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Traveling with children is not always easy, especially on long-haul flights or any long trip by train or car. However, with a little preparation your traveling time can possibly enjoyable!

1. Have your children’s appropriate legal documents. Passports are now required for all children, including infants, for international U.S. travel. Make sure to order them 4-6 weeks in advance to allow for their applications to be processed. Double check everything, as the last thing you want is to cancel a trip because your child’s passport application was denied for lack of information. If you don’t need a passport to travel, still remember to take a copy of your children’s birth certificates. Of course, if you have a passport, you will not need to bring birth certificates as the passport will provide complete authentication.

2. Bring a backpack of toys and activities. Kids like being in charge, so give them something to be in charge of. A backpack is perfect because it stays put, unlike a bag which can slip off his/her shoulder and you end up with one more thing to carry.  Put in all your favorite ideas, including these suggestions:

  • Books
  • Coloring Books
  • Comfort Toys for Small Children
  • DVDs/Movies and Personal DVD Players
  • Electronic Games
  • Sticker Books

3. Divide and conquer. Don’t lose the kids, especially if you have more than one to keep an eye on. Decide ahead of time who is in charge of which child. This will eliminate the heart-sinking question “Where is so-and-so??” with the answer of “I thought you were watching him.” Miscommunication and lost children are not a good way to start a vacation!

4. Take items for mess clean ups. Keep a bag of wipes, hand sanitizer and disposable bags for dirty diapers nearby. Baby wipes can clean up almost anything—even something spilled on carpet. Hand sanitizer is a must for traveling with kids and those disposable bags are good for containing messy stuff besides diapers! And don’t forget to bring your favorite brand of stain remover wipes or pens for those times when the baby wipes just aren’t enough.