Traveling with a family can be difficult, especially if your porthole out of town is O’Hare International Airport. Here are some tips to get your family vacation off on the right foot.
1. Use the skycap. Prior to your trip ask “what is my time worth?” The answer, on doubt, will lead to pay the extra $2.00 per bag. Remember that most airlines check car seats at no cost. Standing in line with a family is extremely painful and should be avoided at all cost. This process will also give travelers extra time to go though security which is needed when traveling with the kids.
2. Slip on shoes. Security is going to be the biggest hurdle of the trip though ORD. Shoes your children can get on and off by themselves will make the whole process easier and your family will not cause a traffic jam at the benches on the terminal side of security.
3. Avoid going through security with a bottle of formula or milk. All children’s milk or formula will have to go through an additional layer of security. Travelers can avoid this test by traveling with dry formula and an extra small unopened bottle of water or buy a bottle at one of the many shops in the terminal.
4. Snacks and security mix very well so long as the rules are followed. Saving a buck is on most travelers’ minds, this tip will help to avoid the $18.00 tap for snacks in the airport. Bring along snacks for the kids. Place everything from cheerios to goldfish in small amounts in zip lock bags. Containers are great for the planet, but they take up too much space in your bag. Juicy Juice makes small juice boxes that meet security standards, as long as they are unopened and in a plastic bag.
5. The unexpected flight delay can put any family on edge. O’Hare is not a family friendly airport – it truly caters to the business traveler for obvious reasons. Parents are left to their own devices to entertain their children during a delay. Keep a stash of new toys from the Dollar Store in your bag. The novelty of new toys is always helpful; however play dough will not pass security. If you don’t encounter a delay these surprise toys can entertain the children during the flight. When selecting toys be considerate your family will be sharing a small space with the general public.
6. The bribe. Early childhood experts discourage bribing children, but on vacation anything goes! A helpful tool is the “compliment from a stranger rule”. If your children receive an unsolicited compliment from a stranger about their behavior they earned an extra treat when the family arrives at the final destination. This treat can be as small or grand as you wish.
If getting there is half the battle these tips will give family travelers the ammunition needed to be triumphant!