With the holidays just around the corner, now is the time you’re probably planning a much-needed break away from work and the mundane day-to-day life. While you may be thinking, “how am I going to survive hours on end with my restless children?” a vacation with your little ones doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lose your calm.
Here are five tips to help you keep cool while you travel with your family.
One of the best ways to prevent holiday stress is to plan at a slower pace when you’re traveling with your children. Children typically do not do well with a fast paced trip, and a busy trip could heighten your stress levels as well. Don’t overbook on activities and take time to enjoy what you do have planned.
It will also help to prepare your children for what’s to come before you leave. Talk to them about the behavior you expect from them at the airport and on planes, or talk about long road trips if you’re planning on driving to your destination.
Allow Enough Time
If navigating a busy airport with kids gives you the chills, allow enough time to check-in, get through security, and board flights. Plan to arrive at least an hour before you normally would. This will give you and your kids time to run around and explore before boarding.
If you’re driving, allow plenty of time to stop for breaks during the drive so you and your children can stretch out your legs and get some energy out.
Hydrate and Healthy Food
Kids who are hungry or hyped up on sugar can be a nightmare waiting to happen. Try to keep your children well fed with with healthy fruits, vegetables and whole foods and hydrated regularly. It can be difficult to find healthy options for on-the-go meals so try to pack healthy snacks in your handbag or carry-on luggage.
Let Your Kids Pick
While it’s always a good idea to have a few child-friendly activities planned out, don’t plan out every minute of each day. Leave time for spontaneous activities. You won’t always be able to predict your child’s mood or energy levels for the day. Some days, everyone might just need to sleep in or lounge around the pool for the day.
Kids and teenagers love to give input and feel like they have some control over choosing activities for the day. It’s okay to leave some decisions up to them. For younger children, offer them a choice of options for the day to prevent a hectic day.
Physically memories are a great way to help kids stay engaged and amused during a trip. Keepsakes such as a travel journal, collection of mementos or a photo collage will help keep them entertained and they will be able to remember their journey as they grow older.