Your Guide to Stress-Free Family Travel

Experts (parents themselves!) give you their best advice for wiggling out of the inevitable problems you encounter when traveling with kids.
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So you've gone online to research a destination, find a flight, or book a room, and now you're ready to hit the road with the kids, right? Not so fast! Even a well-planned family trip can have bumps along the way -- your toddler has a meltdown on the plane or your hotel turns out to be not so kid-friendly. Don't wait until you're caught up in a stressful situation to find a fix. Check out these smart, commonsense tricks of the trade from seasoned travels who've been there and done that with their kids.



For eating on the go ...
Suzanne Farrell, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and mom of two in Denver.

Don't go overboard. When you're traveling, you're going to run into some temptations, such as chocolate chip cookies on the plane or at the hotel. Stick to your kids' normal eating habits when you can, but it's okay to give them a treat, especially if you balance it out with healthy choices.

Pack smart snacks. Food keeps the kids' energy up and helps prevent meltdowns in stressful travel situations. But you want the snacks to be as substantial as possible -- this means keeping sweets to a minimum. I like to offer goodies such as pretzels, cheese sticks, peanut-butter wraps, and a homemade snack mix made from whole-grain cereal. My 4-year-old loves helping me make it, too.

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