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  • What to Pack for Holiday Travel with the Family

    2013-12-23

    Change of Clothes: A change of clothes is a necessity for everybody, mom and dad included. Everyone knows to bring a few outfits for the baby, but soon we get out of that habit. And then it happens; a spill…or worse…and you have nothing to change into. Recently, I had to walk my eight-year-old off of a plane from London wearing nothing but a British Airways blanket and shoes because I broke this golden rule. Also, holiday travel can be tricky with weather and cancellations, so if you have to spend an unexpected night somewhere other than your destination, you will be grateful for that change of clothes in your carry-on.

    Make sure your carry-on bag will be allowed. I’ve seen many a traveler think they can sneak past the eagle eye of the gate agent to cram on a too large bag. Check your airline’s website as the size limits can vary slightly. Be on time, especially during the holidays as the last person boarding can almost always count on having to gate check their carry-on. If you do suddenly have to check your bag, stop and take the time to remove medicines and valuables. Even seasoned travelers can be rushed by the airlines and forget this important step.

    Mom’s First Aid Kit:  

    Whether you’re a new parent embarking on your first trip to Grandma’s house for the holidays, or a seasoned veteran hauling a pile of teens to the slopes, I’ve got some great packing tips that will take some of the stress out of travel.

    Everyone gets a carry-on, trust me. Even a three year old can pull a tiny bag or ride a Trunki, and this is why you need it: Stuff happens – re-routes, spills and accidents. If you have a well-packed carry-on in the overhead, you can keep just a little of your sanity.

    What you need to pack:

    • A Change of Clothes
    • First Aid Kit
    • Snacks
    • Entertainment
    • Benadryl®: You never know when you or your child might have an allergic reaction to something new.
    • Tylenol® and Motrin®: If a fever strikes in the middle of the night you won’t be wandering a strange city for the nearest drugstore.
    • Band-Aids®: Also good for imaginary boo boos on toddlers.
    • Purell® or sanitizer: The best tool to keep and your little ones from catching anything on the plane.
    • Wet wipes: Even if your “baby” is 15, trust me, there are a million reasons to fly with these.

    Snacks: No seriously, snacks. This is the one thing that gets forgotten in the rush to the airport. Very little is served on planes anymore, and with busy airports at the holidays, you might not have time to stop. We were once re-routed due to weather and had to sit on a tarmac for several hours before we could head back to our original destination. I will forever be grateful to the woman two rows up who shared her giant Ziploc® bag full of granola and candy bars with my starving children.

    Entertainment: Don’t count on your flight to have TV. Aircraft types can be switched out at the last minute or sets can be broken, and a $15 credit won’t help you entertain an antsy toddler for several hours. I like the inexpensive portable DVD players, a stack of their favorite movies and headphones with a splitter. The batteries typically last longer than a tablet device.

     

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