T is for Traveling
During the holidays not only do we get to wear pretty clothes, eat great food but we also get to go on a plane, train or car to visit relatives and friends as part of your family tradition.
Here are a few tips to make your trip an enjoyable and healthy experience for the family whatever your destination or mode of transportation.
What to Pack?
- Pack lightly, but even if you are going to sunny California bring a couple of long sleeve cotton shirts and a pair of long pants in case the weather changes.
- Bring movies, video games, coloring books or age appropriate quiet activities like coloring. If you are traveling with multiple children and it is a long trip bring a little treasure box with small treats from the dollar store, one per hour of flight/drive and take out one at a time.
- Bring their favorite blanket or teddy bear to comfort them and hopefully help them take a nap.
- Bring a few treats such as pretzels or crackers as there may not be food served on the plane.
In the Plane:
- For infants and toddlers prepare for takeoff and landing by giving a bottle or pacifier to help with ear pressure.
- It is ok to let them be active and play before traveling or if possible in the afternoon or evening where there could be a better chance they will sleep during the flight. Do not get them over tired or ever medicate them with antihistamines (like Benadryl) or cough medications. These medications can cause hyperactivity and jitteriness instead of somnolence. Children should not be medicated with this purpose ever.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes in layers; it is usually cold in the plane and remember you must remove clothes when going through security. So make sure shoes and jackets are easy to remove and put on.
- Bring sanitizing wipes and clean their little hands after checking in and after going through security. Thousands of people traffic these areas every day.
In the Car:
- All of the above apply with the exception of the ear pressure issue unless you are going to very high altitudes, like traveling to the mountains.
- Prepare to make several stops during the trip and make them count by strategically planning interesting places to stop for bathroom and food. Road trips can be interesting and very relaxing if well planned.
Make the best of every situation and make sure they get enough food and rest and your children will be fine during the trip. If your child is very young and gets fussy remember not to have unrealistic expectations: I get a little fussy when I don’t get to sleep on my bed.
By: Dr. Edna Tello, MD