Some people already start to feel woozy from the thought of traveling with the family, especially if they’re responsible for the planning. When you have kids and seniors to consider, you definitely need to take a few extra steps to ensure that everyone is adequately prepared for what lies ahead.
But with the many fantastic travel destinations to choose from, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t put in the extra effort to bring the family along.
After all, it’s easy to book flights these days. All you have to do is grab that seat online to go skiing in the Swiss Alps, Hokkaido, or Colorado, or search for airline services in CNMI, Fiji, or Tahiti, if you intend to visit a tropical destination.
To help you prepare for your big travel plans with the family, here are 8 helpful pieces of advice worth following so you get a happy and hassle-free trip.
1. Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Prepare
As soon as you know you’re flying with the family, take immediate steps to prepare for the trip. It’s true that you won’t be able to control everything, but preparation eliminates A LOT of stress and uncertainty.
2. Consider Early Morning Flights
One way to reduce the chances of boarding a full plane is to book early morning flights. Less crowded trips can mean more comfort for you and the family.
3. Talk to Everyone About What to Expect
Travel plans go way smoother when everyone knows what to expect from the trip. Especially for young children, it is important to make it clear to them what is going on. Try to make the experience as comfortable as possible for them, as something that may be exciting for you may be daunting or scary for them. To help with this, allow them to pack a favorite toy and some favorite clothes, whether that be that blue pixar monster plushie they take everywhere, or that blue pixar monster onesie they’ve been wearing religiously for the past two months that you can’t separate them from.
Also, if someone in the family is traveling for the first time, explain how airports and airplanes work so they don’t feel so intimidated by the new surroundings.
4. Be Smart About What to Pack
Zealously overpacking may just cause problems when traveling. As much as possible, stick only to the essentials and plan everything that you need beforehand.
It can be hard to leave out some items, especially if the kids or an elderly loved one demands to bring along their favorite blanket or pillow.
But packing too much also increases the risk of something getting lost or forgotten. And in some cases, these forgotten things can be our family members themselves.
Apart from the common essentials, you should also consider adding the following items to your packing list:
- New toys for the kids (they’re more interesting than older toys)
- Basic medicines
- Plenty of healthy snacks
- Batteries for electronic devices (especially for toys)
- Reading materials
- Puzzles and brain teasers
5. Prepare for Changes in Air Pressure
Talking to first-time flyers in the family about the sudden rise and drop of air pressure can help them cope better with the experience. This can be quite a shocker, especially for the kids.
Another helpful advice is to drink plenty of water. Drinking and swallowing can ease the pressure in your ears and gives the added benefit of hydration, which is very important during travels.
6. Seat Children Away from the Aisle
It’s often safer for your kids and elderly family members to be away from the aisle because people and carts frequently pass by. It may also happen that you doze off for a couple and no one can actively watch your child.
So, as a safety precaution, make sure to keep the little ones away from the aisles. This is safer for the flight attendants and other passengers, too.
7. Practice Good Hygiene and Sanitation
If there’s anything the recent coronavirus outbreak has taught us, it’s that proper hygiene is absolutely essential – especially on trips.
Wipe down everything that you can, including your airplane seats, armrests, and whatever shared items you make contact with. Also, it’s good to remind the family to avoid frequently touched areas whenever possible.
Even if you can’t bring a lot of hand sanitizers with you, always keep a bar of soap handy and teach everyone to practice frequent handwashing.
8. Keep Commonly Used and Important Items Within Easy Reach
For items that you need quick access to, such as snacks, children’s toys, and personal hygiene items, you can position them closer to the openings of your bag.
In fact, it’s a smarter idea to keep all the important things in one bag and to organize them properly in containers. For instance, you can have a separate container for your baby’s feeding items, another one their fresh clothes and diapers, and another for their toys.
Having a Game Plan Can Make Traveling with the Family Loads of Fun
Aside from preparation, another powerful approach to have a happy and safe flight is to simply relax. More worry only translates to more stress, and can even lead to problems that otherwise wouldn’t have existed.
While there’s nothing wrong with practicing vigilance to keep your loved ones safe, it’s also important to know when to just sit back and enjoy the moment.