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Traveling with Kids

Can getting there really be half the fun?


June 2014

If the thought of jumping in the car or boarding a plane for a long journey with your kids gives you the cold sweats, have no fear! With a little advance preparation, getting to your destination can not only be accomplished, but even enjoyed. We're here to help make your next car trip or plane ride as painless as possible. Read on for some expert travel advice to use while planning your family's summer itinerary.

Are we there yet?

Your first consideration may be whether to drive or fly. While the overall trip will often be shorter when flying, as Greg Seiter, public affairs manager at AAA Hoosier Motor Club notes, being confined to a small area and surrounded by strangers can be challenging for young children. "Plus, air travel doesn't allow for many toys, snacks or entertainment items to be brought on board."

Although driving to your destination may take longer, Seiter believes if a family has time to go by car, there are many advantages. A road trip allows kids greater flexibility to interact with family members and generally behave more like themselves. Other perks include roadside scenery, the opportunity for frequent stops and being able to pack more entertainment options.

Whether you choose to fly or drive, "the key is leaving at the right time," says Seiter. If your kids still nap, use their natural schedule to your advantage by leaving about an hour before their scheduled naptime. Those who wish to live a little more dangerously can also take this strategy a step further by booking a red eye flight with the hopes of kids sleeping on the plane. "This is obviously a very high risk option," cautions Seiter, since your kids could end up skipping a night's sleep altogether!

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Family Travel Disasters

We asked Indy's Child readers to share their worst travel nightmares via our Facebook page. Their responses will put those minor flight delays and sibling squabbles into perspective!

*A relative of Rachel B.'s tried to wash the children's tennis shoes in a hotel washing machine, and one got thrown in the dryer by accident. The rubber melted, causing fire alarms to go off and the hotel to evacuate.

*For Amie M. her travel nightmare was "discovering an awful blow out in airport security line" just as she took her daughter out of her car seat to send it through the X-ray machine.

*During a trip to upstate New York, Leah F. and her family experienced a flat tire, then later a different wheel malfunction when a bolt came off. "We were towed to our destination," she reports. Amazingly, Leah's one and a half year-old daughter kept her smile the whole time.

*"We were driving from Indiana to South Carolina to visit my mom," recalls Katie C. Unfortunately, her 5 year-old son started feeling sick early in the trip. "He proceeded to throw up in every state until we were finally able to find motion sickness medicine for children at a gas station."

Tags: In This Issue, Parenting

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