Tips for Traveling With Kids During the Holidays


Published:

Before packing the car or heading to the airport with your kids, remember these tips for a stress-free holiday.

On the Road

If traveling by car, be prepared for traffic and use your imagination for fun ways to entertain kids in the car, like with the alphabet and license plate games. AAA offers the following tips:

 

  • Check your car for regular maintenance. Have the vehicle and tires inspected, and fill up with gas before traveling.
  • Plan your route, considering construction and road conditions. If traveling in this region, visit the North Carolina Traveler Information Management System at tims.ncdot.gov/tims for disruptions like accidents, construction, road conditions and closures. You can also call 5-1-1 for this information as well as rail, ferry and public transportation information. 
  • Try to avoid the busiest travel times.
  • Have roadside assistance contact information.

 If your kids still need car seats, Debbie Newman, Safe Kids Wake County coalition coordinator, says to:

  • Ensure your child is in the correct car seat for his age and height. Visit buckleupnc.org for specifics.
  • Check for car seat recalls at cdc.gov.
  • Don’t remove kids from car seats while driving. Instead, pull over at an exit, address the problem, and put them back in.
  • Use blankets to keep kids warm. Wearing bulky coats prevent the straps from tightening correctly.

 In the Air

Expect the unexpected, allow extra time, and remember these tips:

  • For carry-on luggage, liquids, gels and aerosols must be 3.4 ounces or less and in a quart-size plastic bag for inspection. Put larger quantities in checked bags.
  • Pack some of each person’s clothing in each suitcase. (If one or more bags are lost, you’ll still have clothes.)
  • Check in online or on your smartphone 24 hours before your flight to avoid long ticket counter lines. Or when you arrive at the airport, use self-service or curbside check-in.
  • Depending on where your traveling, you may need to determine identification requirements for children. Some airlines require a birth certificate.

 Navigating Raleigh-Durham International Airport:

  • AirTran and Southwest use Terminal 1, currently under construction. All other airlines use Terminal 2.
  • Consider your parking options. Hourly Parking: for visits less than 12 hours; $1 per hour; $24 per day maximum. Daily Parking: long-term parking; $2 per hour; $12 per day maximum. Park and Ride Lots: located near the airport with shuttles to the terminals every 20 minutes; $6 per day. You can also look for parking options not run by the airport.
  • Consider a taxi or car service to avoid parking. If your kids need car seats on the way to the airport, but you aren’t taking them with you, some car services will store the car seats until you return.

 Getting through airport security

Let your kids know they will be screened and that everything must go through the X-ray machine, including blankets and stuffed animals, but will be returned. Keep the following Transportation Security Administration rules in mind.

  • Children 12 and under can leave their shoes on during screening.
  • Babies must be removed from baby carriers and be carried through security.
  • Everything must be screened, including strollers, baby carriers, safety seats and snacks. If items don’t fit through the X-ray machine, an officer will visually and physically examine them.
  • Baby formula, baby food and breast milk can be in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces. Notify the officer for screening.

 Strollers and car seats

Check with your airline for stroller and car seat guidelines before traveling.

  • Strollers can be helpful in airports, and most airlines will check them for free. Most umbrella strollers fit in the overhead bins. Strollers bigger than umbrella strollers can typically be checked at the ticket counter or gate.
  • Approved safety seats are allowed for ticketed children. They are not required for children sitting on a parent/guardian’s lap.   
  • Most airlines will check safety seats for free at the ticket counter or gate. Consider purchasing a car seat travel bag to prevent damage. Or use a bungee cord and attach your car seat to a rolling suitcase or dolly — a convenient way for your child to ride through the airport without a stroller.  

 Regardless of how you are traveling, don’t forget these items:

  • Comfort item – Don’t forget that special blanket, lovie or stuffed animal.
  • Snacks –The squeezable pouches are convenient, especially for little ones.
  • Water ­– Consider refillable bottles.
  • Games and activities – If you have a smartphone or iPad, download new games or movies. Sticker or mini-coloring books are easy and compact.

 With a little planning, holiday travel can be safe and enjoyable for the entire family. Happy travels.
Michele Jonczak is a mother of two boys and a freelance writer from Raleigh.

 

 

 

 

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More information

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Sponsor: Save A Life Now Training Center LLC
Telephone: 919-215-6942
Contact Name: Valentina Cordoba
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Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
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Calling all Black tech leaders and visionaries! Are you looking to spur future collaborations, discover new business and career opportunities, and invest in this community? Join us for T.H.E. State...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Durham Convention Center
301 W Morgan St
Durham, NC  27701
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Contact Name: Tarryn Henry
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Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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Live online classes for kids - FREE! Kids and families can join our online classes from home while school is out. Our special guests teach kids about art, medicine, music, cooking, science and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online at your Home
265 Cambridge Ave #60923
Palo Alto, NC  94306
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Sponsor: ActivityHero
Telephone: 800-437-6125
Contact Name: Mabelle
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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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The 16th Annual (Virtual) Beaver Queen Pageant, Beavers in the Stream! The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-423-1502
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
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The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and compete for the title of Beaver Queen with their fashion,...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-698-9729
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
Website »

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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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