9 travel tips for families during holiday season

ORLANDO, Fla. — The holiday season is upon us, including more travel across the nation.


For many families, vacationing during a busy travel season can be stressful.

We gathered nine tips from Nemours KidsHealth to help make holiday travel smoother:

Plan ahead

  • Involve everyone in the process.
  • Set expectations when plans don’t work out.
  • Mark landmarks for road trips.
  • Explain airport functions like security lines and turbulence for first-time flyers.

Read: Fear of flying? Here are 9 tips for anxious flyers

Look into vaccines

If you’re going to a different country, ask your doctor if additional vaccines are needed to travel ahead of time.

Share contact information

  • Plan where to meet in a big crowd.
  • Ensure younger children know what to do and who to ask for help.
  • Make sure all family members know the address of the place you are staying.
  • Write down contact information and put it in children’s clothing.
  • ID bracelets can also have contact details.

Read: Holiday travel with kids: Top survival tips

Stick to a routine

  • Make a plan to adjust time zones for children’s meals and naps.
  • Get enough sleep.

Pack smart

  • Healthy snacks like cereal, pretzels or granola bars are good options.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • If you can’t pack them, you can buy snacks at convenience stores on the way to your destination or at airport stores.

Also pack:

  • A change of clothes
  • Diapers or formula
  • Hand sanitizer or wipes
  • Right clothing for weather
  • Phones, other devices and chargers
  • Lollipops or gum for older children to help with ear pain when flying

Read: Tis’ the season for safe holiday travel, tips before you hit the road

Bring distractions

Pass the time during delayed flights or traffic jams with a favorite stuffed animal, toys, a blanket, books or games.

Arrive early

  • Try to schedule early, direct flights.
  • Arrive early at the airport.
  • Try bringing just carry-on luggage.

Drive safely

  • Check car seats or booster seats.
  • Stay focused.
  • Extra sleep.
  • Be cautious driving at night.
  • Don’t drive after drinking alcohol.
  • Use GPS on a hands-free device.

Plan accommodations

  • Let your hosts know if your child has a food allergy.
  • Always have allergy medications or Epi-pens.

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