Traveling with Your Preschooler

Traveling can be stressful, but traveling with young children can be downright challenging. As you hit the road, keep these useful travel tips in mind.

  1. Take breaks. If you’re driving, map out regular rest stops so your child can get some exercise, use the bathroom, or have a snack.
  2. Stock up. Bring a stash of toys, snacks, coloring books, crayons, and other goodies to keep your little one from getting bored or hungry during the trip.
  3. Tire ’em out. Children often travel better when they’re tuckered out and sleepy. If you’re flying, have your child push a small suitcase around the waiting area or ride the escalators with you. If you’re driving, leave the house before dawn so you can scoop up your drowsy child, put her in the car seat, and hit the road.
  4. Bring treats. While good behavior doesn’t automatically warrant a reward, a piece of candy or a new toy can certainly encourage your child to keep up their particularly pleasant behavior.
  5. Engage them. When children are actively involved, they are less likely to misbehave. Talk to your child about the trip and ask her what she’s looking forward to seeing or doing. You can also give her a disposable camera and ask her to document the trip. This will encourage her to observe her surroundings and focus on her interests.
  6. Take a bus, a subway, a train or a boat. Large cities, such as New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C., usually have public transportation systems that are fairly inexpensive and easy to use. Children love the novelty of public transportation, so if it’s available at your destination, use it.
  7. Keep tabs electronically. You can use an electronic locator to make sure you can find your child if you’re separated. Most locators cost around $30 online and include a transmitter for your child to wear and a locator for you to carry. If you get separated, you can press a button on the locator and the transmitter will make a sound that you can follow to find your child.
  8. Check the weather. Make sure you pack for any weather conditions you might encounter. You don’t want your child to be too hot or too cold. Extra clothing may make your luggage bulkier, but you’ll be glad you’re prepared for anything unexpected.
  9. Pass the time. Travel delays are almost inevitable, but games can make the wait more fun. Whether you’re playing 20 Questions or a quick game of Go Fish, you and your child will appreciate the distraction.
  10. Sanitize. Traveling means coming into contact with more germs than usual, especially if you’re flying to your destination. Be sure to pack plenty of antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer for your little ones’ hands, especially if they have touched the seat-back pockets on airplanes, which can be full of harmful bacteria.

Cathy Jo Mattson, On-Site Goddard School Owner

The Goddard School located in Collierville offers a year-round child-focused FLEX Learning program for children from six weeks to six-years-old. For more information on why The Goddard School of Collierville is the place for fun and learning, contact us at 901-861-0108.