The holidays are an extremely exciting, but also stressful time which is compounded by holiday travel. Traveling with children can be difficult, frustrating and tiring, but this can be mitigated with several practical solutions. Here, the child education and development specialists at Celebree Learning Centers explain how to de-stress holiday travel with children.
Carefully Select Travel Dates
If possible, try to avoid traveling on peak days, such as the days before and after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This can help you to avoid delays, traffic jams and long waits, all of which can intensify your children’s impatience and frustration. If driving, use apps such as Waze or Google Maps to determine the best driving routes, and avoid traffic incidents.
Prepare Your Children for Your Journey Beforehand
Whether flying on a plane, driving in a car or taking public transportation, children are less likely to feel scared and anxious if they are aware of what is going on. A few days before traveling, explain to them where you are going, how you are getting there, approximately how long it will take and what to expect. For younger children, picture books showing kids traveling can help familiarize them with new modes of transportation. Airports—especially those with substantial security—can be an uncomfortable experience for children, so carefully explain to them some of the basic rules, and what they can expect to be asked to do.
Create a Travel Entertainment Kit
It is important for children to have ways to keep themselves occupied while traveling. These activities should be quiet, easily contained and able to be done for long periods of time. Children who enjoy art may appreciate a drawing pad and pencils or crayons. Books and audiobooks are an educational and fun way to occupy children. Handheld video games or tablets stocked with educational games and videos, may also be appropriate in moderation, while a favorite stuffed animal or toy can help keep children from feeling lonely or homesick.
Bring Snacks and Water
Hunger or thirst can easily compound a child’s travel stress. This can be mitigated by portable, healthy snacks, such as string cheese, cut fruit or veggies, whole wheat pretzels or crackers, and trail mix. Water should be the beverage of choice, as children will only drink as much as they need, which will prevent excessive bathroom breaks.
Provide Breaks When Possible
If driving, take short breaks at rest stops regularly. This not only allows the driver to refresh and refocus, but also allows children to stretch their legs and get some much-needed active time. If using a mode of transportation where breaks are not possible, such as a plane or public transportation, allow for time immediately after travel for children to relieve themselves of pent-up energy.
Celebree Learning Centers Wishes Everyone a Safe and Happy Holiday Season
Celebree Learning Centers extends holiday well-wishes to all of our children, families and friends, and hope these tips will help to de-stress holiday travel. As you are returning home, don’t forget to check out Celebree’s Twitter and Facebook, where we provide great parenting hacks and fun activities for the entire family to enjoy together. For more information about our educational programs for infants, toddlers, preschool and school-age children, contact us today!