With spring break summer vacation just around the corner families may be gearing up to head out of town with their children. While this is all very exciting it can also be stressful. Here are some tried and true tips to help it go just a little bit smoother!
- 1. Set Clear Expectations- wherever you are going be sure that the kids- and parents- realize what it will take to get there, what the sleeping arrangements may be, and head off the challenges that you can foresee (such as hot weather, long lines or extended car travel).
- 2. Arrive Early- one of the greatest stressors in traveling with children is how much longer most routine tasks take. So, instead of rushing around the airport and bathrooms breaks- leave plenty of extra time from when you leave your home and throughout your entire vacation. Try it and notice the difference that having time can make.
- 3. Don’t forget the fuel- that is food! Be prepared with plenty of healthy snacks and water as well as those special treats for when things get a little hairy and you need a lollipop to keep the peace for a bit!
- 4. Pack Smart- be sure that your child’s safety and security items such as blankets or stuffed animals are within easy reach so that you are not digging around looking for them. For the older kids, be sure electronics are fully charged, downloaded and operational and that there is a balance of non-electronic items such as coloring books, crayons and books to keep them occupied as well.
- 5. Share responsibility- have your child be in charge of some aspect of the travel experience such as carrying their own backpack, snacks, water bottle or luggage. Parents tend to try to do it all themselves which in the end can be more stressful than delegating age appropriate responsibilities.
- 6. Pack extra carry on clothes- there is nothing worse than dirty or wet clothes because of a sick kid or potty accident on an airplane and you have no extra clothes. Kids can have accidents or get sick not only on themselves but others as well so pack extra clothes or dress in layers.
- 7. Don’t forget medications- handy and easily available should be children’s over the counter medications and of course any prescription medications they may need. When traveling by plane, car or boat consider things like earaches, nausea, sun exposure, allergies or bug bites and plan ahead.
- 8. Last but not least... smile, laugh and have fun- Enjoy your time and travels with your children- embrace the chaos as part of the adventure and know that by doing so you will be more relaxed and therefore your children will be as well.