Make time for free time. Also include hotel numbers, contact names, confirmation numbers and transportion information.

ON THE ROAD

* If you are traveling by car, bring pillows.

* Keep the kids occupied with the I-Spy game, or the game where everybody takes turns naming countries in alphabetical order until one by one they run out of countries. Let the children create a game. Like count how many red cars on the highway, or how many convertibles.

* Stop frequently at rest stops. Let the kids jump and stretch and run to burn energy.

* Have snacks handy, like dry cereal, pretzels and trail mix. Fill a cooler with ice and bottled water.

* To keep the kids from whining in restaurants and in stores, make rules ahead of time on how much junk food they can have and what the budget is for meal times in the restaurants. Decide before you go in what they can or can't order off the menu. For example, desserts might be more than your budget can handle, so agree to buy a chocolate bar in the gift shop and leave the $5 chocolate cake in the display case.

* If you're flying to your destination give the kids gum to chew and buy favorite magazines for everyone. See if your doctor will recommend an off-the-counter decongestion tablet if the kids have sinus problems. The change in air pressure can be painful. Ask for the bulk seats for more leg room and take advantage of pre-boarding. Chances are good that the pillows and the blankets won't be gone.

ONCE YOU ARE THERE

* Review your safety rules.

* Each day have your itinerary handy but be flexible with a few attractions. Let the kids decide whether to go see the dinosaur museum or science center, whether they want to go to the beach or to the zoo. If they disagree, find something else on the trip that they don't mind eliminating and do both the beach and the zoo.

* Save time each evening to relax in the pool.

* Have the children save stubs, tickets from theatres, programs and maps of sights and attractions to make a scrap when they get home.

ON THE WAY HOME

* Let the children review the trips activities in a journal and mark with a score board on the way home.