Traveling Families Get the Shaft Again

My 7-year-old was 5 years old for about 18 months… but just when we had to fly from Chicago to Hawaii and back. Hey, my kid’s a peanut, but I know, bad is bad. Like you haven’t ever tried to milk the airlines’ rule that allowed you to board first with children under the age of 5. In some cases it’s a necessity to fudge your kid’s age, especially when you are flying with a brood of rugrats that range from six months to six years. What are you supposed to do then? Leave the six-year-old in the boarding area … Continue reading

Relief for Parents Traveling with Kids

There is finally some good news for parents flying commercial airlines with young children. If you are planning to take to the skies during the upcoming holiday season, you will find things a wee bit easier as you make your way through airport security. Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that kids 12 and younger will no longer be forced to remove their shoes at TSA checkpoints. In addition, Napolitano said that children will not have to suffer through pat downs as often, and those, who get selected for the extra screening, will do so at the hands … 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 Is My Plane Delayed—Again?!

If you have flown at all in 2007 then you don’t need me to tell you that airline passengers are facing the worst delays in at least 13 years. According to the Department of Transportation, so far this year, nearly one-fourth of flights on the 20 largest carriers were late. I told you about being delayed for hours at Chicago’s O’Hare airport with my 3-year-old a few months ago—the airline blamed Mother Nature for us having to sit on the tarmac for more than two hours. But that’s not the only excuse airlines are using. Contributing to the delays, according … Continue reading

Will You Be Traveling On The Fourth?

Independence Day falls on a Wednesday this year, but according to AAA the fact that the holiday falls in the middle of the week is not stopping Americans from adjusting their vacation plans accordingly. In fact, the barometer of travel says they expect families will be hitting the roads, rails and skies in record numbers. Will you be on the move next week? If so you will be joining a record 41.1 million other American who will be traveling sometime between June 29th and July 8th. According to AAA, that’s 0.8% more than the 40.8 million who traveled last year. … Continue reading

“Mommy, There’s A Dinosaur In The Airport!”

In the first four months of 2007, my 3-year-old daughter has flown more than 21,000 miles. We have spent more hours in Chicago’s O’Hare airport than I care to remember (though the experiences are rather hard to forget). At this point my daughter knows her way around Terminal One better than some of the custodians… and certainly better than most business travelers. These days she knows if we fly United Airlines she will be reunited with her friend “Brachy.” They’re pals now, but it wasn’t always this way. In fact, the first time she laid eyes on “Brachy” she wanted … Continue reading

Traveling With Young Children: More Dos and Don’ts

My 2-year-old has traveled more than 40,000 miles in her short life. Each trip has been an adventure (to say the least). Naturally, I have learned many lessons along the way and try to apply most on each subsequent trip we take. In my previous blog I listed some of my favorite dos and don’ts to follow when traveling with young children. Here now are more lessons that have served our family well when traveling with young children: DO pack fun food. I’m not talking about a menu of gummy bears and Hershey kisses. Rather, during long trips we always … Continue reading

Traveling With Young Children: Dos and Don’ts

We just returned from spending the last few weeks traveling with a two-year-old and 6 month-old. We took a multi-family vacation to multiple Hawaiian Islands (I have family living on four of the five major Hawaiian Islands). It was a wonderful adventure that gave me the chance to practice some of the travel lessons I’ve learned on past trips. Here are some of my favorite dos and don’ts to follow when traveling with young children: DO understand the value of distraction, distraction, distraction! Bring along lots of toys and plan on introducing them to your child one at a time—typically, … Continue reading

Traveling With Children: Coqui Frog Challenges

My 2-year-old daughter has evolved into quite the little traveler during her short life. She handles our semi-annual trip to Hawaii, including a 12-hour flight like a champ and fares just as well with the time difference and dramatic change in climate, which is why I was a bit surprised about what transpired during the first night of our most recent trip to the Islands. After 16 hours of standing in security checkpoints at the airport, plane changes, and more than a dozen trips to the restroom (at 35,000 feet over 5 different states) I thought for sure once we … Continue reading

Traveling With Grandparents—Survival Tips

I have a friend who would rather get her toenails ripped out with a set of pliers by an angry football player than take a vacation with her parents or in-laws. I, on the other hand, grew up vacationing with my parents and grandparents and am currently in the process of planning a trip that includes my 91-year-old grandmother, my parents, myself, and my own child—four generations on the same trip… I can’t wait. I’m serious. I don’t have a problem with multi-generational family vacations. Do you? If you are like me and tend to travel with parents and grandparents … Continue reading