Taking the Stress Out of Holiday Travel With Children

It’s never an easy thing when you have to travel during the holiday season. Consider traffic jams, winter weather, delayed flights, and crowded airports. With new airline procedures and rules, fuel costs and the multitude of cutbacks found in airline service, you might even find things worse than ever this year. The addition of children to this equation could potentially make you reconsider your plan to leave home at all.Before you go ahead and cancel your plans, take a look at some of these stress reducing tips which can help make your travel plans that much easier to contend with.1) Make it a family affair. There’s no need to wait until all of the planning has been made to get your kids excited about your holiday journey. By involving everyone in the planning process, your children will more likely be more invested in the trip. You can easily give them their own tasks to accomplish: Have your oldest child help you search for the movie theater closest to Uncle Jake’s house, or have your toddler pick out the toys or books she wants to bring for the car ride to Grandma’s house.2) When it comes to packing your bags, keep things organized by separating clothing in clear zipper bags you can label with names and contents. It’s much easier to locate things when they are labeled “Dad’s underwear” or “Sally’s pajamas”. You can reuse the bags to hold dirty laundry on the way home. Remember to pack an extra duffle bag in your luggage if you intend to be bringing additional items back with you.3) Let the family know exactly what you’ve planned. Kids, especially younger ones, will feel more secure about your travels if they know what to expect. Some potentially scary situations for little ones could include security check points at the airport. If your children are made aware of how these situations are performed, they will feel a little less anxious about them. You may want to explain that yes, Teddy the Bear will have his picture taken on the moving belt, but he can be picked up again on the other side.4) You may want to consider scheduling a couple of extra days to your vacation time. It’s always prudent to have some wiggle room in case of unforeseen circumstances, such as weather, illness or other delays. This can also be helpful if your vacation time is focused on any of the major holidays. This step alone can save you both time and money if you don’t have to travel on peak days.5) Try and book non-stop flights to your destination when at all possible. This can eliminate lay-over hassles when you have children in tow. It’s much easier for a non-stop flight to avoid bad weather thousands of feet in the air than it is for them to land or take off in the same type of weather.While these tips might not seem to be earth-shattering things to do, you would be amazed at how much they can actually reduce the stress levels related to your travel experience. Just a little bit of extra planning and preparation can take care of many potential headaches, allowing you to enjoy your holiday as well.

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