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Preparation is key when traveling with children

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A travel expert says with proper planning, the family vacation can be the best ride of your life. A travel expert says with proper planning, the family vacation can be the best ride of your life.
ATLANTA -

Traveling with children can be a trying experience for parents or grandparents. A travel expert says with proper planning, the family vacation can be the best ride of your life.

With seven children, preparing for a family vacation is no easy task for the Phipps family. They're going on a cruise but first they've got to get to the port in Orlando. So that means a road trip.

"I'm just praying that everything works out ok," said Sabrina Phipps.

Chris Dibling-West, owner of the Goddard School says praying is good, but planning is essential.

"Packing ahead, thinking through what the children need for the trip is key to a successful trip," said Chris Dibling-West.

West says it's best if each child has their own bag. She says use zip-lock bags to keep things from leaking or wrinkling and put all the shoes in one bag. She say's make sure you pack the essentials but don't overdo it.

"Take minimal amount of clothing, particularly if you're going to a resort sort of place because the children are going to spend an awful amount of time in their bathing suits," said West.

The car is probably the scariest part of traveling with kids. But Dibling-West says just adjust your expectations and give yourself plenty of time.

"Know that everything is going to take twice again as much time as you had anticipated. Plan to take frequent, frequent stops because you're going to need to whether you plan it or not," said West.

During those stops, let the kids get the wiggles out. Before getting back in the car, play a game. In the car, use electronic tools to your advantage. It's also a great time to interact with your children.

"Take that time to take your very favorite songs from your childhood and teach them to your children as you're riding down the road," said West.

Have a schedule handy, but remember it's a vacation so don't be afraid to deviate from your plans. Traveling with your children is all about the memories.

"People probably won't believe that all the kids went, but they'll have something to tell their teachers and stuff when they go back to school," said Phipps.

The rules are the same for air travel, especially concerning getting those wiggles out before boarding the plane. If you plan on using a hotel or cruise ship babysitter, remember to check their credentials.

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