Parents across the country are boarding planes,
hopping aboard trains and strapping kids into car seats en route to
amusement parks, national monuments and Grandma's house. We've pulled
together tips to keep the entire family safe and sane.
Playing it Safe
Keeping kids healthy and safe while traveling is a primary
concern. "Bring along a first aid kit, including pediatric medicines like
acetominophen (Tylenol) so you won't have to search for an open drug store
if your child gets sick," says Jaye-Allison Winkel, the mother of four boys and a veteran of many car trips.
"Don't forget the travel sickness meds or your
children's insurance cards. In your car, pack at least
one jug of clean water, paper towels and at least one trash bag."
Flying and driving are obvious choices, but Beth Cozzi, mother of a
9-month old in Ohio, has discovered that "traveling by train is definitely easier." Amtrak is family-friendly,
and can be fun for young fans of Thomas the Tank Engine. Be sure to check out
Amtrak's 50% off Kids Fares.
"A lifesaver for us is the walkman," says Melanie Bruner, mother of boys ages 8, 5 and 8 months.
"I like Raffi as much as any other mom, but after 4 hours of Baby Beluga, I want to jump from
the car in front of a semi. I also take them to the library before the trip and let them check
out LOTS of books on tape. Those keep them entertained for hours."
Taking the kids to Disneyland is one thing. Vacationing in
the wilderness creates a host of new concerns.
Great Outdoor Recreation
Pages (GORP) offers advice for outdoor family adventures,
including an Ask the Expert
column and forums.
Forums and discussion boards can be a great resource. Who knows
better than parents who've lived to tell the tale?
Travel has message boards
devoted to the subject of family travel.