Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
ticket agent for permission to escor t their
children to the depar ture gate. (A dults
picking up unaccompanied minors at
that y our child kno ws not to shar e this
information with strangers—not ev en a
friendly neighbor in the cabin.
If y our child is taking medication, it
may be wise to postpone the trip unless
you ar e cer tain y our child is r esponsible
for self-administering dosages pr
arrival gates also need this permission
slip.) If your child has never flown before,
it makes sense to sho w up at the airpor t a
little early to wander ar ound, watch other
planes take off and land, and prepare your
child in advance for how flight is going to
feel. Be sure to discuss the danger of talk-
ing to strangers—even if you have had the
same discussion before. You will be allowed
to escor t y our child to the gate, but not
onto the plane.
Some airlines allo w unaccompanied
minors to board first, so the flight crew has
more time to meet the child, orient the
child to the location of bathr ooms and
emergency exits, stor e carr y-ons, r eview
safety pr ocedures, and—kids lo ve this
part—introduce the child to the cockpit
crew. M ake sur e minors understand that
they should contact an attendant in case of
any type of pr oblem—from sickness to a
malfunctioning headset to a bothersome
neighbor. If you can't make it all the way
on to the plane, be sur e to introduce your
child to the gate attendant and ensure that
the child will r
Flight attendants ar
e not allo
wed to
administer drugs to minors.
Easing Travel with
the Tots in Tow
Several topics on the mar ket have tips to
help y ou trav el with kids. M ost concen-
trate on the U.S., but two, Family Travel
& Resorts: The C omplete Guide (Lanier
Publishing I nternational; $19.95) and
How to Take Great Trips with Your Kids
(The Harvard Common Press; $9.95), are
full of good general advice that can apply
to travel anywhere. Another reliable tome,
with a worldwide focus, is Adventuring
with Children (Foghorn Press; $14.95).
Family T ravel T imes ( & 888/822-
4FTT [822-4388]; www.familytraveltimes.
com) is an ex cellent online ne wsletter
updated twice monthly. Subscriptions are
$39 a year, $49 for 2 years. Sample articles
are available on the newsletter's website.
If y ou plan car efully, y ou can actually
make it fun to travel with kids:
• If you're traveling with childr en, you'll
save yourself a good bit of aggrav ation
by reserving a seat in the bulkhead
eceive help boar ding if
Some airlines offer special meals for
children, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, or
peanut butter sandwiches, which must be
ordered in adv ance, when y ou make the
reservation. It's still wise to send your child
off with a bagged lunch, snack, and drinks.
Also pack topics and other enter tainment
in a carr y-on and make sur e y our child
knows ho w to get at them onboar
row. You'll hav e mor e legr oom, and
your children will be able to spread out
and play on the floor under foot. You're
also mor e likely to find sympathetic
company in the bulkhead area, as fami-
lies with childr en tend to be seated
• Be sur e to pack items for y our
children in your carry-on luggage. In
case you're forced to check one of y our
carry-ons, consolidate the childr en's
things in one bag or in y our purse.
When y ou're deciding what to bring,
ready yourself for the worst: long, unex-
pected delays without food, bathr ooms
d the
Make sur e y our child has cash and
knows how to make a collect phone call.
In one place, r ecord y our child 's name,
your own name, address, and phone num-
ber, along with the names and phone
number of y our child 's hosts at the final
destination. Review the information with
your child and place it in a safe purse,
pocket, or neck pouch. B e sure, however,
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