BOISE – With the return of fall weather and school back in session, many Idaho families start thinking about holiday travel, and AAA is sharing tips on how to keep your next vacation fun for everyone.
“This is the perfect time to firm up your holiday plans – booking now gives you the best options for airline tickets and hotel reservations,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde. “If you’re traveling with little ones, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your trip happy and stress-free.”
AAA recommends booking the first flight in the morning, because the airplane is usually already on the ground and waiting for you. If you book a later flight, any delays may cause a ripple effect that could disrupt your travel itinerary. Similarly, getting an early start on your road trip may allow sleepy children to go back to sleep while you log some drive time.
- Book at least regular economy airline tickets (also known as main cabin) to sit together on the plane.
- Download movies and shows on your mobile device ahead of time.
- Carry a backpack instead of a suitcase to keep hands free to help children at the airport.
- Bring snacks, coloring books, and small toys that don’t make noise to keep your kids entertained on a longer flight.
- Bring an extra change of clothes for little ones in your carry-on bag.
- Complete a pre-trip inspection before you hit the road. Check your battery, tires, windshield wipers, headlights, oil, and other engine fluids, or have these checked by a trusted mechanic.
- Pack an emergency kit that includes water, protein-rich snacks, blankets, a first-aid kit, a phone charger, flares or reflectors, and basic tools.
- If you have a large family or are meeting up with grandparents or other relatives, do some research to find hotels that offer adjoining or connecting rooms.
- Download the AAA mobile app to find gas stations, EV charging stations, hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, and points of interest along your route.
- Play license plate games and have singalongs to pass the time and keep everyone involved.
“The right hotel can make all the difference,” Conde said. “Amenities like a swimming pool, onsite dining, and close proximity to a venue or to loved ones will make your stay even more enjoyable.”
- Remember that some cruise lines cater more to adults. Select a cruise line that matches your family’s needs.
- Take advantage of kid-friendly activities onboard, including the kids’ club, where your children can meet other kids, play games, and do arts and crafts while their parents enjoy some time at the pool or spa.
To conserve space and prevent damage, it may be helpful to buy gifts online and have them shipped to your relative’s home or to your end destination rather than stuffing them into your luggage or the back of a car. “If you’re planning international travel, make sure that passports and other documents are ready well in advance,” Conde said. “And, as always, if you need help making your travel arrangements, a AAA travel agent can offer some friendly advice to help you make the most of your holiday adventure.”