Being the holiday season is upon us, I thought I'd share a few tips for traveling by plane as well. Previously in a post I talked about how to travel by car for a long trip and some of those tips still apply for flying. Flying for me personally, is my least favorite way to travel because I'm not a fan of heights or trusting others when my feet are that far off the ground! LOL. I enjoy traveling by vehicle because I love the freedom of being able to add something to the journey; a new place to stop and see that was unplanned, the freedom and so many less hassles. But there are times when it's not always possible to go by vehicle and we may have to fly...
In 2008, Jerry won a company award and we were able to travel to Aruba as part of the reward for his hard work. So in this post I will feature a few photos from that trip. Yes....I've traveled by plane since then :-)
There are so many things to take into consideration for travel. I'm going to list some more things that are necessary to have things run smoothly and this includes traveling with children. :-)
Another thing is to be sure to leave your important information with someone at home. This would include photocopies of your license, passport, a credit card number, your license number on your vehicle, last will and testament, travel itinerary and necessary phone numbers as well as important contacts. Should anything happen during your flight, the necessary information would be left behind and easy to access.
When traveling be sure to have proper ID and make sure the name on your ID matches your ticket to avoid hassles checking in and boarding. Be sure to have proper documents you need for where you are visiting certain places as well. Hotel information, agendas, ID, contact information and more. Decide if you will be leaving your vehicle on the lot (there is usually a fee for this) or if you prefer you can get a taxi, bus, or a friend to drop you off and meet you when you return. Sometimes when you reach your destination it may be necessary to rent a vehicle. In Aruba, Jerry and I chose that option to explore the entire island one day. The rest of the time we traveled by shuttle from the hotel. There are many rental options to choose from and most airports have them readily available. I recently learned of a place called Relay Rides that would also be a good option to explore. This is a peer to peer car sharing marketplace. You are able to rent out your own vehicle and set your own price, while the company works to assure your safety and to help with marketing your vehicle option to others. You may also rent a vehicle from others for your travels. For more information be sure to check out their website by clicking the link above. :-)
Before getting up in the air..... there's more to consider and plan. :-)
It is still a great idea to keep a packing list for each family member to keep an inventory of what you are leaving with and to be sure you arrive home with the same items. For flying, pack conservatively with what you really need; there can be costs for luggage going over the weight limits. Some travelers take empty suitcases and return with items they buy during their travels. You may want to take a neck pillow, especially for longer rides and perhaps even an eye mask to block out the lights. Small ear buds are great for watching movies on the flight or listening to your music devices or laptops, or tablets. They are available for purchase on the plane as well for a small fee.
If you face anxiety while flying you can discuss some relaxation medications with your Dr. if you think you need that assistance. I definitely have anxiety when flying but I am also very anti medicines, so I load soothing music on my ipod and practice focusing on my breathing and squeezing my husband's arm rather tightly! LOL. Once in the air my anxiety does subside a bit. I remember my very first flight, the turbulence was so extreme I truly thought we were going to crash.... even Jerry said he had never experienced it so bad. Luckily all was ok, but it was sure hard getting back on another plane! Once getting to our destination....all the stress was worth it to experience the beautiful views, and if it took flying to get me there.... I am blessed to have seen Aruba up close :-)
Some items important to include with your carry on bag is packs of gum; this really helps alleviate the pressure in your ears during the flight. Snacks as well as a water bottle are helpful and if possible try to get up and move a little during the flight. Sanitizers and/or hand wipes are always a must for helping to cut down on germs. Medications you may need during the flight preferably in the prescription bottle. Books, magazines, extra clothes, sweater or light jacket, a tablet or laptop, etc. Be sure to be courteous of other travelers as the seats are tight enough. and overhead storage is limited. Some travelers push the limits of their bags causing others to have to put theirs in the baggage check area.
A great resource to check out for specific details on travel would be The Transportation Security Administration. This site will give you all the specifics for your travels. Another good site for information is The Federal Aviation Administration. I could write a novel on travel, but these are the best sites for specifics :-)
"My favorite thing is to go where I've never been" Diane Arbus
Something else super important to remember when traveling with children is to be prepared! Be sure to have their favorite items (stuffed animal, blankie, pacifiers, bottles, electronics, medicines, clothes, diapers, wipes, etc) nearby. Snacks are important to even out their blood sugar and be sure to bring along your patience :-) It's tough for little ones to sit that long. Be prepared with songs, finger plays, books, crayons, paper/coloring books, movies loaded on tablets, etc. Be prepared to give them the attention they need, no matter how tired you may be. If you show frustrations they will react negatively to it and it can end up being a very long, stressful flight for them, you and other passengers. Remember they are children...don't expect them to behave like adults. :-)
Speaking of adults.... we were amazed by all the lizards, iguanas, etc. that took over Aruba...even in the pool. I love Jerry's laugh in this photo as they were beginning to surround him, including the one that jumped down from above his head! LOL
"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page" St. Augustine
"Make voyages. Attempt them. There is nothing else" Tennessee Williams
Another important thing to do with your children is to review the safety features that the airport will be putting them through so they are not frightened. Explain how an airport works, what to expect, talk about the security people and the security dogs. Explain how the security procedures work and why they are important for every one's safety. Gently explain as to not frighten them or worry them. Let them know what your schedule is and what will be happening and when. The more prepared they are for the flight, the less nervous and more secure they will feel. Another idea for children that are old enough is to keep a travel journal and have them take photos along their journey. It's a great way to encourage reading and writing and creativity. They will have a great time putting it all together and looking back on it for years to come. :-) Remember for younger children some of the sights and sounds can be scary, always be prepared and make the journey fun! A scavenger hunt is another way to kill time during lay overs or just getting familiar with the airports. Yes, it takes a little extra time and planning, but your kids will love it and great memories will be made!
"Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter" Izaak Walton
San Nicolas: "The Sunrise City"
Be safe on your journeys, take the time to really tune in to your surroundings. Don't hurry through life, enjoy it. Smile and be kind to others, you never know what challenges they may be facing in life.
"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how" Friedrich Nietzsche