Your getaway doesn’t have to be a headache — just follow these easy tips
By Jill Carter
It’s that time of year again. The kids are back in school and before we know it, the holidays will be upon us. The idea of going away with the family is always a good one; it’s the actual traveling that may induce emotional distress. Crowds plus kids plus holiday travel sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips to make things run a little smoother this holiday season.
1. Start with a list
Traveling with kids and over-packing are synonymous. There are a lot of things you’ll need to make your stay comfortable, but it’s also easy to overdo it. How many outfit changes does one little person need, after all? Make a list of necessities and do your best to stick to it.
2. Packing cubes are a must
I use them to keep items separated and organized. They usually come in a pack with four to five cubes. I use one pack between both my daughters. A smaller cube works well for underclothes, pajamas and socks. A medium cube works great for the rest of their clothes. Shoe bags are also great for, you guessed it, shoes.
3. Allow plenty of time for everything
We’ve all been in the midst of holiday chaos, especially at the airport. Throw in a couple kids and get ready for the meltdowns. Give yourself a break by getting to the airport early. You won’t beat the crowds, but the earlier you arrive the more time you give your family to sit down, relax and watch the people around you scramble. This extra time also gives kids a chance to move around the airport and get out some energy before the flight.
4. Embrace the art of a carefully curated carry-on bag for each kid
Whether it’s a flight or a road trip, this bag is perhaps the most important aspect of your trip. At my house, we have pretty rigid rules in place for screen time. When traveling, those rules go out the window. Whether it’s an educational game, or a favorite cartoon or movie, those tablets are packed with options to get us to our destination in peace. You should also pack books, coloring books, small toys, and the like. For younger children, this is a great time to surprise them with a new toy or book to go along with the favorites from home. Don’t forget chargers, portable battery packs and earphones!
5. Snacks are everything.
You’ve got your healthy snacks like fruit, string cheese and popcorn. Then you move to your fun snacks, like Goldfish, pretzels, graham crackers and fruit snacks. From there you get into your generally forbidden snacks — you know what they are! Live a little and drop a few of those in your bag to dish out either for good behavior or as negotiating tools.
Jill Carter is a local resident and author of the Fly Mommy Chronicles blog at flymommychronicles.com.