Travelling with Children

Have Child, Will Travel.

If you have a child, you may decide to travel domestically or internationally with them one day so here are some tips to help you on your way prior to boarding that plane.

  • If your child should need to travel alone you should write all the contact numbers that would be helpful for the child in a note book for when your child arrives at the final destination.
  • Don't count on your child being willing to eat airline meals and snacks.  Little chewy fruit snacks work great during takeoff and landing and also for keeping their ears comfortable.  Pack small meals that are good for them and easy to eat. 
  • One of the best toys for keeping children occupied on trips is a travel size Etch a Sketch. If your child drops the pen it wont get lost as it is attached by string. You can write easy words on it and your child can learn to read them.  You can even draw simple pictures and have your child figure those out.
  • When travelling with children, be sure to pack a change of clothes for yourself and for your child.  Time and again your child will spill sticky drinks and drop food while on the plane.  
  • Try to carry some cold drinks, such as small juice boxes in your carry on luggage (remembering the restrictions in place regarding liquids).  If your child is thirsty and there is no drink steward around, you will be glad you have them.
  • Go to a discount store and buy a bunch of cheap toys, or anything that looks like fun for your child (age-appropriate items) and advise them that if they don't whinge, argue or complain, that they get prizes every hour. It's a lot of fun and your child will have all new stuff to use on their vacation and also on the plane.
  • Before starting on the trip, visit a local hospital and ask if they will make one of those plastic bracelets for your child. Put whatever information you'd like on a slip of paper and insert it into the bracelet. If you're traveling to/through foreign countries, you may want to put the information in several languages, each on a separate slip of paper.
  • It may sound obvious but make sure you have your child go to the bathroom before you leave the airport.
  • Always keep a recent photo of your child in your wallet, in case you lose them in a crowded area and need help in locating them.
  • Buy an inexpensive camera (with flash) for your child if they are old enough to use it. The trip will then be photographed from the child's perspective. Later they can create a memory book with all the photos.
  • When travelling, especially if only one parent is travelling with the child, make sure that you have a signed and notarized letter from both parents stating that permission is given to the accompanying parent (or temporary guardian) to take the child out of the country. Make sure that the accompanying parent or guardian also has the necessary medical release forms for said child.
  • When traveling with children with medical concerns, make sure they have their own identification, whether it be a medical necklace or an identification card and make sure it has your telephone number, the name and number of their physician and their medical concerns.
  • To help your child remember their trip in their own words, buy postcards of the places you visit and on the back of each one your child can write down whatever they want to remember about the place. At the end of the trip punch a hole in the corner of the postcards and put them on a ring so your child has their own special memento of the holiday.
  • If you are going to fly, have younger children's ears checked before you leave. Nobody wants to travel with a child who has an ear infection.
  • Ensure you have a small first aid kit on hand for when you travel.  Accidents can and do happen.

By Marija Banic

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Your MTA Luxury Travel Expert