A Tight Budget Does Not Prevent a Glorious Vacation
There is a good reason the 1% of the world is only 1%. The majority of us do not have unlimited funds to vacation in whatever fashion we please, not even close. The fact is, we all need vacation to find the brighter side of life and stay sane, according to HealthNet. When planning a vacation on a budget, some special consideration must be given to maximizing what time you can afford to spend at your destination of choice, and how to minimize the costs associated with travel. Read more “A Tight Budget Does Not Prevent a Glorious Vacation”
The idea of flying with your child for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you’ve ever been on a flight with a screaming baby or rowdy toddler. But with the right preparation and tools, your son or daughter’s first flight can be a breeze. Here are six tips for easing the stress of your child’s first-ever airplane trip:
Dress your child in loose, comfortable clothing. No one can relax while constantly tugging at a tight sweater or bunching pants, especially on a cramped airplane, so make comfort the style for your child. Slip-on or Velcro shoes are a comfy, practical way to make security checks less of a headache. And think layers: changing temperatures from airport to plane can be dramatic, so make sure your child can bundle up and cool down as needed.
Let them have their own piece of luggage. Whether it’s a suitcase or a light carry-on bag, let your child be more involved in the travel process by putting them in charge of their own luggage. A kid-friendly option is a small roller with four wheel spinners so your child can push or pull their bag as needed. It’s a great way to give them a sense of responsibility and something to focus on amidst the chaos of the airport. Just be sure to keep an eye on both child and bag so no one or thing gets lost!
Pack plenty of snacks and drinks. The selection of refreshments at the airport and on the plane can be both limited and expensive, so pack your own. Multigrain crackers, dried fruit, granola bars and trail mix are all easy and healthy options. Juice boxes are easily packed but if you prefer your child stick to water, bring empty lidded cups or water bottles to fill. It’s also a good idea to pack gum to help ease the discomfort of rising and falling cabin pressure.
Bring a bottle or pacifier if traveling with an infant. One of the major reasons babies cry on airplanes is due to ear pain caused by fluctuations in cabin pressure. It can be especially painful if she has a stuffy nose. Give her a bottle or pacifier during takeoff and landing to help relieve the pressure.
Discuss security procedures with toddlers ahead of time. Though you may be a seasoned traveler, your child is unfamiliar with security rules and protocol. Have a conversation with him before heading to the airport about what happens at security check. Tell him about the neat X-ray machine his bag and stuffed animal will go through, making sure he knows he’ll get them back quickly and without harm. And those super cool Star Wars-themed sneakers he’s wearing? The security team just has to see them up close! Make it as exciting as possible, while retaining the idea that it isn’t a time to play.
Be active before your flight. Since you’re probably at the airport early anyway, use your extra time to wander around a bit. Help her burn off excess energy by going on an airport scavenger hunt together (items might include a purple suitcase, a dog/other animal carrier, an airline pilot, etc). Keep her busy until it’s nearly time to board. Best case scenario, she sleeps through the majority of the flight; worst case, she’ll get to explore a new place.
Your child’s first experience on an airplane could be the adventure they’ve been waiting for. Keep these tips in mind when the time comes, and you can journey through the skies with ease!
With summer just around the corner, many Iowans are looking forward to vacations in the coming weeks. For those with disabilities, traveling can be a little trickier, so it’s crucial to be prepared to make things run as smoothly as possible. Here are five tips for Iowa Travelers with disabilities:
If you’ll need any special equipment at the airport, call as soon as you confirm your travel plans. Call the airline and airport customer service as necessary to arrange accommodations for each of your days of travel. The more of a heads-up you can give them, the better. Call again a day or two before your trip to confirm your arrangements and make sure you’ll have all the necessary documentation you’ll need. If you face any delays or canceled flights, be sure to follow-up with the airline about making needed accommodations for your new plans.
Plan for any medications you’ll need to bring. Bring a few extra days of dosages so unexpected delays won’t put you in crisis. Pack them in their daily organizers as you would for any other week — vacations can be a lot of chaos and confusion, but taking medication should be as smooth away as it is at home. You may want to set alarms on your phone as reminders, as well. If you take a medication that requires refrigeration, call ahead to your hotels to ensure you’ll have access to a small refrigerator in your room.
Don’t underestimate the importance of luggage. Bad luggage can put a major damper on any trip, but especially one for someone who has limited mobility. If you’re flying, check your airline’s baggage number, size, and weight restrictions. If you’ll be driving, pack with the image of your bag sitting on your back seat. Is it bulky and falling over? If yes, lighten your packing.
Be prepared for inconveniences. Bring items that will compensate for rooms that aren’t as accessible as you’d hoped. Pack things like a backup shower chair and a collapsible reacher so you can make due as you have to without putting too much of a pause on your vacation if your room isn’t up to par. If you have any equipment that needs charged, bring backup batteries and power cords.
Looking to stay nearby? You have options! Traveling across the country or world can be quite the undertaking for anyone, so if you’re thinking of staying in-state, Iowa has you covered. If you’re looking for a relaxing day with nature, head to Dubuque to visit Eagle Point Park. With 164 acres of beautiful land overlooking the Mississippi River, your worries will melt away, and you just might even catch a glimpse of a soaring bald eagle. The park’s pavilions and picnic tables are on concrete pads, making them accessible to those of just about any ability. If thrill-seeking is more your game, Adventureland Park in Altoona has roller coasters, bumper cars, a sky ride, and much more. If it’s a particularly hot day, grab your swim gear and head right over to Adventure Bay. Both parks are family friendly and can accommodate your specialized needs.
Whether you’re going abroad or staying in Iowa, keep these tips in mind this summer. Traveling with a disability may not be a breeze, but it can certainly be easier! Happy travels!