Survive Holiday Travel with Kids in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! by VTech Mom

Traveling with kids during the holidays - just the mere mention of that can make almost any parent want to abandon all travel plans and hunker down at home for the holidays. Winter weather, delayed flights, squirmy kids who just want to know, “Are we there yet???” every 5 minutes. And, that’s just the first hour!

While we can’t guarantee your holiday travels will be worry-free, we do have 5 quick tips to help ease your travel troubles!

1. Time your travel.

If your kiddos are still taking naps during the day, try to plan your travel time during their typical nap time, knowing that naptime may shift a bit due to the excitement of traveling. Also, select non-stop flights to avoid getting stuck in airports and, if you’re driving, avoid potential rush hour travel. There are few things worse than being stuck in traffic and hearing, “Umm…I have to go to the bathroom!” from the backseat.

When possible, pad your travel schedule with an extra day or two for unexpected bad weather, cancelled flights, or sick kids.

2. Take breaks.

During long car rides (and remember, “long” can be entirely different for a 2 year old), plan for breaks along the way. Stop at a playground to let the kids run off some energy and for you to stretch your legs as well! Skip eating a drive-thru lunch in the car, instead, pack a simple picnic lunch you can enjoy together at a park.

Also, take a break from listening to the radio or watching movies in the car and play a classic car game together. Kids will love playing “I Spy” or the “License Plate Game”.

3. Pack a “Survival” Bag.

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or car, packing a bag with some essentials for kids can help keep travel fun for them and less stressful for you! Include some mess-free snacks, some favorite small toys or games, and an extra change of clothes for unexpected spills or accidents. Don’t forget to add any medications your child might need throughout your trip.

4. Comforts from home.

While traveling is undoubtedly stressful for parents, it can also add stress to the kids. Being taken out of their familiar environment or straying from their everyday schedule can cause them to worry. To help ease their minds, talk with them about where you will be staying and some of the plans for the trip. Also, pack along their favorite pillow or blanket from home to help give them a little “home away from home”.

5. Make them the map master!

“Are we there yet???” It’s the most dreaded question of any trip. This holiday, turn that dreaded question into a learning experience with the kids!

Print a map of your route for each of the kids with your start and end points clearly marked. Clip the each map to a clipboard and, with a crayon have the kids find different mile markers, cities or landmarks along the way. Not only is it a great opportunity to learn some map reading skills but, it allows them to see how far you’ve gone and how much further to go!

Whether your holiday travels have you heading across the country or just across town- you’ll find so many ways to create new memories with your family! Just take a deep breath…You’ve got this!