Articles

Traveling With Kids Advice

Tips from Park Slope Parents on how best to travel with children including passport information, and air travel and car travel tips and resources. ALSO recommended kid-friendly travel destinations.

For specific recommendations and reviews, check out our TRAVEL RECS pages.

 

Road Trip Diversions

You are getting to go on a road trip. 8, 10, 16 hours long and wondering what you can do to keep the little ones occupied? Here are tips from parents about how to fill the hours, and days, in the car.

Road Trip Diversions

 

Read more...

Unaccompanied Minor: Kids flying solo

PSP members talk about when their children flew without a parent - domestic and international travel advice included.

Kids Flying Solo option 1

 

Read more...

Books to Get Kids Excited About a Trip to the Beach and Sea

As one PSP member asks: “Might anyone have any favorite books about going to the beach and taking a plane ride for their toddler? Our son recently developed a fear of the ocean, and we are also taking a plane ride soon and would like to start warming him up about the experience.”

 

Check out the recs below!

 

leo-rivas-R BLOGXpsOg-unsplash 2

 

Read more...

Strollers on Airplanes

Advice about taking a stroller on the airplane.

2007 report child plane

 

Read more...

Car Seats on the Airplane

All you need to know about taking a car seat on an airplane.  From the pros and cons to help you decide if you should bring a car seat through to what to do if you decide to bring it on board and what brands to buy, PSP has it covered!

plane-841441 640

 

Read more...

Jet Lag and Kids

Help for getting your little ones back on track during and after travel. And there are some useful tips for grown-ups in here too!

sleepy-kid

 

Read more...

Passport Information

Information about how to get your child a passport for travel.

Passport Information

 

Read more...

Help for Kids with Motion Sickness (cars, trains, planes, and beyond)

Help for little ones whose tummies don't like car rides and airplanes.  Here are the tips and rules of of tackling and managing motion sickness.

boy-1528150 640

 

Some things to try:

 

Medications and devices:

- Dramamine (depending on age; check with your doctor)

Some parents warn about drowsiness and only to give 1/2 tablet

There's a kids' chewable version or Dramamine (it has been found that many children hate the taste and prefer the child dose of the adult version)

Take an hour before you hit the road

One parent crushes and mixes it into their child's milk (other possible options are pudding, yogurt, PB&J sandwiches, marshmellows, etc.)

Bonine (less drowsy version of Dramamine)

- Bonine (less drowsy version of Dramamine)

- Gravol (similar to Dramamine, but made with ginger and can be easier on the stomach)

- Antihistamines (e.g., Benadryl)

- There are homeopathic motion sickness pills as well.

- Sea Bands or Psi Bands (the accupressure wrist bands that control nausea—great for morning sickness too)

 

Car environment:

- Keep child and the car cool.

Open/crack the window and keep air circulating.

Have child chew on ice chips so they don't overheat.

Take off outer coat layers.

Try air conditioning: One parent says, "apparently my son copes better in a cool environment."

Try using an ice pack to the back of the head.

Try a cool cloth or wipes to the face.

- Open the windows in the car for fresh air, and also the sound helps them sleep.

- Shade the side windows.

- Drive when it's dark—EVEN IF kid doesn't sleep in the car, night driving can be less nauseating because of less visual stimulus.

- If you can drive while your kid sleeps, try to do that.

- Keep the car free of strong smells (perfume, air freshener, etc.)

- Tell child to ONLY look out the front, not the side windows. Better yet, if they are old enough, let them sit up front.

"I had some pretty bad motion sickness as a child, and still occasionally get it to this day. It's generally caused/exacerbated by the disconnect between how fast it feels like you're going and how fast if looks like you're going. The worst thing to do is look out the side windows. Looking out the rear or front windows is better. Reading a book or looking closely at a toy and then looking up (and out the window) really makes it bad."

- More specifically, encourage them to focus on the farthest thing they can see out the front window.

"The best thing to do is to keep your eyes on the farthest point ahead on the road. This was difficult to explain when he was younger so we’d point out things on the horizon to try to get him to look far out ahead, like, 'look at that red race car/big rig truck/helicopter/whatever! Way up ahead of us!'"

- Facing kids forward rather than backwards can be a game changer.

- Make sure the car seat is firmly in place. 

 

For the driver:

- Be prepared with Ziploc bags, paper towels, and wipes. Barf, zip, smell gone!

- Put down garbage bags and towels (and have extras of everything) to help wrap up any mess.

- The OXO Bib is said to be good at "catching" what you don't want on the carseat and floor. 

- Try to make the ride as smooth as possible.

- Don't drive too fast, especially through winding roads.

- Don't abuse the brake! When drivers make jerky stops, it can trigger motion sickness.

- Avoid heavy traffic.

 

Keep kids distracted:

- Play audiobooks: "Books on tape—fun for the whole family!"

- DVDs. One parent says of their kid, "although reading makes him sick, he can watch TV in the car." (Other people say avoid screens of all kinds.)

- Music

"Try using an iPod/mp3 music player (no screen!) with ear covering headphones. Listening to music really soothes the confused vestibular system, we started this when he was about 18 months old and it really, REALLY helps."

- Old-fashioned road trip games—I Spy, find all 50 license plates… looking outside the window can placate the belly.

"The best things we've found are to always have a window open for fresh air and to try to distract him - one of us sits in the back with him and engages with songs or toys. The last trip involved us getting through the entirety of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, which actually worked..."

- Try to plan the drive during sleep/nap time.

 

Take breaks:

- Make frequent stops, especially when child is complaining about tongue, stomach, throat, etc.

- Take breaks, but don't unnecessarily extend the trip. If you notice they always get sick around two hours in, stop and take a break a little before you hit the two-hour mark.

 


When nausea strikes:

- Come up with a code word (or sign if they are non-verbal) to let you know they are feeling queasy.

- Look out for signs of nausea such as yawning, swallowing, sweating, and fussing.

- Have child close their eyes when feeling nauseated.

 


Food/Drink:

- Giving snacks (simple, easy-to-digest carbs like pretzels, saltines, or Pirate Booty) can help.

"We always have on hand some bland, salty crackers. The trick is to eat then very slowly. Not sure if this is because it’s a distraction, or because having a little bit in the tummy helps to settle it. Now I encourage him to do tiny mouse nibbles, but when he was younger I’d parse them out slowly in small pieces."

- Eat something plain 30 to 60 minutes before the drive. The child shouldn't be overly full or overly hungry.

- Ginger snaps or candied ginger can soothe an uneasy stomach.

- Peppermints, Altoids, and Lifesaver mints can also help, as can peppermint iced tea.

- Try hard candies, chewing gum, gummies, and lollipops (if age appropriate).

- Only feed things you’re “willing to clean up”—so no KoolAid, Red Vines, etc.

- Small amount of ginger ale before the drive.

- Cold water—again, there's something about being cool. Ice to suck on can help.

 

Foods to avoid:

- No dairy prior to ride.

- Avoid overly sweet or greasy foods.

- One parent says: "A big trigger for my daughter was fruit before a car ride—maybe it was too acidic?"

 

 

Avoid:

- No reading, no looking down—distract with other games like music, conversation, etc.

As one parent reported: "We found that any activity that had her looking down for too long like coloring or using an iPad triggered her to get sick. We sometimes attach the iPad to the headrest in front of her to watch a movie and that works ok—our pediatrician actually said that looking at something attached to the car might be helpful. But the safest bet is to just drive at night when she's likely to sleep. She's 4 now, and it has gotten a lot less frequent!"

- No videos/DVD's (although for some this works)

- Try to travel when child is sleepy, or at night, to reduce risk of feeling sick.

- Put child in the middle seat so they can see out the front window, where things are not whizzing by as fast.

- If your child is in a carseat, keep it in the middle as well.

- Encourage “whining” so you have as much notice as possible.

Avoid the car (if you can)! "My son prefers train travel as you can get up and walk around."

- When all of these things fail, BE PREPARED.

Bring plastic bags, paper towels, water, and change of clothes in case the worst does happen.

Diapers make good catchers’ mitts if all else fails.

Drape a towel underneath your child and on the floor so the mess is minimal.

 

 

Be prepared for cleaning up a mess:

- As one parent reported: "We also drape her in towels for the ride. And watch what she eats—tons of blueberries vomited all over a car interior is pretty gross!"

- Have plastic barf bags or Medical Grade Emesis bags handy.

- One parent recommends a Solo cup: "Oh, and a solo cup is MUCH easier than a bag. She now just grabs it when she feels sick and then carries on with life when she’s done puking."

- Or a yogurt container: "My big life hack for this is to use empty yogurt containers (the large ones). She asks for it, I pass it back to her, she pukes in it and hands it back and I stick the lid on. We’ve been able to use this method since she was maybe four years old."

- Bumpkins Supersized Bibs for when you start to notice signs of nausea. 

- The OXO Bib is said to be good at "catching" what you don't want on the carseat and floor.

- Keep wet wipes, paper towels, and upholstery cleaner in the car to clean up immediately after.

- Febreze!

- Have an extra set of clothes available.

- Have someone sit in the backseat with the child who can watch for signs of car sickness and be ready with a vomit bag.

 

Something to try, before you travel:

- One parent says motion sickness could be a vestibular system issue and “getting him to spin clockwise 10 times and then anti-clockwise 10 times every day would help him and then to increase it by a couple of spins every week or so,” could help.

- Check out this article from The Car Seat Lady that parents have described as super helpful.

 

 

What to Pack: for the KIDS

A list of general reminders about what NOT to forget when packing for the Kids.

What to Pack

 

Read more...

General Advice on Airplane Travel with Kids

General advice from Park Slope Parents members on airplane travel with children, including airline rules and regulations, sleeping and the essentials to bring with you on board.

kids-airplane

(image via Wikimedia Commons here)

 

Read more...

Travel Toys and Activities - for the PLANE

Recommended Toys/ Activities/ Games from PSP Members from over the years that are easy to pack and provide hours of fun guaranteed keep the little ones occupied when travelling on the plane!

paper-plane-189255

Looking for toys and activities the CAR? Read our Road Trip Diversion tips here.

 

Read more...

What To Do Checklist: BEFORE You Travel

What to do before departing a trip with Kids....

What to Do Checklist

 

Read more...

Flying with Baby

Parents share some advice about traveling and flying with a little baby.

In this article:

General advice

Long-haul advice

Wondering how to deal with jet lag? Read the PSP article HERE that deals specifically with how to help babies/kids adjust to a new time zone.

baby-airplane

 

Read more...

That’s So 200 Years Ago

Thinking about taking the family on an American history-themed getaway? Here's one parent's rave review of Old Colonial Williamsburg, Mystic Seaport and Sturbridge Village. Be sure to also consult PSP travel recommendations here.

Thats So 200 Years Ago

 

Read more...

Vacation Secret-- Shhhh!

 Thinking about taking the family to Florida? One parent highly recommends it! Also see our recommendations for travel destinations here.

 

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens, Tampa Florida

 

Read more...

Grab a Sweater and Head to the North Fork

Another recommendation for an easy to get to travel destination in New York! Here is one review of visiting North Fork.  Be sure to consult our travel recommendation section here for more advice on where to go.

Grab a Sweater and Head to the North Fork

 

Read more...

Before You Go, Checklists for Traveling With Kids

A comprehensive list for all you need to do before you leave on vacation and what you need to pack when traveling with kids.

Before You Go Checklists for Traveling with Kids

 

Read more...

Tips to traveling light

When it's travel season there is always the perennial questions about baby gear—namely, do I really have to schlep all this stuff with me on the plane and if so how do I do it?—are popping up on the PSP list-serv.
 
Tips to traveling light
 

 

Read more...

"Staycation" Cheats: Best Kid-Friendly Day Trips

Here's a cheat sheet for some local staycation travel spots close to Brooklyn.  And be sure to browse our travel recommendation section here for other nearby places to take the kids to!

Staycation Cheats

 

Read more...

Finding Couple Time in the Family Vacation

Summer vacation time is in full swing and as much as you’re looking forward to getting away with your kids, you probably can’t help wishing for the opportunity get away from your kids, too, at least for a little while. It’s not easy, but it is possible to squeeze grown-up time into the corners of your family vacation. Here are a few things that have worked for us.

Finding Couple Time in the Family Vacation

 

Read more...

Fall Weekends Away

Looking for a Fall Getaway close to New York? Here are some suggestions.  Be sure to also consult our recommendation pages for travel spots here.

fall weekends away

 

Read more...

HOLIDAY TRAVEL

It’s that time of year when far-away relatives start clamoring for you to hop in your car or on a plane to come visit—again. They seem oblivious to the headaches of holiday travel and can’t believe your kids would want to spend the holidays in New York City (with their friends, in their own home) when they could be back wherever you’re from.

Holiday Travel option 1

 

Read more...

Thinking about a Winter Getaway?!

Below are some suggestions for a Winter Getaway the whole family can enjoy.  Be sure to also consult our specific travel recommendation here.

Thinking about a Winter Getaway final

 

Read more...

How To Book a Hotel Room that will be Kid & Family Friendly

Tips for what to look for and ask about when booking a hotel with babies and kids.

person-2782139 640

 

Read more...

NYC Airport Tips

All you need to know about New York City’s Airports

Getting to NYC’s airports can sometimes feel like the most overwhelming part of the trip. Just navigating the different options can feel hard.  From subways to car services, the Long Island Railroad, shuttles, routes and even parking options – we’ve pulled together the tips local parents shared about getting to the airport.    

NYC Airport Tips   

 

Read more...

Inside the Park Slope Parents Travel Section

 Whether you are planning a weekend away or a big family vacation abroad, Park Slope Parents has you covered!  With packing lists, games to bring and tips like how to book a kid friendly hotel room, what it's like to breastfeed/pump when flying, how to bring a stroller on the plane and even how to park your car at JFK, PSP (hopefully) answers all you need to know to make your trip & travels as stress free as possible!

Inside the PSP Travel Section

 

Read more...

Top 10 Frequently Asked Travel Questions

x Top 10 Frequently Asked Travel Questions

Where to find the answers to your most frequently asked travel questions...

 

 

Read more...

Your FAQs about Kids and Travel

Going on vacation? Lucky you! Here is advice from PSP parents about kids and travel...

5194787996 e32a624aa4 z

 

Read more...

15 Tips for Travelling Alone with the Kids

Traveling can feel especially stressful when you are doing it alone with little kids. Parents share tips of how they managed it.

travel-children

 

Read more...

Tips About Pumping While Traveling and Flying with Breast Milk

All you need to know about traveling while pumping and flying with breast milk. From security, to the gate, up in the air and even on the way back - Park Slope moms share their experiences about flying with breast milk and pumping (plus tips for alternatives to breastmilk). Includes advice from some of our amazing working moms about what they did when they had to travel for business!

 

baby-2354571 640

 

Read more...

Traveling with a Car Seat

Advice for traveling with a car seat - at the destination. While parens discussed Bermuda specifically, but there is advice here for other curious parents traveling to other destinations. For advice about flying with a car seat, read what PSP recommends HERE.

cuba-1638594 640

 

Read more...