Tips for healthy family travel

famiy packing car Family trips can be fun, but they can also be stressful. Ease the “Are we there yet?” time with these tips.

Get vaccinations, if needed. If you’re planning to visit another country, certain vaccinations may be required up to six weeks before your trip. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Travelers’ Health site at or contact your provider for more details.

Prepare your vehicle. If you’re driving, thoroughly check your car before your trip. Assemble a safety kit that includes items such as a cellphone, first-aid supplies, water, energy snacks and blankets.

Care for ears and tummies. Minimize children’s ear pain on flights by feeding young children during take-off and landing. Older children can chew gum for relief. If your child is prone to motion sickness in cars, discourage reading. Tell your child to look straight ahead if he or she starts to feel ill.

Keep children entertained. Bring along a bag of your child’s favorite toys and games. Encourage family travel games such as “I Spy.”

Store health and financial information in a safe place. Make a list of medical conditions, allergies and prescriptions to carry with your driver’s license or passport. Don’t leave home without your health insurance information and providers’ phone numbers. Likewise, don’t forget a credit card that could help you pay for a medical emergency. Store credit card contact information in a safe place (away from your credit card) while you’re traveling.

Double-check that the iron and stove are turned off, that doors are locked and the garage door is closed. You know you'll worry if you don’t know for sure!