Safe & Sane Travel With Children
Rule # 1. Plan Ahead
Do your homework before starting out on your trip. Locate play parks and child-safe recreation, health clinics, and child-friendly hotels. Think ahead! Plan for exercise, meals and
Rule # 2: Include Your Child In The Planning & Packing
Include your child when planning the trip. If your child feels he or she was part of the decision and planning process, chances for a successful trip increase.
Depending on the age of your child, packing might be at least partly your child's responsibility. This gives your child a sense of control, plus teaches skills.
We have made packing easier for you by providing FREE packing lists for children. There is a column for Mom or Dad to write in the quantity, plus a column for the child to check off the item
as completed. Add items and customize the list as needed. We have included lists for clothing and accessories.
Free Packing Lists Fun, Free Travel Projects
Rule # 3: Make It Special
New clothing and toys help make the trip a very special occassion. This does not have to be expensive. A new pair of flip flops, sun glasses, hair accessories, ball or tee shirt can increase excitement for your child. Pack light-weight, wrinkle resistant clothing.
Rule # 4: Bring Water, Juice & Food
In Arizona, the fact that there is a dot on the map does not guarantee that a McDonald's or grocery store is available. Bring plenty of water. If you are not sure what might be available in the next town, bring food as well. Children can become dehydrated very quickly. Be sure they are drinking plenty of fluids. Water and juice will help keep your child hydrated. Keep a close eye on your child for signs of exhaustion, hunger and dehydration.
Rule # 5: Check Weather Conditions
If traveling to higher elevations, be prepared for quick changes in the weather. Thunderstorms roll in quickly in monsoon season (summer), bringing flash floods to many areas. Winter brings snow and freezing temperatures to higher elevations.
HEAT WARNING: NEVER LEAVE CHILDFEN UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE
The desert area can become hot even in winter. NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE. Local vehicles have tinted windows all around with the exception of the front window. Unless you don't mind burning yourself on the belt buckle, place a window screen inside the windshield any time it is parked in the sun. If traveling in summer, you might also consider an oven mitt. No kidding - metal door handles can be quite hot!
Rule # 6: Wear Appropriate Clothing / Hat / Shoes
For staying cool, loose fitting 100% cotton clothing is superior to poly/cotton mixes. If traveling to higher country or during winter, be prepared for the cold.
Protect your child's head from the sun (especially important for babies). Don't forget the back of the neck. Sunglasses, visors, hats and sun umbrellas all provide protection from sun and heat.
Remember sun screen.
Protect your child's feet from heat, sun and stinging insects with the use of appropriate shoes.
Children can become cranky if they are not comfortable!
Rule # 7: Provide Exercise & Play Stops
Help keep your happy and less stressed by providing exercise. Stopping by child-friendly rest areas or parks will allow your child to stretch his legs and get in some play time while on long drives.
Rule # 8: Be Aware Of The Environment
NEVER allow your child to stick his hands or feet into areas where they cannot be seen. That hole in the ground might look like a fun place to explore, but it is probably the home of a stinging insect, venomous spider or snake. Keep your child on the trail and in sight. I have never had a problem while on a trail, but I once disturbed an angry swarm of stinging ants when I stepped slightly off the trail to take a photo. I had to do a quick "two step" back onto the trail.
NEVER handle a bug or other critter that you are not familiar with (the bug on the right is a safe bug in Tennessee, not Arizona). Be aware - be safe!
Rule # 9: Read Our Article On Safety
Travel Safety Tips
Rule # 10: Learn About Your Destination
We make this easy for you. Find a destination on our site. Read our review and look at our photographs. Then locate the following symbols (bottom of each destination page), which provide information on accessibility and traveling with pets and children.