Family travel can be stressful for all involved, parents and children. However, making the trip more tolerable often just involves being creative and using strategies to make the trip more memorable. Here are some tricks to making the next vacation stress-free.
1) Play Games
This often comes to mind for road trips, but it’s a wonderful way to keep the kids entertained during long journeys. Gaming devices or WIFI-capable smart tablets can be a great option for entertaining everyone. It’s also always a good idea to join in with your children when it comes to traditional car games, such as spotting other cars of a particular color or trying to find the unique license plates. Games keep everyone busy while also making humorous memories.
2) Be Prepared
It may seem obvious to many parents, but it’s sometimes easy to forget essential items for a trip. Being prepared for accidents or issues that arise, like hunger, can make a trip go much more smoothly. For instance, bring snacks, so stops aren’t necessary every few hours. It’s also smart to have items like wet wipes and a first aid kit just because you never know what unforseens a trip might bring. Even having extra phone and electronic device chargers will come in handy.
3) Have a Plan
Often the most memorable family travel memories occur when things go unplanned. However, it’s smart to have an itinerary in mind that starts from the moment of departure. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but knowing what stops you’ll likely make can make the travel itself much easier. Plans mean less stress on the parents and are less for everyone to worry about during the trip with order and structure to the events.
4) Dress Smart
Putting the kids in layers, especially if you’re going on a plane where the temperature can’t be controlled, is always wise. It’ll be too cold at some points, or too hot, and layers always allow for easy adaptation to the temperature. When the kids are physically comfortable, it’ll certainly lessen the chance of any arguments or whining. This also serves double duty in case there’s an accident. If someone spills juice on his or her shirt, then it’s an easy fix to reveal the clean one.
5) Nighttime Travel
If possible, try to plan your driving time when the kids would normally be napping or already asleep. Older children can be easily entertained, but if an infant is present, it’ll definitely work in your favor to drive during naptime. You may lose a few hours of sleep yourself, but it will make the ride much smoother if the children are quietly napping. It’ll also provide some parental quality time for adult conversations or simply for a peaceful car ride to enjoy.