Since we're headed into the busiest travel season of the year I decided to share a few of my tips for traveling, especially with children. I'm probably one of the most over-protective moms I know, but "hey" they're my children it's my job to keep them safe.
- This is one that I learned the hard way when my luggage was lost on a trip a few years ago. When I pack for a trip I always pack a suitcase for each of us, but instead of putting all of our clothing in our suitcase I always make sure that I put at least one complete outfit for each person in another suitcase. This helps if you lose a piece of luggage. and it's a lot cheaper than having to go buy something to wear.
- When I travel with my children I always make sure that I have a Child Identification card with me. (Some schools provide these with your child's school picture, you just have to fill in the information on the back.) They are easy enough to make on your own. I take a recent picture of my children and on the back place their age, height, weight, hair and eye color, and list any distinguishing characteristics i.e., birthmark, scar. I then laminate the picture and always carry it with the rest of my important papers...chances are you will never need this, but it's always a good idea to have it with you.
- One of the most important things that I believe you can teach your children is their mother and fathers full name, their phone number, and address. If your child does get lost then they will be able to tell an adult and chances are you will be located a lot quicker.
- Whenever I travel with my children (even if we are just going to the local amusement park) I always make sure that we have a code word. A code word is a word that only you and your children know (remember to keep it something simple and easy for them to remember; in the past we've used words like rainbow or goldfish.) Make sure that you explain to your children that if they ever get lost and are approached by an adult who says they know your mom and dad to ask the adult what the code word is, tell your child that if the adult doesn't know the code word then they do not know you. I know that if your child gets lost you want them to go tell an adult, but this is supposed to be used when an adult approaches them and tells them that they know their parents. It always give me peace of mind when I take my kids places.
- I always make sure that I take plenty of snacks with me on trips as well as fun stuff for the kids to do. A perfect take-along disposable (though I love these and never throw them away) container are the plastic containers that most baby food comes in. They are the perfect size for Cheerios for your toddler!
I hope these tips help...if you know one that I haven't listed, please share with me...and have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!