Note: This week I will be re-posting two blogs. I feel that the topics covered will especially help families during the Thanksgiving holiday. See below for the second post. I’ll be resuming my posts next week. Happy Thanksgiving!
With the holidays approaching, I think now is a good time to start the discussion about traveling with your family. Many people know that Thanksgiving travel is the busiest of the year, and with the holidays and crazy travel come a mountain of stress. It is well worth the extra time upfront to gain confidence and control on the back-end.
The weeks leading up to your travel are the most important planning period. Getting laundry ready, snacks bought or prepared, deciding on luggage, and setting out all the things you will need are essential for a low-stress, successful trip. Make lists to help you remember who is taking what and in which suit case. Write down everything so that nothing is left or overlooked.
Check out this and other blogs and websites for tips and tricks to make your trip go smoothly. I will be posting links to great sites at the bottom and sprinkling a few in the blog as well. Ask friends, family, and school staff for help and advice regarding your child. The DadLabs site has tons of great video blogs about traveling with the kids.
If you are headed to the in-laws via car, you will want to consider several things. Keep plenty of snacks and drinks handy for the kids to have while riding. Make sure their seats and travel clothes are comfortable and can go the distance needed to get to grandma’s house. You might want to travel during nap or sleep times like early morning, late evening, or in the afternoon so that the kids are naturally tired and more likely to sleep. Plan stops along the way for stretching your legs, bathroom breaks, snacking, or running around. It is very hard for young kids to sit for long periods of time. Honestly, it is hard for most people. Incentivize your trip by giving them treats, money, or toys to play with when you reach certain mile markers, towns, or minutes. Check that all electronics are working properly before you leave home. Extra batteries, cds, and movies are smart to have on hand.
Traveling via plane to your destination is somewhat of a different story and requires some different planning strategies. Many experts say to travel early in the day. Planes are often less crowded and more likely to take off and land on time. Make sure your child has a good night’s sleep the night before your travel day. This will ensure your child is well-rested and well-behaved for the flight. It also allows them (and you) to better handle rough situations and chaos. Take snacks, toys, blankets, or whatever your child needs to feel safe and comfortable on the flight. Be reasonable with these items, ultimately you will be the one carrying your child and all the stuff they bring. If your child gets motion sickness, you should speak with your doctor about some possible remedies. I do not recommend self-medicating your child without the benefit of your healthcare provider’s wisdom.
Take the least amount of clothes and extras as possible. The less you have to carry and keep track of, the better. Bring a bib or two that covers your child during meals that you can easily wipe down. Jeans and dark-colored clothes are easily worn for a few days. Bring two pairs of pajamas in case there is an accident. One or two pairs of shoes should be sufficient. Remember that you can always buy things that are disposable, like diapers and wipes. Ask friends or relatives to borrow large items such as a stroller, crib/playpen, high chair, and car seat.
I encourage you to take some time planning your trip and considering the needs of your family. They deserve a vacation just as much as you do, so make it easy on yourself and enjoyable for them. There are lots of great websites out there that talk about traveling with kids and lots of great products that help parents. If you know a site or product from which others may benefit, please add it in the comments section below. I wish everyone safe and enjoyable holiday planning and traveling this season!
Sites that you will want to check out:
If you found these tips helpful subscribe/like/pass along this blog.