Stephanie Sonnabend, Sonesta's president, shares these tips for traveling with children under 6:
1. Bring compact toys for children to entertain themselves with (on a plane especially). Good options include puzzle games, coloring books, music, books on CD.
2. Bring food and drinks for the plane. Have them drink or eat something on the way down to help keep ears unblocked.
3. Make sure you travel with a change of clothes for you and the children in your carryon so that if something spills you are prepared.
4. Bring snacks to each destination – you never know when your child will be hungry and if they will dislike the food at that location; crackers or Cheerios lessens the wait for food in restaurants.
5. Bring sunscreen and use it, even when it is cool.
6. Don’t forget to bring children’s medicine.
7. Playgrounds are great fun for kids; during long drives especially pull off in a town and head for the nearest playground. After some activity, your child may be ready for a nap.
8. Try to keep to your child’s schedule as much as possible, including naps and bedtimes; children do much better with routine.
9. Establish early on what are hotel and restaurant “rules”; these include: no running anywhere inside or at the pool; quiet voices, especially in the hallways; no crying in the restaurant (we would leave immediately, even if only temporarily).
10. Ask hotels about babysitters so that you may have some adult relaxation or activity time.
11. Do not over schedule; keep in mind your child will not remember any of the trip.