Don’t discount eliminating other sources of stress when traveling with kids. Stay on top of things and keep organized. Make a packing list and double check it before you leave. Get the car checked out by a mechanic before you leave to take care of any problems that might crop up.
Are you going overseas? If so, you have a host of things to manage. Plan ahead for passports and other important documents. Also, don’t forget to contact your bank to let them know you’ll be using your debit card overseas.
It doesn’t matter how you’re getting to your destination, food is going to be an issue if you don’t plan ahead. Meal schedules will be thrown off track. Kids may pick at unfamiliar foods, or simply won’t be hungry at meal times. If you’re flying there may not be a suitable in flight meal option, if there’s one at all.
Carry a variety of snacks to keep kids occupied and to prevent them from getting ‘hangry’. Cheese sticks, whole grain crackers, orange slices, homemade granola bars, grapes, and the occasional sweet treat will go over nicely. Consider personal bento boxes for kids who can be trusted to manage their own snack distribution.
Consider Relaxing Screen Time Rules
Lots of parents have pretty strict screen time rules. There’s a lot of great reasons to do this. It keeps kids on track with school and homework. It also teaches them to prioritize other things. These rules serve everyone well nearly all of the time.
At least they do until vacation time. Then things change. It might be a good idea to change some of the rules accordingly. During a vacation, kids are expected to sit for inordinate periods of time.
Parents spend much more time engaging with kids and keeping them entertained. Kids need a way to be quietly occupied. Parents need downtime to recharge. Sometimes, the whole family needs some time to occupy the same space without interacting with one another. An extra 30 minutes to an hour watching videos or playing games can keep everyone sane.
Make an Emergency Travel Bag
What will you do if the airline loses your luggage, or if you’re delayed in returning to your hotel for several hours? Imagine spending time hunting down toothbrushes, underwear, medicine, pullups, and other supplies in an unfamiliar place. Now imagine doing that while tired and jet-lagged.
When you plan your travels, think about what you might need overnight or for an 8 to 12 hour period if you had no access to outside resources. Depending on your situation that could be a change of clothes, food, needed medication, extra batteries for devices, or a credit card reserved for emergencies.
Your best day of traveling with kids will be amazing, your worst not so much. That’s okay! These tips will help you keep things on track. Stress free travel with kids is absolutely possible. It just requires sensitivity and pre-planning.