Before we get into specifics, let’s start with the basics. Emergencies aside, if you’re planning to travel with your bird, get the travel cage a few weeks in advance. This will give your bird time to get accustomed to the new cage. Also measure – measure – measure. Make sure it will fit in where ever it will be going car, travel trailer, family vehicle, motor home, commercial airliner, vacation cottage – just make sure it fits.We don’t have a flock, we have one small Indian Ringneck – Sunshine. Sunshine is 17. Catherine acquired him as a baby. He loves being with mom. We know about traveling with a bird. At home he has a 30 x 30 California cage (1), a large playstand (2) in the dining room and another playstand (3) in the kitchen. Every work day Sunshine climbs into his custom, 18 inch long carrier (4) and comes to work with us.We open the carrier, he climbs up his Booda perch in to his 26 x 20 HQ cage (5) and finishes breakfast. Afterwards he’ll walk back out via the Booda perch onto his King’s acrylic playstand (6). When he gets bored he fly’s onto his Prevue playstand (7) or his Prevue 20 x 20 wire cage (8) where he’ll stand so he can watch mom oversee the shipping of packages to our customers.We spend many of our summer weekends at a campground. When we get there he usually goes right into his 18 x 18 (9) Prevue cage. We modified our small travel trailer so the cage fits nicely into a closet where we removed the top of the door and provided a gentle light. When we’re outside the trailer, we have a large canopy/tent where Sunshine spends time in his 32 x 21 HQ aviary (10) under the canvas. He always has one side of his cage against a wall for his own privacy.If you’ve been following my notes, you’ll see our little 3 ounce bird has 10 cages and stands. We’ve never had a problem getting him into a new cage because 1) we don’t make of an issue of it and 2) he’s happy just to be with us.A travel cage can be metal, fabric or plastic like – rigid or collapsible. Because it’s a travel cage only makes it slightly different than his home cage. If it’s metal, bar spacing should be appropriate. If it’s fabric, the fabric should be durable enough and well designed to discourage chewing. Clear plastic cages allow for great vision but may be confining for extended travel periods. It may only have one perch instead of three or four. Make sure it’s comfortable on the feet. Stopping and starting in traffic should not cause your bird discomfort. A couple of small toys should be introduced to keep birdie boredom down. If you’re traveling by auto, keep the bird in the back seat away from airbags in case of “god-forbids.” Keep it strapped with a seatbelt to avoid sudden movement.If your driving at night, cover the cage, the intermittent glare of auto lights can be scary, especially if its after bed time. If you’re taking a road tip stopping at motels, find a place to put the travel cage where you bird can sleep with as little disturbance as possible through the night. We usually find the bath room counter to be the best spot, it’s out of the way and once the cage is covered, affords privacy. In terms of temperature, it’s simple – if your comfortable, your bird is comfortable. No hot cars with the window cracked or in front of air conditioners in hotel rooms.If traveling for the first time, we suggest a few trial runs before the big trip. Go to a friends, the vet or even just a ride, the bird gets accustomed to the procedure, travel process and change in general. If you let the bird out of the travel cage while in the vehicle don’t forget to put him back before any passengers open the door. Some birds don’t like to poop in their travel cage. This is a judgment call. Choose carefully where you’ll let them out to poop. You also may want to check out the nearest avian vet to your destination, before you get there – just so you have the info.Remember. birds in the wild are natural travelers. Larger birds will fly 50 or miles per day seeking food. Many migrate thousands of miles twice annually. It’s usually less of an issue for the bird than for you. Lastly, we know you love showing off your bird. Unknown places would not be the time to do it. Unscrupulous people may have ulterior motives. While traveling with your bird it’s no ones business but your own. Have a great trip.
Traveling with kids can be a very enjoyable vacation or it can be a visit through the land of insanity. Every parent searches high and low for the best kids travel tips prior to heading out across the great unknown with their darling children in tow. The constant banter of arguments in the back seat, one sibling repeatedly touching the other or the other siblings invading the “invisible line” of the other siblings side of the car, can continue until the parent’s eyes want to cross.Regardless of where you’re going on your vacation, chances are at least one of the kids will get bored along the way. That’s why it’s essential to have a variety of kids travel games in mind before you even leave the house. Being prepared is crucial. That way when your kids start shouting “Mom, are we there yet?” you can respond with something better than just “No.”Games of license plate and state sign alphabet are great for older kids that can read but the young travelers often find that they have nothing to do but whine and cry. The following suggestions won’t make the trip any shorter but they might make it peaceful.Scavenger Hunt:Here is a travel game that would delight older kids and younger travelers. You would have to make up a list of things to look for in advance. For instance, you could include things like yellow flowers, flashing lights, a hotel, a billboard with a picture of a car on it, a boat on a lake, or anything else general and relatively easy to spot.Perhaps you are going on a trip to somewhere you have been a time or two before, for instance to grandma’s house. In that case, you could make a specific list that includes items the kids will see en route while traveling. You could even make a little quiz with questions like “What’s the name of the town where we stopped at the rest area?”Kids Travel Tips Technological Highpoint is DVD’sTo beat the little rascals at their own games, it is easy to take control over the back seat while still driving the car. The most valuable kids travel tip is one that a parent can buy at any shopping mall or electronics store, the mini DVD player. The gift of silence is golden when traveling with young children on a long road trip. Even parents who hate the amount of television their children watch on a daily basis may find the idea of owning a traveling DVD player more palatable than listening to their children whine.Artistic Kids Travel TipsAs with all that is good, while on the long road trips with children, they will soon tire of the DVD player as well, so variety must be provided to encourage the tiny tots to get along with one another. As kids travel tips go, the arts and crafts shoebox is a project that can be made at home and left in the car for just such occasions.Creation is quick, easy and cheap. First, take a shoe box, a long piece of elastic, blank paper (cut to fit inside the shoebox), crayons, pencils, pens, small ruler, stencils and any other small items for arts and crafts that are child friendly for arts and crafts in a vehicle while driving. Cut two small slits (a bit smaller than the width of the elastic) in the lid of the shoebox. Be sure to make the cuts at each side of the width on one end only, leaving the length complete. Once the cuts are made, take the elastic and string it through both holes. Tie a knot or sew the two ends together on the inside of the box lid.The elastic works as a holder to keep the sheets of paper in place while your child uses the lid of the box as a drawing table. The box should be completely assembled when in use as the lid is stronger when on the correctly place on the box. The box itself holds all supplies inside, the art box is complete within itself; it provides, table, storage and security tab to hold art paper in place during the artist’s creative expression.Have fun traveling with your kids!