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Traveling with Kids

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."

Find more health information and a list of important items for your first aid kit at TMVC Healthy Travel Information. If you're traveling by plane, check out the Top 10 Safety Tips for Traveling With Children.

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.

Keeping Kids Busy

No matter how you choose to get there, keeping the kids entertained is a top concern. Travel with Kids: Travel Games/Toys offers suggestions for things to bring along. You'll find classic car games at Live and Learn's Car Games. Sesame Street fans should take a look at Sesame Workshop's Muppet Car Games.




Listen Up

"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."

Children's Books on Tape offers a variety of family-friendly audio selections. For more travel shopping, take a look at the Just for Kids Catalog. If you're a frequent traveler, consider subscribing to have children will travel.

Roughing It

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? Family.com: Travel has message boards devoted to the subject of family travel.




   --- J.W.W.

 
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