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6 Tips for Surviving Holiday Travel with Kids

                                  6 Tips for Surviving Holiday Travel with Kids 

“Are we there yet?”These four words will make any parent cringe while traveling with kids in tow. If you’re headed out to visit family or friends over the holidays, avoid the backseat interrogation by making sure you’re prepared.

The mother of two—ages 7 and 11—Koch says parents should anticipate all “nightmares” that can happen. Here is her list of travel must-haves:

1. Snacks and meals on the go. Don’t wait until the kids get hungry and cranky, says Koch. Instead, pack an array of snacks and meals for the trip.

“Always plan for delays and bring a few extra nibbles,” she says. “Don’t count on there being a place to stop. Put bagels in baggies, carry nonperishable items such as protein or granola bars, or bring squeezable applesauce.”

2. Games and toys. A cross section of easy-to-transport toys, gadgets, and activities will engage kids through the hours of travel. Koch likes interactive games such as Mad Libs, Bingo, or Travel Monopoly. She also likes to bring an iPad and downloads a movie a day or two before the trip.

“Bring enough activities to occupy them for the duration of the trip plus two hours,” she says. “You should always plan for a delay.”

3. Bribery materials—lots of them! Travel is trying for kids, so bring the goods to ward off tantrums and encourage good behavior, says Koch.

 

“I like to bring Tasty Brand Organic Fruit Gummies,” she says. “I also bring foods that are forbidden on a regular basis such as lollipops and chocolate. You should also bring a surprise activity such as stickers, coloring book, an Etch a Sketch or a new movie download.”

4. An in-transit pharmacy. Have a zippered pouch with medicine and other products to deal with any and all medical maladies. When flying, Koch packs EarPlanes Kids air-pressure-discomfort earplugs. She also brings a kids’ pain reliever such as Children’s Motrin, bandages, cough drops, first aid cream, an allergy medication such as Children’s Benadryl, and an antacid such as Children’s Pepto-Bismol.
 

5. An anti-cootie arsenal. Prevent illnesses (and the need for the aforementioned portable pharmacy) by defending your family from the brazen germs lurking on every surface.“I never travel without antibacterial wipes,” Koch says. “I also use mats on airline tray or tables.”

She also suggests packing Potty Topper toilet seat covers disposable and Munchkin Disposable Changing Pads, which can be used as changing pads or as a surface to place things down, such as a diaper bag, purse or toys.
 

6. Travel apps. Finally, Koch loads her smartphone with apps that will help her trip go smoothly. She recommends GateGuru,which provides a map of airports and gives gate numbers, meal options, and souvenir stores. She also likes TripAdvisor, which includes guides to cities that will help travelers find attractions. The app doesn’t require an Internet connection, and won’t accrue data or roaming charges.

“Once you become a parent, you give up the ability to be spontaneous,” says Koch. “I find it to be helpful to pack five days in advance, so I don’t forget anything. Make a list, get organized, and take the time to look through everything. You’ll save yourself a freak out.”

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