Traveling with the whole family is a lot of fun and can be very enjoyable if you plan things well. However, if you fail to plan properly, the trip can quickly become stressful and nightmarish. Here are a few tips to make things easier when traveling with kids, so you can focus on making memories and spending quality time with each other:

Drive and Park

When traveling with kids, the adventure doesn’t start when you get on the plane, but as soon as you leave your home. Simply driving to the airport can be an ordeal in itself, so if you live far away from the airport, make sure you prepare for the long drive by having snacks and games ready to keep your kids happy and distracted. Make sure to book a parking slot in advance, so you won’t have to worry about where to park once you get to the airport. ParkON offers parking slots in more than 200 parking lots nationwide.

Booking a parking slot with ParkON is a cinch, thanks to its intuitive and easy to navigate website. It only takes five minutes to search, select and reserve your slot, and you start by simply entering your parking arrival and return dates to begin your search. The site will display a list of available parking lots once you’ve entered this information. ParkON guarantees safe and secure airport parking at the best prices, and they also offer free cancellation in case your travel plans change.

Allot Plenty of Time

When traveling with children, everything is going to take a little longer than you expect it to. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; you just need to make sure you allot plenty of time for each activity to avoid feeling rushed or stressed. Begin planning your trip way in advance, allotting plenty of time for checking in at the airport, getting through security, boarding the plane and getting settled in for the plane ride.

This principle doesn’t just apply to the plane ride, but to the whole trip. When planning your itinerary, take into consideration that your children might tire or bore more easily than you will, so try not to cram too many activities into one day, and try to plan your visits so that they don’t involve extremely long walks in between that may be too much for little legs.

Pack only what You Need

When traveling with children, it’s a common instinct to pack everything but the kitchen sink, “just in case.” Resist this urge. At the end of a long trip, it’s very likely that you will end up carrying at least one child or their things, and you don’t want to have to do this on top of lugging around a hundred pound piece of luggage, too.

Try to pare down your packing list to only the bare essentials, and only the items you know you’ll need or wear every day. Remember that you can always pick things up locally if you’ve forgotten anything, and almost everywhere you go has laundry facilities in case you run out of clothes.

At the end of the day, traveling with children is always easier if you’ve set the right expectations. Have a conversation with your kids about your plans, what to expect and how you expect them to behave, and things will go much more smoothly.

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