10 Tips for Traveling With Kids Without Losing Your Mind

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4. Car seats: Do NOT count as checked luggage on any airline. You will NOT be charged. Get yourself a durable car seat cover and check it for your trip.  Tip: If your suitcase is over 50 lbs, avoid the overweight fees and stick some of those extra clothes in the car seat bag.

5. Airplane seats: If your child is under the age of two, then he/she technically does NOT need a paid seat on the plane, they will sit on your lap. Be prepared to prove your child’s age. I.E. – birth certificate. I recommend that you purchase a seat for your infant once the child is mobile (even if he’s only one year) especially for flights over 2 hours in length. The airplane seat allows them their own space to wiggle and dramatically reduces on-board melt-downs.

6. TSA Security Screening can really delay you if you aren’t prepared. Please note: medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Babies MUST take off their shoes, too. So go for velcro on travel day. Plan ahead! Practice getting that stroller broken down quickly!

7. Eat breakfast where kids eat free and split meals. This can mean an enormous saving for a family of four or larger. Children are many times too excited or tired to eat much at a time. Restaurants that are kid friendly are more than happy to accommodate special requests for extra plates. Many do free meals for kids on different days of the week.

8. Bring your own stroller. If you’re going to visit theme parks then this can save you $7 to $30 (for a double) a day in rental fees. On a recent trip to Hershey Park, stroller rentals were $12.

9. Bring along individual refillable water bottles. These can be refilled at the hotel and at restaurants around your destination. I went with as a family of three to an amusement park a few weeks ago and spent over $20 just buying water.

10. Relax. Lines will be long, traffic will be heavy, flights will be delayed and children (and adults) will get grumpy. But with just a little planning and an open mind, you’ll survive and enjoy another family vacation.

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