Top Travel Tips for Parents
As Banff’s finest family accommodation, we understand that traveling with children can be quite daunting. Because of this we have put together a list of ‘best travel tips’ to help to ensure that your entire holiday –from leaving your front doorstep – runs smoothly.
Don’t forget to bring
-Definitely don't forget the baby wipes! Baby wipes are invaluable when traveling and have a variety of uses - you can clean hands, faces, toilet seats, almost anything with them. On a hot day you can even wipe your face and neck with them to cool down a bit.
-Pack a holiday bag for each child to keep them entertained. In the bag, the child can store activities plus any additional treasures they collect along the way. Family holidays are all about creating precious memories that last a lifetime!
-When packing extra clothes in the diaper bag, pack each set in individual zip lock bags so that when you need them, you don’t need to search through the bag for the shirt, the trousers, socks and so on.
-Kids use up their energy really quickly even when they’re just sitting in the car. So have some healthy snacks like fruits, raw vegetables, biscuits and also include some treats like lollies to keep them going before you stop for a break.
-Have pasta/carbohydrates to fill children up so they nap if the journey is very long and you need a break!
On the road
-A GPS is a must! GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System, is made up of a group of satellites. These satellites communicate with your GPS navigation device to pinpoint your location. Your position is then overlaid with digital mapping and navigation information stored within your GPS receiver. Once your device knows your location, it's able to plan driving directions for you, suggest a route around traffic congestion, find a nearby gas station, or even direct you straight to the Douglas Fir Resort!
-Two way radios are highly recommended if you are taking two vehicles and extremely useful even if you are not. They are able to provide you peace of mind when you are apart and can come in handy in emergencies too.
-Books and stories on tape allow for kids to learn and be entertained while those miles whiz by. Another idea is to download audio books or a movie to your iPod which you can either connect to your car’s audio system or let you child enjoy on their own when you’re looking for a bit of quiet time. Moreover, these can come in especially handy when driving out the range of radio signals!
-Before departure, make photocopies of your route, and let each child pick a pit stop that appeals to them along the way. It doesn’t matter if their selection is a museum, tourist attraction, or the World’s Largest Ball of Twine; they’ll be anticipating it with excitement, making the miles fly by!
-Finally, always ensure that you depart at the right time. If you kids nap, use their schedules to your advantage. For example, if you've got a long car ride, see if you can't leave an hour or so before their nap time. Most kids can entertain themselves for a little while so that buys you some time right there. Once they fall asleep around their normal nap time, you just bought yourself an hour or two of bliss on the way to your destination.
Getting the most out of your flight.
-Do a little pre-planning. To check out the layout of your flight and pick the seats best suited to you and your family you can either check out the airline’s website (the ‘select your seat’ option is usually available when booking online) otherwise check out SeatGuru.com.
- For the airlines that still serve food, most have Children's meals. They tend to include more kid friendly options and often come with toys or stickers.
- Some airlines have special boarding for families with small children. If that's an option for you, consider using it, especially if there is only one grown-up. However, another suggestion is to board separately when flying in groups – for example send Dad onto the plane first with as much luggage as he can carry while Mom, Grandma and whoever is in the boarding area wait until the last minute to board the plane. This way your kids can run around and burn energy before having to be seated for hours.
At your destination
-Bring a pack n’ play for baby to sleep in and play in safely in hotels – one that has wheels and collapses to carry around and travel with easily.
-Holidaying with older children can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, so to keep kids from becoming bored include them as much as you can when making your holiday plans. By simply asking their opinion about which museum, landmark or restaurant they’d be interested in visiting at your travel destination can get them more excited and motivated about the holiday. Also, giving them a job like writing the postcards to send to friends and family helps to relieve any boredom factor that might set in.
Finally, don’t forget to relax, have fun and create amazing memories for you and your family to remember for years to come!