Horizon travelingFew toddlers are born knowing how to handle holiday travel. Time and experience will help develop a better traveler, but you can start the early learning process now.

In the car

Ideally, a long car ride will include your child’s naptime – but for those hours when she’s awake, be ready

  • Stay engaged. A child as young as 2 or 3 can easily understand an “I spy” game or help you pick out all the red cars on the freeway. Sing-alongs and favorite music downloads also keep things on an even keel.
  • Schedule in rest stops. Beyond the bathroom break and meals, an hourly rest stop is a good chance to run off some pent-up energy.

On the plane

There’s no feeling of dread, for you and your fellow air passengers alike, like the in-flight toddler tantrum. The reasons can range from inner-ear pressure to fear to boredom, but dealing with a screaming tot and the glares of other fliers can take the fun out of travel in a hurry.

  • Prepare your toddler for air travel by pointing out planes in the air, going through picture books about planes or even investing in a toy plane. The more familiar your child is with the concept of flying, the less likely he’ll get frightened.
  • Burn off energy in the airport. Arrive at least an hour before boarding, and use that time to walk around, ride the escalators and generally burn off some nervous energy. Bonus: a little exercise beforehand can help your child sleep on the plane.
  • Pack distractions. Favorite books, toys, games and snacks are helpful. In addition, introduce one new, cool concept – like a box of crayons or a new app for your tablet. The novelty of trying something different can be a good distraction.

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