By Kathy Borkoski, Chief Operating Officer TripSafe, Navy Veteran
Summer vacation is here! And with that comes family trips with planes, trains, and automobiles. As your trip gets closer, your kids are getting excited while you are already dreading the airport lines.
As a Navy veteran and co-founder of a company who specializes in keeping your family safe while you travel (TripSafe), I wanted to share a few tips that I use.
My two year old has been already been on 16 airplane trips, 2 of which crossed the Atlantic. During this mayhem, I focused on streamlining and refining my airport and travel procedures.
I’ve found the balance between cost and life-sucking time wasting in TSA lines.
Whether you’re a frequent family flyer or mostly a car trip family, here are 5 simple things you can do to make traveling a little more zen and a lot less ugh.
- Get TSA Pre✓. It’s $85 for 5 years. Yes, you read that correctly. For less than the price of a day pass at Disney for each family member, you can be in the super fast line where none of your kids takes off their shoes for the next five years.
- Have a picture of everyone’s birth certificate, shot record, and medical insurance card and a recent, clear photo. You don’t want to add keeping track of important documents to the long list of kid things you have to bring. Airlines accept pictures of these documents and most medical facilities will, too. If your travel requires a passport, that may be the only physical item you need. And the photo will be very important if someone small wanders off.
- Plan ahead for kid items. Many hotels have cribs you can use. Rental car companies have rental car seats. Some Airbnb’s are young, kid friendly and have all the gear you could need if you ask. Think through your entire trip for what you’ll need – from getting to the airport, flying, getting to the hotel and where you’ll be visiting. Play with different arrangements of the items you have and see which are the easiest to carry and pack. I carried a Pack ‘n Play with no wheels once and by the time I got to the check in counter, my arm was killing me!
Flying tip: strollers and car seats check free with baggage or free at the gate. If you check them at the gate, just make sure to get a baggage tag from the gate attendant.
- Don’t forget about safety and security. At home, I live by my baby monitor and we have every table wrapped up in soft foam. So when I travel, I bring a couple of cabinet closures (especially for an Airbnb), power socket covers, and a small video monitor with me. And soon, I’ll be replacing my video monitor with TripSafe. TripSafe is a portable security system with video and audio monitoring plus door stop sensors that keep toddlers from opening the wrong doors. Hotel doors are not ideal for locking in toddlers!
- Have a family rally point. We never plan to get separated, but sometimes it happens. Every place you go, have a place where everyone will meet if you get separated. For your littlest ones, consider a necklace or bracelet with their name on it so it can easily be announced in the store!
- Pre-order a TripSafe today! TripSafe is the world’s first ever portable security system that keeps your whole family safe so you can focus on fun. It won’t come in time for this summer, but you will have it in time for spring break adventures next year.
Hopefully, some of these tips will make your next vacation just a little smoother! Have fun and be safe on your next trip!