According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation, after Thanksgiving, the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period is among the busiest travel periods of the year. During this time of year, the number of long-distance trips increases by 23% compared to the rest of the year’s average. We can help your family have smooth travels with our ultimate guide to holiday travel with kids.
Traveling during such busy times is usually stressful, especially if you add children into the mix. Whether you’re planning a long drive to the grandparents or traveling across time zones this holiday season, these suggestions from Assist America, our emergency travel assistance partner, will keep your family safe, sound, and sane.
- Apps – Make sure you download kid-friendly apps before the journey.
- Toys – Coloring books, finger puppets, stacking cups, magic markers, make-believe computer or phone, and sticker books are great options.
- Games – Our favorites include Bananagrams, Spot It, Mad Libs, Rubberneckers, Melissa and Doug Travel Hangman, and Travel Blurt.
- Headphone Splitters – Headphones splitters allow two kids to share a device. They’re very practical in situations where it’s inappropriate to use speakers, like on a plane.
Safety and Comfort
- Hand Sanitizer and Wet Wipes – Kids get dirty very easily when traveling. Eliminate these germs fast by being prepared with wipes and sanitizer, and improve your chances of avoiding a holiday bug.
- Child Locator – Busy airports and train stations can quickly turn into a nightmare if your child gets lost. Many companies offer small tracking devices and smartwatches to help you locate them quickly in such a situation.
- Medicine and First Aid Kit – It’s very important to be able to attend to your child quickly when they’re hurt or sick. Make sure you’re prepared before you leave by putting together a first aid kit and packing must-have medicine.
- Ease Ear Pain – During takeoff and landing, give your kids a gummy candy, chewy food, chewing gum (if they’re old enough), or a drink to get their jaw moving and ease their ear pain.
- Temperature – Layers are essential for the comfort of your children, especially on the plane where it can often be cold.
- Passports – Keep in mind, children’s passport expiration periods are different than adult passports. Make sure you renew them 6 months before you plan to travel.
- Monitor What Your Children Pack – Chances are they’ll want to bring many unnecessary things, which will make traveling uncomfortable for everyone.
- Carry-On Tips – Pack at least one extra outfit for each child in case an accident happens. If you lose your luggage, the extra outfits will also help you avoid buying new clothes for the entire family. In the meantime, remember that Assist America can help you locate and retrieve your lost luggage. Finally, plan on bringing snacks like granola bars, cheerios, individual cheese and crackers packs, applesauce, or individual hummus cups.
- Bring Surprises – Children love surprises and unwrapping things, and an early holiday gift could be used as a reward for good behavior.
About Assist America
Our plans include Assist America, a unique global emergency assistance program. They serve more than 40 million members worldwide. Their services include medical and non-medical services, like medical evacuations and repatriations, prescription assistance, medical referral, lost luggage assistance, and pre-trip information. Visit AssistAmerica.com or download the Assist America Mobile App on the Apple App Store or Google Play to access a wide range of travel assistance services directly from your phone.