You can use some tactics to make the holiday travel go smoother:
Allow Plenty of Time for Holiday Travel
This is a busy travel time of the year, as many families try to connect and unite for the holidays. If you can add a little more time on the front and back end of your trip, particularly over Thanksgiving and Christmas, you will avoid the crowds.
Consider taking an extra vacation day or two, and leave a little early. In fact, instead of rushing to your destination, you could make a fun stopover for some shopping in a new town along your route if you will travel by road. You will also probably save money if you are traveling by train or plane, as a bonus to avoiding the mad rush of travelers.
This will also make it so you are less rushed. Kids really pick up on this tension, and they react in kind with bad attitudes and temper tantrums. Kids don’t do well when rushed.
Plan Ahead for Holiday Travel
What are two of the biggest things you will do around the holidays? If you’re traveling, it’s that. If you’re traveling over Christmas, it’s getting Christmas presents for everyone. Save your family the trouble of being stressed about both packing and hunting down gifts by doing the gift-buying early.
- Buy gifts early and ship them directly to the person you will be visiting. That’s one less thing to pack.
- Buy gifts online, pay for gift-wrap and have them shipped directly to the gift recipient instead of taking gifts with you. Gifts can especially be a pain to fly with Christmas presents.
- If you followed the tip above, save some Christmas shopping for your arrival at your destination. That way you can enjoy a couple outings with the people you are visiting, and you can have a fun wrapping party one evening.
Keep Holiday Travel Calm
Holiday travel with kids is supposed to be fun, right? Right! Make sure it is. It can be easy to get so caught up in the fast pace of the season to forget to just enjoy it.
Make sure your plans include fun and relaxing things for the kids to do. Find a Christmas market, or take time to let the kids visit Santa in a new town. Give them some travel money to use to buy gifts and to buy themselves souvenirs from the trip. Let the kids take comfort and entertainment items along.
This is supposed to be a joyous season, so keep focused on that goal. Things will get crazy while traveling with kids over the holidays, but always keep that perspective in mind and you won’t get derailed from the spirit of the season for long.