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DBT Corporate Travel Information - Travel Guide


Travelling with children or babies

* Pack an entire day's clothing, disposable nappies and food in a ziplock bag. Make one ziplock bag for each day of travel. Each day, one outfit goes on baby, the rest of the supplies go in the nappy bag and you're ready to go.

* When making your reservations, ask your consultant to order your children toddler or child meals.

* Don't count on your toddler eating airline meals and snacks (not even the children's meals). Pack items of finger food your child will eat in a small, insulated bag. Little chewy fruit snacks work during takeoff and landing for helping ears adjust to in-cabin pressure changes.

* For younger children use bottles or dummies to help ease inner ear pressure. For older children, chewing gum can serve the same purpose.

* Karvol is a menthol/pine oil decongestant compound in plastic capsules. Cut the top off the capsule, squeeze the liquid onto a hanky and the child can sniff it up to their heart's content. Available at most chemists.

* Have younger children's ears checked before you leave. It's no fun travelling with a child who has an ear infection.

* Arrive at the airport early. Sprinting down an endless terminal is difficult enough, but nearly impossible when carrying a baby on your back and holding a small child's hand.

* Young children can be scared of loud plane noises. Go to the airport a few times before you are due to leave so they get used to it.

* Pack a change of clothes for yourself. Children spill sticky drinks in planes and it can be a long time between laundries.

* Put some cold (healthy) drinks in your cabin bag for the long wait with a thirsty child before the attendant comes.

* While travelling, particularly with small, wandering children, losing them is a worry. Ask your doctor for plastic hospital bracelets for them. Put whatever information you want on a slip of paper and insert it into the bracelet.

* Make sure children go to the toilet before leaving the airport.

* If only one parent is accompanying the child(ren) out of the country, carry a signed and notarised letter from both parents stating that permission is given to the accompanying parent (or temporary guardian) to take the child out of the country.

* To keep children entertained and well-behaved during long airplane trips, buy a small carry-on with wheels. Go to the $2 Shop and fill the bag with surprises. Your child can carry/roll the bag around the airport . During the flight, give them one surprise every 40 minutes or so.

* Kids play with Gameboys for hours but take along spare batteries

* Write the name, address and telephone number of the place you are staying on a piece of paper, and "I'm lost, please call my parents" or something of the sort and make sure your child carries it in their pocket. Children don't remember hotel or street names but a piece of paper makes sure they get it right.

* Buy hand sanitiser or antibacterial wet-wipes. They work without water and are perfect for cleaning grimy, sticky hands when you can't find a toilet.

* Buy a cheap camera for children old enough to use it. The trip is then photographed from the child's prospective and they can keep a scrapbook or album.

* It sometimes helps if children feel they have a say in the travel itinerary. Traditional, mostly inside holidays aren't great for kids. Stop frequently on road trips to let them run around and play outside for a while. If you're staying at a hotel or in one place, find a local square, park, pile of rocks etc the kids can play in, run or scream. It helps ease stress (theirs and yours).

* Before the trip, buy an exercise or scrapbook with a page for each day you're on holiday. Write the day/date at the top of each page. As you travel, your child can use any sit-down time to fill in what you are doing that day, draw pictures of interesting things you saw, paste brochures, tickets or get the autographs of anyone - from your waiter to the occasional celebrity or new friends they make. This helps keep the trip alive long after you all come home and they can show their friends and classmates about the trip.

* Get them to write down the addresses of any friends they will want to send a postcard to.

* Ask you're child's teacher to prepare work sheets for while you're away. Ten minutes a day on homework means they won't be too far behind when they get back to school. Most schools these days see travel as a valuable education.

* Prepare your children in advance for the trip. Show them your route on a map. Even young children enjoy following the route on a map. Show them travel brochures on the places you'll be visiting and get some books from the library about your destination.

* Start the trip a couple weeks before you leave by marking the days off on a calendar. Waiting can be very exciting.

* At the same time, make a list of what to pack. You decide on the type of clothing, but let the children choose their favourite items. A week before departure day, go over the list and clothing choices with the kids to make sure everything fits and is in good repair.

* Let the children have their own bags (a backpack or small cabin bag with rollers). A couple of days before the big day, let them pack their bags, including a small favourite toy and book to read. In your cabin bag, pack sweets, wet wipes and a surprise toy for each child in case of unexpected wait times at airports or train stations.

* The night before you leave discuss safety and security rules, like where to meet if you get separated and who to call if the adults get sick.

* The secret of visiting Disney World and other theme parks is to turn left on entering (most people naturally turn right). This way you'll see at least half the attractions in relative peace.

* In cars, buses and trains, keep the kids occupied with the I-Spy game, or the game where everybody takes turns naming countries in alphabetical order until one by one they run out of countries. Let the children create a game - like count how many red cars on the motorway.

* Stop frequently at rest stops. Let the kids jump and stretch and run to burn energy.

* To keep the kids from whining in restaurants and shops, make rules ahead of time on how much junk food they can have and what the budget is for the meal. Decide what they can or can't order off the menu. For example, desserts might be more than your budget can handle, so agree to buy sweets or an ice cream later on.

* Have an itinerary but be flexible. Let the kids decide whether to see the dinosaur museum or science centre, whether they want to go to the beach or the zoo. If they disagree, find something they don't mind eliminating and do both the beach and the zoo.

* Save time each evening to relax in the pool.