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Challenge: Traveling with Kids

Easy Tips to Make Everyone on the Plane Love Your Kids!

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Well, these tips are not all about that but you will find with a little planning, traveling with your kids will be more enjoyable for you and others. It's all about distraction when they are toddlers!

1. We had our two kids one year apart and they were a handful. My flight attendant sister-in-law gave me this tip which has served us well when flying. Buy inexpensive little toys and wrap them like a present. Bring out the first present when they start to get antsy. Take out the next one about an hour later. Before you know it you've flown across the country with well behaved, engaged kids. Fellow passengers may even compliment you!

2. My house apes would meet me at the door when I would return from a business trip with squeals of "What did you get us, Daddy!?" Not only are airport gift shops expensive but I would never have room to carry any presents home or in my haste to get home not have time to shop for anything. A client gave me this great tip. Just go to your local toy store one day and buy a bunch of small toys. Hide them in your closet. When you come home from your next trip just say you have to unpack first. Retrieve the $5.00 toys and be the hero once again!

3. There are hapless and clueless parents who don't follow Tip #1 above and they are usually sitting with their bored, unruly kids in your row. Or, worse, in the row behind you kicking your seat or screaming at your head. I always try to pick up extra trinkets and baubles from the booths at trade shows I frequently attend and have them at the ready in my carry on bag. I then ask the parents if I can give them to their kids. Peace ensues.

4. You have to keep a lot of information on hand when you travel, especially internationally. I have to keep track of all of our passports and tickets for our family's detailed international travels. At home I scan our passports, tickets and credit cards and send them to myself to my web based email account. I then save it to a travel folder. I figure worst case I can always get to an Internet cafe in most of the world and print anything I may need.

5. I call this game "Get us to the Train." When at the Termini Station in Rome, for example, we'd get out of the cab and I'll give the train tickets to my 10 and 11 year old kids and say "Get us to the train." Chaos would ensue and many funny memories created with fumbling attempts at foreign language and running to and fro. Taught the kids valuable lessons on interacting with people and now I am confident they could find their way anywhere in the world.

Safe travels,

The Franklins



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