We’ve talked plenty about traveling with the youngest children. But it’s pretty easy to keep those kids entertained and in check — if you can do it at home, there’s a good chance you can do it while you’re traveling — but with older kids, from 11 on up, you have to start thinking of them as independent people with their own idea of what’s fun on vacation.
First, make things as painless for yourself as possible by having your older kids pack and tote their own suitcases. Not only does packing one huge suitcase run the risk of going overweight when you check your bags — or over stuffing to the point of not fitting in the overhead bin if you’re carrying on — but it also means they’re not learning how to pack their own things and be responsible for their belongings during travel. You could even make a checklist of things to pack. It’s a great family exercise.
And TSA rules like 3-1-1 — 3-ounce liquids in a 1-quart plastic bag, plus one piece of luggage — were created with kids in mind. It’s easy to remember and important to learn as they grow up in a world of post-9/11 travel.
Travel with growing kids can be very exciting and a way to learn new things about your children…just remember to plan a trip everyone will benefit from, and don’t forget to have fun yourself.