Holiday Travel with Children

Tips Provided by:

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go. During this time of year, we plan and prepare our family visits, dinner meals and gift-giving and forget one of the most important things – preparing for holiday travel with children. Whether you are driving or flying to your final holiday destinations, be prepared with these helpful tips so that you and your precious cargo arrive safely and happily.

Plan, plan and plan. It’s never too early to prepare yourself. Make sure everyone knows the holiday schedule. Get things prepared ahead of time at your final destination.

•   Packing. It never fails. You always end up forgetting something that becomes a major importance in your child’s happy stay at grandma’s house. Creating a list and organizing is key. Decide on how many suitcases to pack and assign bags accordingly. Pack in advance.

•   Entertainment. “Are we there yet?” is a common questions by everyone – old or young. Pack the cars with toys, books and movies. Play games with passerby cars and towns. In flight, tablets, iPods and portable DVD’s should be loaded with all their favorites.  And always, hide emergency toys and games for when they really get bored with what’s already available.

•   Driving? Get directions ahead of time. Cars these days are loaded with a GPS system. If yours does not have one, get one. Check weather and road conditions for any delays or closed roads. Pack the car with plenty of mobile toys, movies, snacks and drinks. Download or rent their favorite movies and music. Don’t forget to pack the ever so loved stuff animal and blankets. Plot out rest stops. Get family members to purchase milk and other perishable baby essentials at your destination.

•   Flying? The best time to fly with the little ones is in the morning or around their nap time. Shoot for direct flights if possible. If you can, grab a bulk seat for the extra leg room or upgrade your seat to one. This is important if you plan on using a carseat in flight. Otherwise, prepare your little tike to not kick the seat in front or pull on the seat in front on your child when they lean back. Pack light, especially now that there are hefty charges for checked bags. Always pack a carry-on bag filled with must items just in case your luggage is lost or delayed. You can use a service like to provide items that are difficult or bulky to pack.

•   No matter what, traveling is taxing on everyone no matter what their age is. During your trip, talk to your little ones about what they are going to experience. Who they are going to see. And what they are going to do once they arrive. Sometimes, with a little conversation, it will continue the holiday spirit in them and soon enough you’ll be at your final destination with a very happy, and excited child. Plus, as parents, you’ll be excited to see them so happy.

Happy Holidays to all!

These holiday travel tips are provided by Rich Anton with Blue Waters Vacations.  Rich can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 703-485-1488.  His web site is

About WF Staff

Washington FAMILY Staff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.