Flying the Not-So Friendly Skies

What is it with families and flying these days? And by flying I mean getting booted from airplanes. Barely a day goes by anymore without some innocent clan getting the heave-ho from a commercial flight due to a perceived threat made by a child. However, the latest incident doesn’t involve a screaming baby, a chatty toddler or a hungry infant; rather, a California family claims they were kicked off an American Airlines flight simply because their 16-year-old son has Down syndrome. Joan and Robert Vanderhorst, of Bakersfield, California, are irate by what they are calling “pure discrimination.” “It’s defamation,” Robert … Continue reading

How Not to Travel with Kids This Christmas

I’ve had my share of travel nightmares flying back and forth from Chicago to Hawaii with my daughter. While our mishaps make for funny blogs, I would prefer experiencing incident-free trips. Then again, even the shortest vacations with children can lead to high drama, which is why most parents spend countless hours researching and planning the best ways to avoid meltdowns while on the road or in the air. Believe me; you can not over-prepare when it comes traveling with kids. It’s a lesson parents from North Carolina learned the hard way this week. When Jason and Kathy Fickes of … Continue reading

Flying the Fee-Friendly Skies with Kids

Flying with kids is an exhausting ordeal, but with all of the additional fees airlines are pushing on passengers these days, it can be extremely expensive too. And I’m not jut talking about the dough you have to shell out to buy your kid the mid-flight Pringles she’s screaming for. Airlines are fee happy and you could easily drain your wallet before you arrive at your final destination. If you plan to fly with kids during the busy summer travel season, but can’t afford to go broke in the process, consider the following tips: If you plan to bring a … Continue reading

Not the Way You Want to Start Your Vacation

“Hope for the Best. Expect the worst.” I think Mel Brooks helped make those words famous. Or maybe it was the person, who typed them up on small pieces of white paper, and stuck them into fortune cookies. Either way the idiom often becomes my mantra when traveling with children. I just survived a 10,000-mile journey to and from Hawaii with my young daughter, and yes, I hoped for the best, but expected the worst. Shockingly, things went fairly smoothly… unlike past trips. Despite two delayed flights and a few shoulder blows courtesy of the guy sitting behind me, who … Continue reading

Fall Travel Deals for Families with Young Children

Even if you don’t have school age children, this can be one of the most wonderful times of the year. In addition to having more room to move at the mall and the park, resorts around the world are slashing prices to entice parents with young children to visit. Back-to-school means back to reality for lodgings that saw a jump in bookings during the summer months. When school kids clear out, prices come down, and moms and dads can score big savings on getaways with their little kids. Here are some of the better deals to be had this season: … Continue reading

Traveling with Toddlers: Layover or Not?

When I took my 20-month-old daughter on a 10-hour flight to Hawaii the last thing I wanted was to have her fall asleep right as our connecting flight was about to land. The thought of having to switch planes and tote a sleeping toddler around the airport while juggling my carry-ons was all the incentive I needed to shell out extra money to book a direct flight. But that’s just me. If your toddler is not a napper, then a layover provides the chance to have your son or daughter run off some steam. The break also allows you to … Continue reading

Summer Travel Tip: Never Leave Children Unattended in a Car

It’s a lesson a father living in my city learned the hard way. The man left his 2-year-old daughter sleeping in his locked alarmed car while he ran into Wal-Mart to pick up a spare battery. When he returned to his vehicle his daughter was awake and two police officers were waiting to arrest him for child endangerment. That dad was lucky. Seriously. While I’m sure he wasn’t pleased about being hauled off by police, he is lucky his daughter is still alive. Had the temperature outside been higher his toddler would have suffered much more than just emotional trauma … Continue reading

How Do You NOT Know When Your Child has Gone Missing at an Airport?

A real life version of the big screen hit “Home Alone” took place in Canada on Monday and despite hearing the story multiple times I still don’t see how a 23-month-old boy could be “inadvertently” left behind in a gigantic airport. So here’s the deal: According to The Vancouver Sun, a family immigrating to Canada from the Philippines claims the mix-up occurred during a last minute scramble to a catch their plane. Jun Parreno, the boy’s father, told the paper he, his wife and the tot’s two grandparents were desperately trying to make their connecting flight from Vancouver to Winnipeg … Continue reading

More Must-Have Items to Pack When Traveling with Children

Yesterday I raved about a cheap toy that is essential to have when visiting the beach with young children. The 99-cent rubber duck was a priceless commodity on our family’s recent trip to Hawaii. So what other basic, but often overlooked items should you also consider packing before you head off on your next family trip? Take a look: INFLATABLE TOYS Not only are they affordable, but they are also a cinch to pack. What’s more, if they get played with a half dozen times you’ve probably got your money’s worth and you won’t feel bad leaving them behind before … Continue reading

Why It’s a Good Time of the Year to Be Flying with Kids

No, I haven’t lost my mind. It’s true; the busy holiday season is typically when I suggest to parents with young children to avoid crowded airports at all costs, but that was before one airport started to give away free food with proof of a pint-sized traveling companion. Dallas/Fort Worth Airport is hoping that free food and entertainment for kids will help make the hectic holiday travel season a bit brighter. To that end, the airport is offering a two-day “Kids Eat Free” promotion. Here are the details: From noon to 2 p.m. on December 20-21, airport employees will distribute … Continue reading