It’s that time of year when many of us are starting to plan our summer vacations. Families with children need to make special preparations to be sure everyone has a stress-free fun-filled time. Here are a few tips for a successful journey.

1. If your child has a favorite comfort toy (stuffed animal, blanket, etc.), pack it. Even if it takes up precious room when packing, the entire family will get a better night’s sleep if your little one feels more secure in a new environment.

2. Let your kids take their own mini-suitcase or backpack with essentials (toys, games, books) which will occupy them when you have down time.

3. If you’re flying or traveling by train be considerate of other passengers. Most people aren’t able to block out the sound of video games being played, so bring headphones so that your child can play quietly.

4. Expect your child to behave appropriately when using public transportation. When possible, try to schedule flights during a baby or toddler’s nap time. Your fellow passengers will silently thank you.

5. Check out public parks and playgrounds in the area you are traveling to before you go. Allow for plenty of down time for the kids where they can play and explore.