Despite record-breaking high temperatures, scientists assure us that fall is indeed here. Time for flu shots, leaf blowers and the annual holiday trip to visit friends and loved ones.
We at KidKraft think holiday travel is more than an opportunity to create fond family memories; it’s an essential part of growing up.
But all that hustle and bustle can also be a source of stress for parents. We’ve collected a few of our favorite holiday travel tips to help you streamline your trip and help you get the most out of holiday travel.
1. Let the kids pack their own bags
Are we crazy? A bit, yes. But we think packing for a trip is a great way for kids to assert a little independence, and relieve some of Mom & Dad’s work load.
Naturally, you’ll want to check their work when they’re done and make sure they actually packed socks and undies and not just toys and candy. Try making a checklist, letting your kids pack whatever they want, as long as they include the items on the list. To make it more enticing, provide them with fun, kid-sized luggage they can call their own. It will help them get excited about packing and travelling, and make them feel more independent.
2. Bring some toys, but not too many
If you’re a new parent, it can be easy to overpack entertainment items. Babies and toddlers certainly benefit from a few toys and comfort objects, but remember: this is holiday travel. You’ll likely return home with new toys and gifts. Make sure you leave yourself some wiggle room when you pack.
If you’re travelling by car, bring some toys for the ride. The kids will want some familiar toys to enjoy once they reach Grandma’s, too, but try to narrow their options to just a couple of favorites. Toys that can fold up or fit in a carrying case make great travel choices.
3. Bring snacks
Most parents do this anyway, but it’s especially important during travel. Road trips can stretch on forever if food stops become too frequent. A handful of grapes, apple slices or a cheese stick can do wonders for the mood in your car if the kids start getting hangry.
Flying may be faster, but no parent wants their child to be the fussy kid on the airplane. Keep in mind that short flights can still involve lengthy luggage check and TSA queues. Plenty of time for little tummies to start growling.
Kids always travel better with full tummies and empty bladders, so make the snack pack a consistent part of your travel routine. A small, insulated lunch bag is easy to pack and inexpensive.
4. Make it worth your time
Travelling with kids requires significant investment by the parents in terms of planning and preparation. Simply getting everyone out the door can take time. As a result, one-day trips or even short weekends are hardly worth your effort. The time you spend with your family is precious, so plan enough time to fully enjoy what you’re trying to accomplish together.
5. Don’t rush
When traveling with kids, it’s doubtful you’ll be getting anywhere in a rush. But just the same, try to remember that it’s not the destination that makes memories; it’s the time spent together with your favorite people, big and small. Often, time spent driving together creates memories every bit as rich as high-end amusement parks. Remember to take your time. Stay rested, slow down and enjoy the ride.