Stress Free Holiday Travel with Kids

Stress Free Holiday Travel with Kids
If you think stress free travel with kids is an oxymoron, keep reading.  We’ll have you laughing all the way in no time!

Getting to grandma's house may be a little more complicated than it was in days of yore, but there are still ways you can make it less stressful.

Try these holiday travel tips to make your trip more enjoyable.

1.      Planning Makes (Almost) Perfect.  A little bit of planning goes a long way when it comes to traveling with kids.  If you are traveling with children, have plenty of activities planned before you leave, to help pass the time for your "littles" while you are enroute.  We share more than 50 travel games for kids in this post. That ought to help take the bite out of "are we there yet?"

 2.      Keep Calm and Leave Early. Staying calm is easier when you give yourself plenty of lead time. Leave the house a little earlier than usual, to account for little surprises along the way...traffic jams, extra potty breaks, etc.   

3.      Expect to run into snags. If you plan ahead, and build in that extra time (as referenced in the tip above), you'll be far less stressed when you find yourself in a 20 minute bottleneck, or discover that your regular route has been rendered no longer a possibility thanks to road construction.

4.      Pack lightIf possible, ship your gifts directly to the recipients so you have fewer suitcases to wrangle. Try to stick with the basics when packing clothing and take plenty of items that mix and match with each other well. Some uber organized parents identify an outfit per day for each kiddo and pack those inside a zip-lock bag. This is also a great opportunity to teach your kids how to pack for themselves.  It's even more fun when kids have their very own luggage.

5.      Travel during off-peak hours. Early mornings, late nights, and the middle of the week may be less crowded.

6.      Start out well rested. You can manage everything better after a full night's rest. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep before your trip. Take turns driving with your co-pilot, if possible.

7.      Bring healthy snacks. Skip the fast food. A protein bar or a bag of homemade trail mix with nuts and dry cereal will give you more nutrition and energy. Cheese sticks and dried fruit are another option.

8.  Have plenty of water on hand to stay hydrated.  Did you know that dehydration can lead to crankiness? Yup! See Better Behavior in a Glass, for more information.

9.  Sing along the way. Have a family sing-along while you go.  Teach your kids your favorite carols or songs, or get a CD that will help pass the time! We like Raffi, Laurie Berkner, and Kiboomu (which can be downloaded as an MP3...yay! Less to pack!)

What are your favorite travel tips with kids? We'd love to hear them!


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