Kids are sensitive. They can pick up on emotions and nonverbal signals pretty quickly. If Mom or Dad are stressed and a big trip is in the offing, that stress is what they’ll associate with travel. I’ve been there and it isn’t fun. Years ago I had to learn that my toddler was tense because I was. I was distracted, rushed and didn’t pick up on his needs and we had a meltdown in the airport. I had to learn how to set us up for stress free travel.
Navigating a young family around an airport can be troublesome enough, but you can get to your dream holiday smoothly by preparing for a long flight (or several!) by covering all the bases ahead of time. You can set your kids up to be great travelers for the rest of their lives. In the past couple of years my teenage son has flown to meet family in Switzerland and Japan on his own. He’s caught Mom’s wanderlust and knows that stress free travel doesn’t just happen.
Tips for stress free travel:
1. Leave for the airport early
The last thing you want to be doing is rushing to the airport. Most airlines require passengers to check-in two to three hours before their flight time, especially for flights abroad. If the city you live in has a high volume of traffic throughout the day, make sure to give yourself some leeway so that you get to the airport with plenty of time to spare.
2. Pack snacks
You never know when you are going to encounter flight delays, or more likely, hungry children. To avoid incessant moaning from your kids, pack go-to snacks. It’ll also save you money because as Travel Team Secrets reports, airport food vendors have failed to follow instructions on implementing prices that are comparable to everyday street shops.
3. Pack plenty of distractions for your children
Devices such as iPads or Tablets are ideal for traveling and can potentially keep your children occupied when you need to be focusing. Pack electronic devices, fully charged, to also help you have a little downtime in departure lounges.
4. Have your boarding passes printed or downloaded to your phone
As trivial as it sounds, some airlines have been known to charge passengers that have failed to print their boarding passes. RyanAir, which doesn’t have airline check-in staff, hit the news when they began charging unsuspecting customers for failing to have passes in hand. After a backlash from the media, the airline launched their official app allowing passengers to store boarding passes on their smartphone instead.
5. Pre-book your car parking space
Turning up at the airport’s car parking facility without pre-booking could be very costly. Pre-booking can save you money and insure you’ll find a parking space during peak seasons.
For the very best in car parking services check the airport’s website and see what they offer that suits your needs. Many airports will employ a similar structure to Gatwick Airport in London. According to Parking4Less this airport offers customers short and long stay parking options as well as a multitude of different valet services.
Any family vacation can be challenging but with a little extra preparation you can start it off easily with stress free travel.
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