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Tips and tools for making traveling easier

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

On the go with ease

Whether traveling by plane, train or automobile, come prepared with tips and tools to help you avoid travel hassles.

Woman with airplane

Travel time

Try to schedule your travel during a time that is easiest for you and your family. If you have young kids, a long trip is sure to be riddled with potty stops, snack breaks and about 500 inquiries of "Are we there yet?"

If your kids sleep well in the car, head out just before their bedtime so the car ride will lull them to sleep — ensuring a quiet ride for you and your hubby and fewer stops.

If traveling via plane or train, schedule your travel for a time after your children are napped and fed so they are in good spirits — and bring lots of entertainment.

Before you get ready for a road trip, take your car for a checkup, get an oil change and fill your tank. And don't leave home without important documentation like your driver's license, bank cards, airline tickets and confirmation numbers for hotel reservations.

Know before you go

Before heading out on a trip, research the area where you are going to ensure you pack appropriately and you know the route to get there. Make any arrangements such as hotel accommodations or rental car in advance so everything is ready for your arrival and you can rest easy en route to your destination.

How to pack carry-on luggage >>

Mark your luggage

Nearly all black suitcases look alike as they are coming off the luggage carousel when you're really ready to grab your bag and get out of there. Distinguish your bag from the sea of luggage with a brightly colored tie or patch.

Be prepared

Before heading to the airport for a big flight, check the status of your flight to ensure it hasn't been delayed or canceled. Look up the latest TSA requirements to make sure you won't get stopped at airline security for bringing something illegal in your carry-on bag. Allow at least an hour to an hour and a half to get through airport security and to your designated gate.

Travel with kids — pack a kiddie carry-on >>

Travel entertainment

Bring along some good books or magazines for yourself, and don't forget some great travel tunes that the whole family can enjoy.

Traveling can be boring for even the most patient of adults, so think about how it feels for a child. Take this into consideration when you're packing a carry-on or travel bag and fill it up with lots of fun things for kids to do, like magnet tic-tac-toe and other travel games, coloring books, kid-friendly electronic games, and your tablet or smartphone fully charged and loaded with age-appropriate apps. Don't forget snacks, water bottles and a roll of paper towels for the inevitable spills.

Top 10 tablets for kids >>

More travel tips

5 Expert travel tips

How to travel with a toddler
Simple tips for road trips with kids

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