When traveling with children, it is important to remember that the family is your most important cargo you will be taking with you. To help you organize the transportation properly, break down your concerns about traveling with kids into several distinct categories:
- Family happiness, health, and comfort
You must have a plan to completely cover all five of these areas, and that plan does not create itself overnight. You need to begin to prepare for the travel plan weeks before you actually begin the trip. Put together an agenda of each item and mark off the accomplished ones on your travel checklist. Have deadline dates well in advance of your vacation trip departure date.
When considering safety issues and your safety plan for transportation, make sure to include the older children in the discussion. The more eyes you have watching the babies and young ones, the better off you are. Review the taxi ride, the plane ride, and any tour bus, walking, or boat rides you might take on your vacation. If you have to assign the older kids to the younger kids, than do so. Hands need to be held tightly, criers need comfort, there needs to be a speedy plan for lost ones, and consider that loading and unloading vehicles are always a little tricky and could be dangerous.
Luggage concerns go hand and hand with transportation flow. You need to make sure you are not so burdened with bags and suitcases that little hands are not held and eyes are not watching them. Use a porter or luggage cart if this means you can better watch the children. One parent can remove the luggage off of the carousel while the other parent watches the kids. The older children can also help with this task.
If you have ever been stranded with a child at the airport or stuck on a plane with a crying toddler, then you know that puzzles, games, crayons, movies, books, and entertainment devices are an important part of keeping the transportation process flowing properly. Pack an entertainment bag for each child if possible. Do not forget the ear buds or headsets!
Children get hungry and want to be feed on the terms of their internal clock, not when eating is convenient for you. The snacks baby food, bottles, and such need to be in a separate and easily accessed bag for immediate hunger relief for the kids. Make sure you pack the favorite snacks of each child.
Happy, healthy, and comfortable children travel better than grumpy children. Make sure everyone is wearing loose clothing, has a sweater ready incase the plane is cold, is given the proper medicines to those who need it, and be ready to handle the child that is afraid of flying. If you look ahead at what might possibly happen in the transportation segment of the trip, you can prevent most of your problems. Plan ahead to make sure the transportation aspect of your travel goes smoothly for everyone in the family.