Every parent knows that the right type of family vacation depends on the age of the children. This Web Guide to Family-Friendly Travel can help make family travel decisions easy. For resources and information on where to go and what to do with babies, toddlers, school-age kids and teens; for gear and services to make the going (and returning) easier; and for family vacation planning tips and tricks on how to navigate all types of travel with your kids, use this Web Guide to the world of family-friendly travel.
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You've booked the trip-now what about all the logistical details? The Web is a great tool for finding information about kids' passport regulations, airline rules, and everything you probably didn't think about before you had children. The sites in this section help you cover all of the bases.
- To prevent undue stress and added surcharges, don't wait until the last minute to research what sorts of gears and documents you need to travel with your kids. The Web is a great tool to help you manage your trip and set a timetable to get all the things you'll need in place.
- On the Web you'll find helpful tips and packing lists, product recommendations, and agencies that can rent, ship, and sell gear for families with babies and small children. If you opt for to use a service, be sure to ask for references or check with the Better Business Bureau before you hand over your credit card information.
- Keep in mind that less is more. Small kids and babies don't need every travel accessory that's geared to them, and you'll all be happier if your load is light. If you feel that they really need something that you may only use once or twice, search sites like Craigslist and eBay for the sale of gently used items.
- To find more agencies in a particular locale, check with that area's tourism office or your hotel concierge.
- Parents know what works best-and what doesn't. Look for advice from people who've road-tested products and travel frequently with their own families.
- Review safety concerns with kids before you travel. New and different environments can be disorienting to kids.
For kids of all ages ...
The U.S. Department of State
site contains the latest information about passport requirements for minors, application fees, foreign entry requirements, and processing times.
Family on Board
is an online retailer specializing in all manner of travel gear for families, from safety items like car seats that pack into easy-rolling luggage cases to travel games and portable DVD players. There's also a page of links to other helpful family travel Web sites.
The Jet with Kids
site is dedicated to helping make air travel easy for families. You'll find lists of air travel tips, travel gear reviews, and a great links page with resources for information on everything from birth certificates to travel insurance.
For babies and toddlers ...
's travel section is a one-stop shop where you can find answers to all of your questions about traveling with little ones, from when your child is old enough to fly to where the best baby-friendly destinations are. You'll find checklists of questions to ask the airlines, money-saving travel tips, message boards, polls, you name it.
Jet Set Babies
ships supplies like diapers, baby food, infant formula, and even blankets and nightlights to locations around the world. The company confirms receipt of the order and lets you know where your package is stored and how to retrieve it once you arrive at your destination.
stands out from other sites because of its thorough selection of car seats, strollers, and health and safety gear that work especially well for traveling families. There's even an assortment of pet-travel products for your other baby, plus useful advice and information on subjects like major airline policies regarding children and airports with areas for kids to play.
The New Parents Guide
has a state-by-state directory of baby equipment rental companies, as well as information on companies in Canada, Mexico, Europe, South Africa, and more.
For older kids ...
, written by father and music aficionado Stefan Shepherd, has developed a loyal following among parents who want to enjoy music along with their kids instead of just tolerating it. Look here for fun suggestions for music for your trip.
offers countless creative idea for keeping kids busy in the car, from games you've probably thought of yourself (the license plate game) to more unique suggestions, like renting/downloading classic radio broadcasts. There are also suggestions for entertaining babies and toddlers on the road, and articles written by moms on topics like traveling with kids with disabilities and flying tips.
is a blog created in October, 2007 that has already amassed a sizable chunk of travel editorial content. This page outlines 27 free games to play with kids on road trips; most games require nothing more than creativity, memory, and car widows to look out of.
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