With holiday travel a lot of people are headed “over the river and through the woods” but as any parent knows, traveling with little ones is an adventure all on it’s own….and by the time you actually arrive at your destination you already need a vacation from your vacation. Here are some easy and helpful tips to make sure your journey goes smoothly and you all arrive in good spirits no matter where you are going.
- Pick a Time That Works Best for Your Family Routine: Know your little one’s schedule and the most convenient time for your family to “get moving”. Some families are better leaving at night while the little ones sleep, while others are better hitting the road first thing in the morning. Also, keep in mind there might be traffic and/or delays depending on when you leave.
- Engage the Kids In a Physical Activity Before Leaving: When traveling, children are often expected to sit for extended periods of time. Have them run around before getting in the car or plane so all that excess energy is already expended and they can tolerate sitting still for a longer period of time.
- Leave Extra Time to Get To The Airport: Remember, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year. Make sure you have enough time to make your flight; but keep in mind, things always take longer
- Don’t Allow Tech Toys to Replace “Real” Toys: While iPads, smartphones and tablets are great ways to occupy travel time you should expect delays (in the car or the airport) and all those devices have a tendency to run out of battery. Make sure you have other activities readily available such as books, crayons, and small games (i.e., cards). When all else fails, there is always “I spy” and there are many items you can “spy” in a crowded airport or packed automobile.
- Bring Lots of Snacks: This may sound like a “duh” statement, but the key is to bring the right type of snacks. Avoid anything sugary to prevent from amping a kid’s energy level. Sugar highs are never good when you’re confined to a plane or a car.
- Listen to Audiobooks Together: This is a great activity that involves the
entire family. You can check them out at the library so it won’t cost a thing and it is especially helpful on long drives.
- Stick to Bedtime Routine: Obviously with any sort of travel, “routine” is interrupted. Don’t be stressed if nap time comes a little early or late, but try to your best to keep the kid’s on a sleep schedule. At nap time, quiet the conversation, put on relaxing music and pull down the window shade.
But most of all, no matter what “adventures” your travel leads to make sure you keep your sense of humor and enjoy the family time! Happy holidays!