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The Many Joys Of Holiday Travel With Kids

Traveling with children, especially during the holidays, can be exhausting. And some things are just inevitably going to happen. 

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Raising children, no matter how many you have, what gender they, or what age they, will always be stressful. There are plenty of tricks and tips out there you can use to make it as easy as possible, but in the end, there’s only so much you can do. And there are plenty of things that are just plain unavoidable.

But traveling with kids? Now that’s a whole different beast in and of itself! There are so many different things that can come up or happen that you will not be prepared for. And there is plenty of stuff you’ll just inevitably do because, heck, what choice do you have?! So let’s go through some of these inevitable things so you can be prepared as possible the next time you travel with your kids during the holidays.

SAY GOODBYE TO ANY SCREEN TIME RULES

Screen time rules are an important part of raising children in today’s day and age. With TVs and computers and tablets, there are so many options of things your kids could watch. So you have to be careful to not let them spend too much time staring at a screen. It’s just plain bad for them! That’s why screen time rules are key.

But when it comes to traveling with your kids, especially during the holidays, those screen time rules pretty much disappear. For most of any vacation, just avoiding a temper tantrum and maintaining your sanity is all that matters. So don’t feel bad about letting your kid watch a few more cartoons than usual. It will keep everyone happy and you can go back to the normal rules as soon as you’re home.

SAY GOODBYE TO ANY SUGAR RULES AS WELL

Just like with your screen time rules, any rules about how much sugar your kids can eat in a day are pretty much going right out the window. Breaking these rules will similarly keep your children happy and keep you sane. But there’s also a lot of unknown factors on a holiday vacation like grandma making too many cookies. We can’t just let those cookies go to waste now, can we?!

YOU’LL MAKE THE HOLIDAYS SPECIAL IF IT’S THE LAST THING YOU DO

All that stress can certainly go to your head. But you’re putting yourself through all of it for one reason and one reason only: to make a special holiday memory for your family! And damn it, you’re gonna do it! So everyone better stop complaining and better start having a wonderful time! OK?! OK.

This can materialize in all sorts of ways. Matching sweaters, Santa hats, too many gifts, perfectly wrapped gifts, and everything in between. Your kids may look at you like you’re crazy while you’re doing it. But they’ll finally appreciate you and your efforts once they’re a little older!

YOU WILL FORGET SOMETHING IMPORTANT

There is literally nothing more inevitable when it comes to holiday travel with the whole family. You will forget something. It will be important. There’s no point in trying to fight it, people! It’s going to happen. Have you ever even seen Home Alone?? But you’re smart, you can problem solve, and you’ll figure it out.

YOU WILL FEEL GUILTY ABOUT SOMETHING

This is a tough one, but unfortunately, it is very likely that you will end up feeling guilty. Everyone will be so stressed out and so exhausted that eventually, someone will complain. And no matter how much you try to tell yourself they’re just tired and they don’t mean, you will still end up feeling guilty for “forcing” them to do whatever family activity they claim they don’t want to do or present they claim they don’t like.

It’s a really difficult part of parenting, but it’s sadly all too common. Just try to not let it get to you any more than it should or affect any further decision making. It will pass. And you’ll feel better before you know it.

YOU’LL REMEMBER WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT

In the end, despite all of the stress and guilt and frustration, I promise you something will happen that will make you remember why you do it. What Christmas is all about. It could be as simple as everyone laughing at the same joke or spilled plate of food, but it will be special and it will make you want to cry. Because Christmas is all about coming together as a family, being thankful for what you have, and showing each other how much you love each other. And that perfect little moment will make it all worth it.

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Travel

Things You Didn’t Know You Can Get Free On A Flight

Traveling can cost a lot of money, and traveling by plane can be one of the most expensive modes of travel. And it seems that as an airplane passenger you receive less amenities with each passing year. Not everything has to cost an arm and a…

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Traveling can cost a lot of money, and traveling by plane can be one of the most expensive modes of travel. And it seems that as an airplane passenger you receive less amenities with each passing year. Not everything has to cost an arm and a leg during your flight, here are some things that you can still get for free during your flight.

When the flight attendant comes around with the snack cart ask for more. When handed a cup of water, or a cup of soda with ice ask for the can or for the bottle. Unless the flight is running low, most flight attendants are glad to give them to you. If there are left over snacks the flight attendants are happy to serve them to you, so don’t hesitate to ask. Some airlines offer hot cocoa for the kids as a treat when serving coffee and tea to the adults. 

Traveling with children can be difficult, keeping them entertained during all of the chaos is always challenging. A wing pin is a great souvenir, something to treasure for years, and a gift the flight attendant may offer a well behaved child. But don’t be afraid to ask if no offer is made. If you ask at the right time, usually after the flight when the pilot isn’t working, you may even be able to get a cockpit tour. 

Need a sanitizing wipe for the armrest or tray table? Most airlines carry them. Need a first aid item? Most airlines carry the basic first aid supplies, and can even offer you a pain reliever if you have forgotten that all important bottle of ibuprofen. Get to know your flight attendant as they know what their particular airline has to offer. 

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Read This Before Traveling with Pets

Traveling with your four legged friends: The term family is so broad nowadays especially considering how we view our pets. My dogs are not just parts of my family but they are the bond that keeps us going. Today pets are becoming more intertwined in…

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Traveling with your four legged friends:

The term family is so broad nowadays especially considering how we view our pets. My dogs are not just parts of my family but they are the bond that keeps us going. Today pets are becoming more intertwined in our lives and going everywhere we go. Its rare that I go on a plane and their isn’t an emotional support dog sitting close to me. Everywhere we go is becoming more and more accessible for animals and over half of American’s travel with their pets.

I bring my guys with me whenever I can and it makes me happier to have them with me. Animals are important because they have positive impacts on our lives and we need more positivity in our world.

I would never put my animals underneath the plane or in a cargo bay, bit that is a personal preference. Some dogs are perfectly fine with going down in the cargo, but not my babies. For the pet owners like me, getting your pet registered as s support animal is the way to go.

It’s becoming easier to get your dog or cat or really whatever pet registered as an emotional support animal, which means you can literally bring them anywhere. It doesn’t matter what the reason, because of the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) its illegal for someone to ask you why you need the support.

Emotional Support Animal

This is the best way to travel with your pet because with a support animal, you are not restricted by where you can take your pet. The process is actually pretty easy and only takes a few steps. First, to technically have an emotional support animal, you need to suffer from some sort of mental or emotional disability, which 1 in 4 Americans have. These disabilities can range from PTSD all the way to anxiety. Once you are diagnosed with an issue, you need an official letter from a licensed clinical professional. Now all you have to do is find a reputable certification company like CertaPet to process your application and pass their screening process. Now with an official prescription for an emotional support animal, you can take your furry friend anywhere you go.

Consult your Veterinarian

Always check with your vet before you book your travel, some animals may not be suited for travel. It’s always good to consult your vet and get your entire pet’s shots and medicine before travel. Some destinations will require you to have a health certificate for your pet to pass quarantine. It’s also just a rule of thumb to see if your destination has a mandatory quarantine and for how long. Some countries and islands more specifically have stricter guidelines to protect their natural environment.

Food and Water

Make sure your pet has plenty of food and water.  It gets dry in the sky so on airplanes, they need extra water.  Many airports have animal relief stations now, which are basically little patches of grass so they can use the bathroom too.

Pet ID

Get your pets fresh identification in case they get separated. DO you have a new number or a local number of where you are going; it’ll help to have those on the tags.

Pet carrier

Make sure your pet will be comfy on the trip. Has your pet grown since your last trip? If so, they may be too big to fit in their old carrier.

Contact Airline

Every major airline has different rules and regulations regarding pet travel, so make sure you cross your t’s and Dot your i’s.

Check in and Book Early

Check in and book your flights early to save yourself a last minute headache. When checking in, make sure you let the airline that you have a pet, often they will let you board early and that is a great advantage.

Toys and Treats

Pack your pet’s favorite toys and treats so they are occupied. Nobody wants a bored puppy acting up on a long flight.

Pet Drugs

Many people tend to drug up their animal for a flight, while this may work for some, I prefer not to dope up my doggies. Also, it’s good practice to test out the sedatives before your trip so if your animal has any adverse affects they won’t happen 10,000 feet above the earth.

 

Hopefully this guide helps you travel with your furry friends and alleviates some of your concerns.

 

Photos Courtesy of HealthyPets, PetZiti, superCoolPets

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How to Pick your Travel backpack

Picking the right bag for your trip is going to save you so much hassle. The right bag will benefit you and make your trip easier, so make the right choice for your specific adventure. Weigh the pros and cons for what you will be…

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Picking the right bag for your trip is going to save you so much hassle. The right bag will benefit you and make your trip easier, so make the right choice for your specific adventure. Weigh the pros and cons for what you will be doing, where you will be going and more importantly, how are you traveling. These all will determine what bag to chose, Backpack or Suitcase. Just remember, every journey is different, so a bag that worked for a work trip to Minneapolis may not work as well on a trip to the Nile River Delta.

 

Suitcase versus Backpack

First, you must decide to bring a suitcase or backpack? Each has their advantages and disadvantages, so chose wisely. Suitcases are better if you are traveling to one location and not moving for a longer period of time. Backpacks however are better in almost every other situation.   Suitcases are awkward to carry around, they seem to get damaged easier than backpacks and are just not as efficient. I can pack so much more in my backpack than I can in a suitcase of comparable size.  

If you have physical restrictions like back problems, then surely you should choose a roller suitcase, but for all others, go backpack.

 

What to look for

So, we decided on a backpack, I guess you are going on an adventure. If you chose a suitcase then you should read another blog by some nerd who only uses suitcases.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, here is my backpack picking protocol.

 

Water Rating

Check out the fabric to see what it’s water rating is, which is a very important and you’ll thank me later. Waterproof is the best but water-resistant is acceptable depending on your trip. If you are going white water rafting, maybe choose water proof, all other trips water resistant should be fine.

 

Lockable

Does your bag have a built in lock? That is important if you are flying or staying in a hostel or other group living situation. Think about it, the bag has all your belongings for your trip so you want to make sure your stuff is safe. Nobody wants some stranger rummaging through their stuff while they sleep.

 

How Many Pockets

This is a crucial question to ask, because you want to know how much packable space the bag offers. These numbers are usually offered in cubic feet.   It also matters how you pack, so make sure you read my blog on packing tips to get the proper techniques. The amount of pockets and the space they provide is very valuable information to help determine which bag to use.

 

Frame?

Does the backpack have a frame and is the frame external or internal. Frames help to distribute the weight of a bag on the person’s back, to make carrying more efficient. Check out all three types of bags: frameless, external and internal frames, to see what suits your needs and preferences better.

 

Padding

How’s the padding, is it soft enough or is it hard or just plain cheap feeling? Does the back have ample padding as well for the shoulder pads? I prefer a good amount of padding on the shoulders, as this is the area that carries the most weight.

 

Size

How big is the bag and how easy will it be to navigate your trip with this bag fully packed on your back? Trial and error is probably the best way to determine these aspects.

 

Price

Finally, how much are you willing to spend on such a bag and what’s too much? This all boils down to personal preference and your bankroll. I would tend to stay away from the cheaper bags because they will be made poorly and you don’t want your bag to break mid trip.

 

Good luck finding the perfect bag for your adventure and remember proper preparation makes for a better trip.

 

Read the full article over at NomadicMatt

Photos Courtesy of physictourism, ubelong, TravelHack, travelfashiongirl

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