The holidays show a certain magic that is not often seen in other parts of the year. Houses decorated with lights, warm cookies fresh out of the oven, huge meals prepared together and fit for a king, and widespread smiles on people’s faces all help add to the magic of the holidays. One thing that takes away from that magic, though? Traveling. And even worse? Traveling with little ones in tow. But don’t worry. We’ve got some tips to help you survive those long flights and car rides on the way to Grandma’s house.
When flying with children, some flight attendants shared some of their experiences and tips for flying with the little ones in an article for parents.com that can be found here. One of them noted that the time of day chosen to fly really matters. Children are more apt to nap, and your flight is less likely to be delayed when choosing a flight at the earliest time of day it is available. These early flights are also known to be less crowded.
Another tip for air travel is to avoid unnecessary buttons, zippers, and laces in kids’ clothing and shoes. The restrooms on airplanes tend to be very small, so make it easy on yourself with easy up and down bottoms for little ones needing to potty mid-flight. Some flight attendants even recommend pull-ups for children who are past the age of wearing them just in case.
Of all the tips offered by the flight attendants in the article on parents.com, one of the biggest is to keep your composure. There will always be someone who is ready to complain about sneezing, giggling, and screaming from a child, and it is best if the parent ignores this and focuses on their little one. Some attendants even reported that flights have been rerouted when disgruntled passengers cause scenes over these sorts of situations. Just focus on the children and ignore any negative statements being made about your children around you.
If you are traveling somewhere that is not too far from home, and a car will be your vehicle of choice, there are some different tips for helping you get there and surviving the ride with kids. In a car, you will have more control and will be able to stop, get out, eat, and stretch your legs. And stopping will be a key to sanity. Make sure that both short and long stops are built into the trip, and be aware that if the trip took three hours pre-kids it could take double the time with kids.
It’s also important to be prepared for messes when little ones are in the car. Pack paper towels, wet wipes, and trash bags because spills are more likely to happen than not happen. Also be prepared to entertain your kids with music, movies, coloring books, games, and food. Many of the options on the road can be unhealthy so pack snacks that are on the healthy side to keep your kids fueled and not sugared up on junk.
Other tips for road travel with kids can be found in another parents.com article here.
Whether traveling in the air or on the road this season with your family, just be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Put in a little pre-planning for entertainment and snacks, pack their favorite blanket and pillow, and keep your composure no matter what happens.