While traveling with kids can be wonderful, it can also be extremely stressful, especially when it comes to flying. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. When speaking with your clients about their trips, take time to draw their attention to the following ways in which they can cut down on stress and teach their kids smart travel behavior.
Steer clear of HALT, an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.
Just about every meltdown we see in the airports or on planes has a direct link to one of these problems. We encourage our clients to use HALT as a mini-checklist prior to travel.
Packing carry-ons smartly saves time and confusion in airports and on planes.
Encourage children to have designated areas in their backpacks for their electronics, reading or art materials, their special stuffed animal and their favorite packable snack. Items should always be in the same pockets of their backpacks for easy access.
Time management is critical when traveling.
While some people like living on the edge, priding themselves on making flights just before the aircraft doors close, encourage your clients to show family members the value of allowing plenty of time for getting to and through the airports for departures. Very often there are trip-ups (traffic, long security lines) but if sufficient time is allowed, the whole experience can be smooth and even fun.
It’s never too early to learn how to navigate an airport.
All too often, parents take charge, handling all details of getting through security and finding the way to the departure gate for their family’s flights.
Rather than just lead the way, explain to your kids what you are doing every step of the way. Or consider having your oldest child lead (giving him/her guidance when needed of course).
Be nice to everyone you meet.
I have a colleague who makes a point of complimenting just about everyone she encounters—from the airport official who examines passports and boarding passes to the flight attendants. The positive energy she carries with her paves the way for an all-around nice experience. This is not to say you have to do this, but a simple smile and acknowledgement of the people who you meet throughout the trip can go a long way.
Susan Farewell is the owner of Farewell Travels LLC (FarewellTravels.com), a travel design firm based in Connecticut. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @FarewellTravels.