Friday, September 14, 2007

Tips for Travelling with Kids

Here are some tips for you when you are traveling with your kids.

1. Keep food and water in your hand luggage when flying
It may take some time before the flight crew can get to you after take off, especially if its a bumpy ride and the seatbelt sign is still on. So, its a good idea to keep bottled water and snacks in your bag to keep the little ones happy until you can get some assistance.
2. Split Up
You may be in this together but the old advice of strength in numbers doesnt apply when flying with children. It maybe easier if you and your partner sit several rows apart so one can get some rest while the other tends to the child; breaking the kids up can keep the noise level down and your sanity intact.
3. Give your kids emergency instructions
Its inevitable that your kids will think you a nag but its crucial that you give them instructions on what to do in case you get separated, for example, not to follow strangers. Prepare a card they can carry with them (keep it in a plastic case for greater durability) with the name of the hotel youre staying at and the various phone numbers where they can reach you.
4. Plan for a rainy day
And we do mean this literally. Make contingency plans in case of bad weather so you wont be stuck in a hotel room with brooding children. Rainy day activities include trips to the museum or art galleries.
5. Bring along a stroller
Not only will it provide a comfortable place for your child to sleep in when he gets tired, you can also use it to wheel your bags around when hes up and about.
6. Find out local transport costs
Sometimes children below a certain age get to travel on public transport for free. This information may not be relayed to you by the train conductors or bus drivers so it pays to do some research.
7. Enquire about family packages
Popular tourist attractions like the zoo or theme parks may offer family packages with concessionary prices for children so it never hurts to enquire at the ticket booth.
8. Dress your kids in bright colors.
Now is not the time to make Junior the best dressed kid on the block. Deck your children in distinctive clothing so you can spot them easily in a crowd. But to avoid costly therapy sessions in the future, draw the line at fancy dress costumes.

Source: Siti Rohani
Readers Digest, April 2006

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