I have found myself on more than one occasion getting stressed out thinking, planning and packing for a trip. If you’ve ever traveled with children you probably know what I’m talking about. And with the holiday’s right around the corner many of you might be in my boat.
So here’s the top 10 family traveling tips I’ve learned while I’ve packed up my 3 little children more times than I can count…
10. Get organized… sooner than later!
Set yourself up to succeed! Start planning your trip to-do list early. You don’t want to be running around days before you leave because you forgot the car needed an oil change before your 500 mile trip.
Create a packing list to keep on hand. Shortly after my eldest son was born I was packing for a trip and kept forgetting what I needed to put into our suitcase. I had to go through my morning routine over and over so I wouldn’t forget something. I was so annoyed that the process was taking way too long. I went to my computer and created a permanent packing list. Life saver! Find it here.
9. Let your kids know what to expect and what’s expected of them.
If you’re going to be traveling via airplane and your children have never experienced it before, do a little role playing. Pretend to be at a security check point and have them put their bags and shoes into a “bin” and then walk through a “metal detector.” Or pretend to be the stewardess and take their “ticket”, help them with their “luggage” or deliver them their drink and snack.
Go to the library and check out a book about taking a plane trip. I used “We’re Taking An Airplane Trip” by Dinah L. Moche when I wanted to get my kids ready for their first plane ride.
Walk them through a situation that may arise during a plane trip and how they should handle it (ie. Take off and landing or when someone reclines their seat back into your child’s lap.)
If you’re traveling via car let your child know that you will have things to keep them busy and be stopping at a few fun places along the way.
8. Find some fun places to stop along the way- even if it’s at a McDonald’s play land.
7. If you can, travel during your child’s naptime or bedtime.
6. Have new activities or toys on hand
5. Stock up on your family’s favorite snacks and drinks and throw in a few new ones.
4. Stop by the library and grab a few books or books on tapes and cds.
3. Forget your “2 hour a day screen time” rule.
2. If you’re traveling via plane spend the extra money and choose the direct flight.
a. Something will happen unexpectedly and it’s not worth the added stress of a connecting flight.
b. Letting your children know that you’re at your destination once the flight has landed is worth it.
1. Relax and create memories!
Sometimes the greatest adventures create lasting memories and the simplest moments start family traditions.
What make your trips go smoother? Please share below!
Safe travels this holiday season!