Whether you are traveling across the country on a plane or traveling a few hours by car, traveling with young children during the holidays gets rough. Kids are excited to get to the destination where there will be yummy food, fun relatives, and room to run around. Try to stave off the destination fever by getting them to enjoy the journey with some of these tips:
The biggest two complaints you are likely to hear from young children on a trip – of any kind – is that they are hungry and thirsty. Guard against too much whining by bringing a treat bag complete with salty snacks, sweet treats, sandwiches, and some treats for you as well.
Let the Kids Pack
Give your kids a little more control of the trip by letting them pack their own backpack with toys, crayons, coloring books, stuffed animals, etc. Whatever they want to pack, let them pack as long as it fits. You can make suggestions for variety but let them do the actual packing. You can let them help pack their clothes too. According to twokidsandamap.com, “letting my children pack their own bags helps with a number of things. Packing goes much more quickly for me. I am not digging through their drawers to find what they will need. Also, there is no arguing on the trip when it is time to get dressed.” Make a checklist of the clothing, so your kids know what kinds of things to pack and how many of each item.
Make sure you have a special surprise treat or a toy that you can introduce in the middle or toward the end of the trip – this gives your kids something to look forward to – other than the destination. If the surprise is a game or activity that is even better because it can give your kids something to do for the time you have left on your trip.
Along with your kids’ individual bags of toys, it might help to bring a separate bag of books, activities, toys, etc. that you can pull out at different stages of the trip. Whatever you do, stagger the release of things to do and eat. Don’t pull everything out at once. Introduce a treat and one book, a little while later pull out a new toy, etc. Stagger the release so that you still have new things to do and new things to eat throughout the trip.
Travel Scavenger Hunt or Bingo
Prepare a checklist or a Bingo board of typical things you see while on your holiday trip, your kids can keep a look out for the things on the list or the board and check them off as you go. You can work on this sporadically throughout the trip so that they are a continued source of fun.
Bags, Drinks, and Chargers
Some things you want to make sure you have on your holiday trip include:
- Garbage Bags – Keep your car or plane seats clean and tidy by bringing a lot of garbage bags.
- Ziploc Bags – You never know what your kids are going to find and want to keep – Ziploc bags are great for any and all last-minute surprise keepsakes.
- Drinks – Always carry an extra drink/water bottle in your purse. When your kids suddenly decide they are dying of thirst you will be prepared.
- Chargers – Don’t forget the car chargers for your phones, cameras, Kindles and other electronic devices. These can be another great way to distract your children before you arrive at your destination.
Prep your children by talking about how much fun the trip is going to be, focus on the trip as well as the destination.