Holiday time is right around the corner! For many of us that means travelling over the river, through the woods to Grandma’s or another family destination that requires packing and hearing a lot of “are we there yets?”. Whether you’re travelling by plane, train, or automobile, travelling with the kids can be stressful, especially when you add in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Worry not Smart Mamas! Here are ways you can make holiday travel a smoother ride for everyone.
Plan Travel Around Sleeping: If your holiday travel plans include a road trip, try to plan departure times for when the kids should be sleeping. This may mean you’ll have to take a power nap before hitting the road, but if you can drive while the majority of your crew is sleeping, you’ll eliminate countless potty stops and endless complaining. We would do this when leaving for summer vacation. Although driving through the night wasn’t fun, the silence from the back seat was pure bliss!
Technology Tag-a-longs: We all know kids shouldn’t have that much screen time, but let’s be honest, when you’re in the car for a long time we’ve all popped in a movie or handed over a video game or two…or maybe even three! If you’re on a plane, a tablet or other handheld device isn’t such a bad idea. If your child has a tablet, load a few books onto it. If your trip is long enough to watch a few movies it may be worth borrowing a portable DVD player or maybe even investing in one if you’re a road trip kind of family. We bought one and let me tell you it is a lifesaver on long car rides! Long car rides are a great opportunity for your kids to play educational games too. This way you won’t feel so guilty about having a little technology tag-a-long on your trip.
Medicine: Although you don’t plan on anyone getting sick while you’re away, you never know when sniffles or a mild fever may strike. There’s nothing worse than not having simple over-the-counter medicines on hand when you’re not in your element. Pack things like children’s pain reliever, a thermometer, stomach medicines (for adults), and anything else that may come in handy if someone isn’t feeling so festive.
Overpacking Toys: Depending how long of a stay you have planned and who you’re visiting, you may want to restrain the kids from packing the entire toy box. If you’re taking a flight or boarding a train, this is a little easier because you’re really limited as to what you can bring. It’s best to let your kids use a small backpack to bring along toys and activity sets such as coloring books, drawing pads, crayons, markers and puzzles. Your litmus test can be– If it doesn’t fit in the bag, it stays home. Although it may be tempting to bring along more if you’re travelling by car, keep the litmus test going with a few must have exceptions.
Overscheduling: Yes, there’s a lot of visiting to do with family around the holidays, especially if you’re out of town. But, try not to overschedule your family. If you need to set an alarm so that you make it to the next visit on time, you’re probably trying to do too much. Remember kids get tired and not to mention cranky when you drag them to too many places in one day. You get cranky too– admit it, lol! Space out your visits and you’ll avoid all the whining…or at least most of it.
Most importantly, remember it is the holiday season so you should be enjoying your time together as a family, even with all the “are we there yets?”. Happy travelling!