C-VILLE Kids! How to take a trip with a little one

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(Photo by Cramer Photo) (Photo by Cramer Photo)

One minute your baby is playing with the shiny bag of airline pretzels, the next she’s spilling a complimentary beverage all over your tray table. You can’t avoid every mishap when traveling with kids, but here are some tips for keeping the chaos to a minimum on your summer vacation.

KEEP YOUR IPHONE HANDY

Not sure where to start when it comems to iPhone apps for your kid? Here are three suggestions.

Pocket God

The player controls an island and its funny-looking inhabitants, solving puzzles to move to another level or unlock a feature.

Wordle

Beat the clock to make six-, five-, four-, three-, and two-letter words from one group of letters. Bonus: It’s educational!

iGun

Says one local mom (who wished to remain nameless), it’s not entirely appropriate, but, “If you’re driving in traffic and the person in front of you is a bonehead, the bazooka is semi-gratifying.”

Air travel

Think through security. If you have a small child, you can keep a stroller with you and check it at the jetway. However, the TSA folks may not always assist you in line, so consider using an umbrella stroller for easy lifting.

Pack a snack. Eating or drinking during takeoff and landing can help prevent ear pain. Also encourage your child to yawn.

Bring backups for your backups. When Charlottesville mom Kristin Clarens was headed to Aspen this year with an infant and toddler, her flight was delayed five hours before she was rerouted to another airport. Needless to say, having too many diapers and outfits was not her problem.

Road trips

Bring new gadgets. This is the time to splurge on new toys (or at least new downloads). Clarens’ 3-year-old daughter loves the iPhone, so the family never leaves home without a lineup of videos she’s never watched.

Play musical chairs. If you have an extra driver, spend time in the backseat with your child. A game of peek-a-boo or a song can help break up a long trip.

However you travel, keep in mind that the benefits often outweigh the hassles. “We’ve had some of our favorite family moments on the road,” said Clarens.—Taylor Harris

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