Families Traveling During Summer Break

Summer is just around the corner and traveling with the family is almost imminent. Here are a few quick tips that will help you move through airport lines quickly during your next big vacation with the kids.


1.     Prepare in advance.

Study your itinerary so that you will know exactly what to expect. Your itinerary will tell you if there is a layover and how long your flight will be. Whether the airline is serving a full meal, or just snacks, will also be included in the agenda. Thoroughly going through the itinerary will allow you to anticipate the needs of the family and plan accordingly.  Also, give yourself an additional thirty to forty minutes on top of the suggested arrival time when traveling with small children.


2.     Develop a game plan.

Take a good look at what you are taking through security, and develop a plan for moving through the lines more efficiently. Make sure that you, as the parent, can get out of your shoes and jacket easily in addition to being prepared to take items out of the bags, if necessary. It is a good idea to give yourself and the family a practice run so that you can lessen the frustration involved with going through security lines.


3.     Plan activities for the entire trip.

The is especially true with small children. Also, plan for delays as well as accidents that may occupy large amounts of time. Having a backup plan is key.


4.     Vary activities.

Electronic devices are great, but my advice for parents is to have a variety of activities that include both online and offline interaction. Instead of watching a movie or playing a game on the tablet the entire time, have some arts and crafts books that is not too intrusive to other passengers but engaging for your kids.


5.     Pay attention to fellow passengers.

Even though we know in our home that our young ones tend to rule the world, we have to make sure that we’re paying attention to people around us when out. Look for those nonverbal cues to determine whether or not your child is disturbing other people. Sometimes people are afraid to say anything aloud, but they really are quite perturbed. It is, therefore, important to look for those nonverbal cues. If someone keeps turning around in their seat, then that lets you know that perhaps you should take your child in another area in the airport.


6.     Take advantage of free time.

Any opportunity that you have to let your kids stretch out should be taken. It is best to come up with routines at home that will keep them active while waiting at the airport.


7.     Make preparation a family affair.

Give each child their own carryon bag and let them pack it. Letting the kids pack their own bags will allow you to be a little more hands-free. You can simply tell them to look in their bag and get their snack versus having to reach in the bag and get it yourself. They will know where to look since they packed the items in the bag themselves.


8.     Pack all vitals in your carryon.

This includes medicine, diapers and other items that may need to be used while en route to your destination. Also, ensure that additional outfits are packed so that you and your child will have something to wear in the event that luggages are lost or delayed.

8 Funtastic Beach, Poolside and BBQ Tips for 4th of July Etiquette

On the Beach


1. Choose your spot wisely.
If you have small children try setting up near another family with small children rather than someone without. Families with kids are more tolerant of the occasional little-one meltdown.

2. Don’t be a sand kicker
When walking, if the sand is cool enough, remove your flip flops. If  you have to wear flip flops, be mindful of kicking sand onto others as you pass by.

3. Keep the party in your area
Be considerate with smoke from your BBQ grill and loud music. Keep an eye on the body language of your neighbors and check in on them every so often by asking if they’re disturbed at all.


At the Pool

4. Don’t be a space hog
You shouldn’t park your stuff on top of multiple lounge chairs to hold your belongings. Use what’s absolutely necessary so others can have a chair too.

5. Control your teens.
We always keep a mindful eye on our little ones, but don’t forget about your teenage kids. Too much roughhousing and screaming can become quite annoying to other pool visitors. So be sure to set some ground rules about consideration for others before you go.

6. Wear family-friendly swimwear
What you choose to wear on a tropical romantic/exotic vacation may not work so well at a pool. Things are a bit more live and close up and with the holiday you’ll have more families present. Save the red-hot look for another time and opt for more family-friendly swimwear.

Back Yard BBQ

7. Back away from the grill
If you are not the host, don’t touch the grill. Imagine the response if you walked into someone’s kitchen while they were cooking and started stirring the food in their pots and flipping food on the stove. You might get smacked with the spatula. Well, the same thing applies here. Whether a male or female is tending the grill, unless you are asked to do so, back away from the grill and just enjoy the party.

8. Serve it up with style
There is nothing wrong with eating on paper plates should you choose to do so. But you can  consider adding a little flair to the festivities by using dishes and glasses for your guests. This works well for smaller parties and you don't have much to clean up afterwards. If you choose to go with paper products, you can spice up your presentation by using  festive platters and beverage containers. Have fun, theme it out, and make your guests feel special.