Traveling with young children can be a very daunting proposition. It also comes with many risks. Proper preparation is the only way to avoid danger and make the trip a success. Consider the following tips before you leave your St. Petersburg home.
Packing. One of the most important parts of traveling is making sure that you have what you need to make the trip comfortable and enjoyable for the entire family. This groundwork can also help keep everyone safe. First, consider wardrobe. The atmosphere within a plane can vary substantially. At times, the air will be cool, bordering on uncomfortably cold. At other times, numerous bodies within the aircraft can make the temperatures rise to near sweltering. For this reason, it is wise to layer clothing, so, whether it is warm or cold at your final destination, your family members will be ready. When layering, choose brightly colored, easily spotted colors. This will help you keep better track of those that you are traveling with. Choose slip-on shoes for the trip to the airport; it will make it much easier when passing through the checkpoints. Finally, consider bringing activities that will keep kids entertained during the trip. This may mean new books for each, video games, or coloring books and crayons. Snacks are also a wise addition to the carry-on bag. Remember, however, that airports will not allow you to carry any beverages on that were not purchased in the terminal. It is also wise to pack baby wipes and baggies to keep messes at bay.
When packing the belongings that will make the trip with you, ensure that you are choosing reliable luggage. A recall was announced recently for one particular brand of children's bags. Referred to as the Journey Girl Travel Trunk, it was made with a plastic handle that can be very sharp and may cut a child's hand while hurrying through a busy airport - one more headache that you definitely don't need to contend with on top of the other stresses of traveling. For more information on this recall, visit the CPSC website. Avoid the need for a personal injury attorney for product malfunction by staying up to date on product recalls at this website.
Getting to the Airport. Whether you are driving yourself, hitching a ride with a friend, or taking a taxi to the airport, make sure that you don't forget your child's safety seat in the midst of all of the chaos. In Saint Petersburg, it is mandated that children under the age of five must be secured in a car seat. For the laws and recommendations set forth by the state, consult the DMV website. When you leave the car, carry the car seat along.
Airport Screening. Once you get to the airport, you will have to get through baggage check and passenger screening. Children under the age of 12 may be able to keep their shoes on during this process, though it is still best to have them prepared with slip-on shoes. Babies will have to be carried through the metal detector by parents and child gear will be fed through the x-ray machine. Strollers will most likely have to be emptied and folded before going through.
Before Take Off. It is finally time to take off! Once you make it to your seat, you will likely want to breathe a sigh of relief, but don't get too settled just yet. We mentioned before that you might want to bring the car seat with you. Federally approved car seats are also recommended on the plane where seatbelts are designed for adult-sized passengers. Beware that the car seat may be considered a "carry on" just as a bag would be.
Before take-off, hand out the gum. It can help children avoid the painful ear pressure and, hopefully, prevent a trip of crankiness. The same method can be used during landing. Finally, take a seat and enjoy the ride!