Traveling with kids can be a stressful experience if you aren't prepared, so here are some ideas and tips for keeping them occupied and reminders on things to do for preparing to travel.

Preparing for Travel:
1.Before you leave if traveling by car it is wise to give your car a once over with the mechanic, checking your oil, tires, a/c, fluids, belts, and a safety check. Make sure any child car seats are properly secured and adjusted, and fill up your gas before leaving.

2. Bored children get cranky so ensure you have enough age related activities to keep them occupied. It's important you are free to keep your attention on the road, so ensure the kids visit the bathroom before departing, and have some healthy finger food snacks on hand as well as items that will keep them busy and occupied.

3. Its important to be vigilant and watch children in busy areas or areas where they can easily wander away or get themselves into dangerous situations. There are several devices around now for monitoring kids to ensure they don't get lost, but vigilance is still the best way to ensure the safety of your kids.

4. Many Hotels and Cruises etc. have on-site babysitters. Make sure you check them out and have a system where you can check on them during the evening. Enjoying an evening out with your spouse can make for an enjoyable vacation just make sure it is not at the expense of your kids.

5. Traveling is a good opportunity to teach your kids some manners and how to act in public, particularly in restaurants. It can be very enjoyable if you make it fun but make sure they don't run around unattended disturbing other clients. Explain to them about airport security and how you board a plane and why they must wear their seatbelts during the flight etc. It should be explained that running around and or being noisy on a plane is inappropriate and a disturbance to other flyers.

6. Depending on the age of the children an additional change of clothing may be wise to carry, and this applies to you yourself as if a child spills something it is just as likely to end up on you as it is the child. It's always wise to carry some extra clothing in your carryon anyway, that way if your suitcase goes missing you still have a change of clothes until it turns up.

For small children simple toys can sometimes the best. Like a plastic container with a couple of brightly colored plastic bricks where they can take the lid on and off or shake the contents.

The small fabric books are also good, as they will fit in anywhere and kids can enjoy a quick story while you wait for a plane.

Toddlers and Pre-schoolers are readily entertained with things like pipe cleaners that can be twisted into shapes, small large piece jigsaws that they can do over an over and help with co-ordination. Sticker books, and if in the car sing-a-long nursery rhymes. In the car guessing games like ISPY also work well.

Elementary school kids enjoy activity books, puzzles, coloring books and guessing games. If traveling by car or plane kids this age will also enjoy watching animated and children's movies, like Stuart Little and various Disney style movies.

Older kids these days have many activity games and DVD's they can listen to or play while they travel. It's also nice to encourage them to collect ticket stubs and other souvenirs to make a scrap book of their trip on their return. Keeping a daily journal is also a way to keep them busy and a really good way for them to record the trip for a school report on their return.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Avril Betts, I have over 25 years experience in all aspects of Travel and Tourism. I hold a CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator). Along with my partner Khaled Azzam we own A-Z Tours and Action Travel in North America along with Travelocity Travel Egypt in Cairo, Egypt.

I have co-chaired Atlantic Canada Showcase an International Travel Trade Show, managed 450 volunteers for the Tall Ships Visit in July 2000, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. In 1996 I hosted the president’s wives luncheon for the G7 conference. In 1988 I founded the Country Inn Association in Nova Scotia.

As an experienced speaker I have presented seminars for many years on subjects ranging from Marketing and Sales and Life Skills to Tourism, Travel and Real Estate, and operating an online Travel business.

I enjoy working with tourists to pass on my knowledge to help our clients make the most of their vacations. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or travel inquiries.

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