Traveling With Kids: A Survival Guide
Planning keeps kids calm and comfortable -- and preserves parents' sanity.
Assemble first aid supplies -- hand wipes, thermometer,
aspirin or Tylenol, bandages, antibiotic cream, rubbing alcohol for bug bites,
lip balm, an antidiarrheal, and an antacid. If motion sickness is a concern,
ask your doctor about medication. There are both over-the-counter and
prescription options available.
Ginger root, lemon drops, peppermints, and
soda crackers can also ease a queasy stomach.
Melatonin may aid sleep and cut jet lag
(take at bedtime before, during, and a few days after, following all
instructions).Your health professional can help determine the proper
dosage and whether melatonin is right for you.
Also, take vitamins. Keeping up your
immunity is important. Strange places, strange germs -- you might not be
resistant, says Hyla Cass, MD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at
UCLA and author of Natural Highs: Supplements, Nutrition, and Mind-Body
Techniques to Help You Feel Good All the Time. Her advice:
Bring lots of vitamin C, and take two grams
(2,000 mg) daily a couple of days before leaving. Large doses of vitamin C have
been found to decrease the duration and severity of colds. Bring the kids'
multiple vitamins. Kiddy vitamins contain nutrients that help balance a child's
Don't leave medicines in an open suitcase
on the floor. If you have babies or toddlers, make sure all medications are
Also, pack calming treats. "Sleep,
diet, hydration," Cass says. "Those are the big three when
traveling." She advises you avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol -- all of
which trigger adrenaline rushes. Bottled water is the best choice; keep some in
Quick, healthy, kid-friendly
hard boiled eggs
Air Travel Tips
A car seat/stroller combo certainly makes travel easier -- and
it's worth the investment, if you don't have one. You'll be
well prepared when you reach your travel destination.
Plan to stow the stroller on board at the gate, and take the
car seat aboard.
Get a child-sized rolling suitcase for kids
over 5; kids love to help carry.
Check whether the airline allows a bassinet
on board and if special child's meals are provided.
While waiting for your flight, don't try to
confine kids to a chair unless it's very crowded. Go from window to window
watching the planes. Or supervise them in the play area at the
Take kids to the bathroom before
If the baby starts screaming, she may be
clearing her ears from the altitude. This is a good time to nurse or
bottle-feed your infant.