From toddlers to teenagers, we offer our top insights for a seamless journey on your next family vacation

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile, the key to traveling with kids is to keep them comfortable and entertained, which in turn ensures a less stressful travel experience for the parents.

Alternatively, if you are concerned about the many moving parts of a vacation, perhaps it’s time to consider a cruise for your family. Talk to your travel advisor about which cruise line is best for you, depending on the ages of your children; some liners like Disney and Carnival have programming that cater toward younger audiences, ensuring your little ones are kept entertained, even during the days at sea.

Traveling with children doesn’t have to be a challenge
In the months leading up to travel

Ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date and that any daily prescriptions or medications are filled. It is also smart to check-in with your primary care doctor to see if there are any additional medications recommended for your destination. If your family is traveling by plane, using a travel advisor to make sure your seats are together can be a useful hack to relieve day-of-stress at the airport. It’s also handy to use an advisor to help make the most of your schedule while on the ground.

Most importantly: begin building excitement around the destination. If you are heading to Paris, swap croissants for pancakes one morning and explain the different foods they are trying; if you are heading to Disney World, review the theme parks with each kid and garner a sense of their interest in rides to help plan your itinerary while on the ground. Calendar countdowns are also a fun way to get the whole family involved in the months leading up to your trip.

On the day of travel

No matter your mode of transport, allowing extra time is essential; especially around peak holidays. Whether it’s unexpected delays at the airport, lengthy security lines or bumper-to-bumper traffic you won’t regret building in buffer room to your journey. Ask your travel advisor to help you decide the right amount of time you will need depending on your means of transport, destination, children’s ages and family size.

If your children are old enough, allow them to carry their own bags, but consider keeping all your travel documents and identification in one place with a designated holder. Review screening procedures with kids in advance, assist them with removing electronic devices from their bags and allow them to walk through the X-ray machine first to keep an eye on them. Trying to keep the group together at all times is essential.

Snacks are an important part of keeping children occupied and complaint-free. Have a mixture of classic and healthy snacks for the whole family; pre-planning and allocating snack bags keeps everyone satiated. Having water available is also a necessity for hydration and comfort.

Once you’ve arrived

Familiarize yourself and your children with the layout of the hotel; make it casual but interactive to keep their interest. If your kids are younger, sweep the hotel room to ensure there are no small objects toddlers can get their hands on. Create a loose schedule for structuring your days; include wake-up times, free time, and daily activities but do not make your plans too rigid. Remember, vacations are supposed to be fun!

For any other detailed safety and medical precautions, we recommend contacting an advisor or using the resources below as a checklist for your next trip:

Written by: Jillian Dara

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