Holidays aren't complete without the ones we love. If your family lives near, everyone will probably gather at a central location to celebrate. If you have family out of town, travel will more than likely be apart of your plans. Traveling with kids during the holiday season can seem pretty complicated, but it's totally doable! Use these 7 ways to survive holiday travel with the family and you'll be able to look forward to your time of story-telling, sweet treats, and laughter with your loved ones.
Departure time is more important than one would think. It's the difference between arriving at your destination feeling good about your travel or dreading the return trip before it begins! For us, traveling on earlier flights works well because the children are still tired and are more likely to go back to sleep during the flight. When driving, we usually plan to leave out in the evening time, right after brushing their teeth and getting pjs on. Our goal is to get them settled in so that once all the excitement wears off; they'll be ready to fall asleep. Notice a common thread here??? SLEEP! Find what works best for your family and then work it! :)
If you are planning to fly to your destination for the holidays, know that there will be thousands of other people doing the same thing. Book your flight in advance and save yourself the headache of trying find flights with available seats. This will also save you money, as ticket prices rise the closer to the holiday. If you will not be staying with friends or relatives, make sure you reserve hotel room or other housing accommodations in advance, as well.
Stop tantrums and constant nagging before they start! Snacks are the key! The liquid, crunchy, gummy gold for parents.There will be plenty of opportunities where these little sanity-savers will come in handy. Whether traveling by car, plane, or train; be sure to stock up on some healthy family favorites. Your kids will be ever thankful... and so will you!
Books, audiobooks, games, mini activity centers, toys, or just crayons and coloring books will do the trick. It is such a help to have an activity for your child to help the time pass by. Depending on the age, they don't completely understand that you have to sit in one place for long period of time (rather quietly) in order to get to your destination. And if they do, believe me, it won't make much of a difference after a while. If you don't want to be the sole entertainment for the length of your journey - get the kids something to do!
There will be thousands of individuals traveling for the holidays, so plan to pack light. This is not the time to bring every cute outfit in your child's closet (or your closet, for that matter). You want to be able to move through the crowds with ease. Having minimum baggage to carry, check in, and wait for at the baggage claim is always best.
With all the late nights, special events or outings, extra treats, and people milling about; it may be hard for your children to stick to their regular schedules. Give yourself a break and choose not worry about it! Squeeze a nap or "quiet time" in when you can and let family members help. Don't worry. Before you know it, you'll be back home and on your normal routine.
From the moment you leave your house, make it a goal to enjoy yourselves. Whether your holidays are spent at home, visiting with distant family/friends, or exploring some new part of the world; delight in being together as a family. This is memory-making time, so focus on making ones that you'll remember for years to come! :)
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