Snow and frigid temperatures have affected travel all over the country, just as many families planned to travel home from the holidays. We have only just started winter and many of you will be planning trips this season. Here are a few travel tips to think about when traveling during winter with little ones.
Plan out Your Route:
When planning to fly to your destination, consider selecting a nonstop flight. This will make managing the logistics of a delay much easier since you will not have to worry about missing a connecting flight. Also, selecting a morning flight is useful because your aircraft and crew should already be on the ground making your chance of a delay slimmer. This is especially useful when traveling with young children, eliminating additional opportunities for delay. If it is necessary to have a connecting flight, research what hotels may be located inside the airport or nearby (preferably with an airport shuttle). This extra bit of planning could be useful if you are delayed and will need to stay overnight. The same is relevant for a trip by car. Make sure that your car is ready for the road before taking a road trip any time of year but especially during the winter. It is important to map out rest stops in case of bad weather along the way. Days are shorter during the winter and so if you don’t like to drive at night plan for your stops ahead of time. A fun way of doing this is also researching the towns you will drive through and see if there are any family friendly sites to explore along the way as well. The more information you have gathered about your route whether by car or by plane during the winter season, the easier it will be to reorganize your trip plan.
It is especially important during the winter to pack well. If traveling by car make sure you have an extra bag that contains snow clothing for all members of the family traveling; waterproof boots, gloves, blankets and warm clothing in case you have to stop for some reason in bad weather. Also, be sure to have some basic food and water in the car as well as flashlights, jumper cables, sand, snow scraper, washer fluid, first aid kit and folding shovel. The plan is not to use these items but to have them in case of emergency. Especially when traveling with young children during the winter you need to be prepared for the unexpected. Whether traveling by plane or by car it is important to keep certain essential items with you such as your cell phone charger, essential medication, diapers, wipes and baby food or formula. And of course, it is always helpful to have your activity bag for your child available to keep them entertained while you wait. You want to always have enough of what you will need and the important items to keep your little one comfortable and happy while traveling in colder weather.
Many of us have smartphones these days, access to television, newspapers or the internet. Keep yourself informed leading up to family travel. By knowing the general weather conditions where you live and where you are traveling to, the faster you will be aware of any potential delay. Follow your airline on social media or the airports you will be traveling through to get up to date alerts relating the weather delays. Learn more about what family friendly services are offered in the airport or by the airline. There are also many apps that can assist you to rebook your flight right from your smartphone as you wait during a delay. Many sites can help you track the weather for your driving route, making it easier to know where the bad weather will be and when to avoid driving. The more informed you are the easier it will be to make changes to your journey and get you to your destination safer and faster.
No one can fully determine the effects of Mother Nature; therefore it is important to try to keep a positive attitude during travel. The winter season can provide its share of many challenges throughout the entire country and world simultaneously. Be sure to set the right example for your little ones by maintaining your usual courtesies when communicating with others aiming to assist you during these weather related challenges.
Winter is a beautiful time of year to travel. Wishing you and your little ones many wonderful adventures during this chilly start to 2014!