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Holiday Travel Tips for Families

Whether by plane, train or automobile, traveling this time of year can be stressful. Here are some tips to make your trip easier. And be sure to share your tips too!

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year. AAA expects 42.5 million people to travel somewhere more than 50 miles from home for turkey day. Ninety percent will be traveling by car while eight percent will be flying. So we at Patch are offering some tips to make your journey more joyful.

Hitting the road? Try these tips:

Load up the iPod: Download your kids’ favorite songs and have a sing-a-long as you drive along the road.

Plan to make stops: Before you hit the road, map it out and see what interesting sights are along the way. Why not stop and take a picture in front of the World’s Largest Ball of Twine? Or check out the great view of the mountains? This will break up the trip and let the kids have a chance to get up and run around for a little bit.

Play some games: I-Spy is a road trip classic, but check out this website for other ideas such as Car Bingo, scavenger hunts or making pipe cleaner creatures.

Pick up some fun finds: There are lots of great things you can find at places such as Target, Bella Beach Kids and the like. Pick up coloring books and crayons and inexpensive toys for the ride. Be sure to also grab things like tissues, antibacterial wipes, band-aids and other items.

Travel overnight: If you’re okay with driving at night, you’ll avoid a lot of traffic and the kids can sleep the whole way. Bring pillows and warm blankets so the little ones will be warm and comfortable. And by all means, switch off with a driving partner if you feel sleepy.

 

Here are some tips for families who are flying:

Get Familiar with TSA's Rules: Often times families only fly once or twice a year and may not be up to date with what you can and can't bring on a plane. Can you bring baby formula? Do you need to take off your infant’s shoes? Can you pack wrapped presents for grandma and grandpa? You can find the answers to these questions and more on their website.

Technology is your friend: Download your kids favorite movies or episodes of their TV shows to your laptop or iPad. Also download their favorite games like Angry Birds to your phone.

Get there early: You never know what might happen! Lots of traffic getting to the airport, long lines at check-in or security, an overbooked flight… Ease the stress a little by giving yourself time to handle these situations. Arrive at least two hours before your flight. If everything goes smoothly and you find yourself with extra time on your hands, let the kids watch the planes pull in and out of the gates from the windows at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

Bring a sucker: The changing air pressure can cause terrible pain in little one’s ears. Be sure to bring some gum, hard candy or lollipops for older kids and a bottle or pacifier for tinier tots. The sucking motion helps prevent the ears from popping.

Check on the bag check policy: Some airlines have high baggage check fees and offer free carry-ons. Others may charge for carry-ons. On one flight, you may be able to bring two carry-on items, and other airlines limit it to one. Check your airline’s policy before you get to the airport so you won’t be blind-sided by fees.

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