Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

Family Travel Takes Guts

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Today on Life Coaching with Sophie we talked to world traveler Marybeth Bond, better known as the Gutsy Traveler. She's been to over 90 countries, 6 continents, has ridden her bike across the United States, and is the author of over 12 books including Gutsy Women: More Travel Tips and Wisdom for the Road. So with the Holidays just around the corner, and the possibility of getting trapped in confined spaces with parents and siblings, we thought we would ask MaryBeth for her tips for surviving family travel. Here's what she said:

Plan ahead when traveling with children to keep them entertained. Pack a bag filled with crayons, colored markers, notebook paper and toys. Wrap kids' magazines and books up as presents and bring them out as soon as your kids put on their seatbelts.

Carry emergency rations for a long trip. Kids get hungry often, especially when they're bored. Tuck an apple, crackers, a granola bar, a bottle of water, and two aspirins in your bag.

Be prepared for the unexpected. Food spills can happen on your clothes anytime and anywhere – in the backseat of a car, on the plane or at Grandma's house during a holiday meal. Pack an instant stain removing pen, in your bag to keep you and your family looking clean and fresh for the holidays.

When traveling by plane, get your seat assignments when you make your reservations and confirm them a week before your departure to make sure you'll be sitting with your kids. Occasionally airlines switch planes and seating configurations can change or be canceled.

Presents, either those being given or received, must be unwrapped for security checks at airports.

Air Travel. Don't let anyone reading your id tags know where you live. They already know you're not going to be home for the holidays. Identify ownership on luggage tags but only with a name,   email – no home address please.

Leave for the airport early! On peak travel days it can often take an extra 30 minutes just to approach the terminal. It won't matter if you are in a bus, car or taxi, you'll need extra time just to get in the door. Lines at the security check may also be very long and move slowly. Pack your patience!

Avoid layovers whenever possible. If you do transfer planes, be realistic and allow time for unexpected delays. Trying to make a twenty-minute flight connection with kids is asking for chaos -- an emergency potty stop could make you miss a connection.

Under-plan your days and move at a leisurely pace so you and your family can enjoy the holidays without feeling constantly rushed. Plan quiet time or naps for the children.

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