If you’re traveling with children this holiday season, there’s only one secret to a smooth trip: planning. It’s all about being prepared for the unexpected. Whether its a 2 hour car trip or an 8 hour flight, I recommend having a game plan to keep the kids entertained and happy. If you were at home, you’d likely know what you’d be doing throughout the day; its the same for when you travel as a family.
So before you book that flight to Grandma’s, check out these simple tips to help you travel happy as a family:
- Talk Up the Trip
Traveling is exciting for the kids! It can be a whole new adventure for them. Sharing that excitement adds fun to your trip. Tell the kids where you are going and the funs things you have planned when upon arrival. You can even let them wear a special outfit since it is a special occasion. Believe me- nobody on the plane will care when your kid is dressed as Spiderman if it keeps them happy.
- Bring Activities
Not even adults like to sit in a seat and do nothing and this is especially true for kids. If you are flying, consider activities that they can do on the small table in front of them, like coloring or watching movies on a tablet. If you’re driving, purchase a lap desk so they can color and have a hard surface to play on.
- Pack Food
Even if food is offered during your travel, pack extra snacks. It may not be able during a time that is convenient to their normal schedules or, even worse, it could be a food they refuse to eat. Putting finger food in small bags, like pretzels or cereal, can make it easy for them to eat on the go.
- Be Ready for Anything
Pack wipes and hand sanitizer just in case the kids get messy and you need to clean them up. A change of clothes and extra diapers is also a great idea. Accidents will inevitably happen at the most inconvenient times, so be prepared for anything. Traveling with a kid who is being potty trained? Consider packing a portable potty too!
- Take a Deep Breathe and Go with the Flow
Kids look to adults in stressful situations. Try to remain calm when you’re experiencing delays, unexpected change of plans or even turbulence. Hopefully they’ll sense that you’re remaining calm and they will too.
I wish everybody happy travels this holiday season, whether you are traveling across the city or across the country. Planning in advance should help everything go smoother and keep a smile on your face! Then once you arrive, sit back and toast with a cocktail to successful day of traveling with kids.