Parenting does not require you give up the things you love. One of the joys of having children is introducing them to the things that you cherish. For many of us, travel, exploring new places and tasting the fair of different cultures is a joy that is best experienced through the eyes of a child. The less fun part is getting a child from point A to point B while still retaining the sheen of adventure. Don’t worry. With a little planning, travelling with your children can be easy.

The TSA Experience

Witty jokes about the sexiness of full body x-rays fall away when you go through transportation security with children. Carefree banter gives way to headcounts and calculations of nap times. To make TSA a fun experience, know your rules and talk to your children in advance. Children under 12 do not need to take off their shoes but they do need to go through the detectors. For the little ones, these machines can be scary. TSA agents will often let you go through with small children in your arms. For those slighty bigger, you may need to go through first. There is nothing that says you cannot through the machine backwards so that you can maintain eye contact with the toddler. When TSA says, you can simply call your little one to you. For your preteens, have a game plan. Tell your child where to stand before and after the passenger check so that he or she does not get in the way of other passengers or get lost in the crowd.

Rack Up The Points

Most airlines let children under the age of 2 fly on your lap, though this may not be ideal for long international flights. You need to buy tickets for your older children. Certain credit cards, AAA, and companies like LifeLock offer mileage rewards through various airlines. Look at the rules and make sure you get the points for each ticket purchased. Make sure to link all of your account and credit cards so that you earn points for every transaction that you make. You may end up buying movies, games or food for the kids and you want to earn rewards for every purchase.

5 Hours In A Box

Plane travel has changed over the years. Different airlines have different accommodations for children. Do not depend on any of them. Bring your own entertainment. Electronic games are great for the older kids. For younger children, coloring books, movies and cards can keep them busy. Also bring food. A lot of food. If you are traveling with an infant, bring triple of everything. Sucking on a bottle will help stop ear pain from the change in pressure. What goes in must come out. This means extra diapers and clothing. No matter how old your children are, plan on naps. Bring a blanket and small pillow. A few hours of sleep on the plane will be a blessing to the parental traveler.

Keep The Germs Out

The Center For Disease Control has some guidelines and warning for traveling with children. The bottom line advice is to wash your hands often. Children love to touch everything. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, especially after going through TSA, will help prevent the spread of disease that can ruin a trip. The use of disinfectant hand sanitizer is also a good way to keep your child from becoming prey to germs.