The tickets are booked, reservations confirmed and now the only thing left to do is pack and get there! If you are like many parents preparing for summer travel the dream of your toes in the water with the warm sun on your back is quickly washed away when you start packing for your kids. Yes, they are coming also!
While we all commiserate over the idea of needing a getaway after the family holiday there are a few things you can do to better prepare yourself, which will, in turn, help your child be better prepared.
• Make A List & Check It Twice! You will be packing for tiny-tot travelers. Making a list will eliminate the need to rush out and find a binky or favorite baby food. You will always stress less when you plan ahead and check off your list.
• Layer Up! Make sure to pack two to three extra outfits for the plane in the event of an “accident” or an extended layover. Place in easy-seal, reusable bags with air pressed out and they will slide into your backpack or carry-on easily.
• Talk About It! For young children or first-time travelers talk about the trip a few weeks prior to departure.
Pull up the weather for your destination. Ask questions:
What will the weather be like?
What kinds of clothes and supplies will we need to bring?
Pull up a map of your destination. Ask questions:
Where are you going?
What is the native flower?
What foods reflect the culture or town?
Will you be hiking, going to the beach, or going somewhere else?
• Create A Journal! Fold standard or recycled paper and staple together. Let your child decorate the cover to “own the moment.” Come up with questions you can answer along the way on your trip.
• Introduce Family! If visiting family or celebrating a reunion bring out photos and help your child get familiar with everyone before you go. Long distance relatives can feel like strangers to young children. Do you have a funny story to share when you see family?
• Pack It Up! Have your children pick some, if not all, the items needing to be packed. Start with a list and then check it off. Avoid tantrums and don’t forget to pack their favorite toy or blanket!
• Keep it Polite! Discuss appropriate manners when traveling. If visiting a foreign country look up the culture and discover what do they do differently? Chipper’s Get Ready to Fly Activity Kit is the perfect tool to help prepare your child for flying. Follow TSA Tips for Kids!
• Snacks for the Flight! Keep it healthy and allow some carbs to fill up tummies but, also, let the rule slide and bring a special treat for good behavior like some Chipper Cookies. We bring lollipops and call them “Pressure Pops.” Everyone gets to have one as we begin the descent and the sucking helps keep ears clear.
There is really no perfect time to start traveling so welcome the WHOLE experience and know that it is a time to connect and grow as a family.
What is your favorite family travel story? Share with us and offer a few tips to help other Chipper families learn the best way to pack-and-go together. And if your kids are going to ask “How Long Till We Get There?” Have them sing it with Chipper!