Here we are again, folks. November. When pine green and holly berry red start creeping into department store displays. The inevitable looming in the distance: Holiday Preparation. And the truth for most of us is that with the twinkle lights and tinsel also comes a whole heap of hassle, especially if you’re traveling. Even more so if you find yourself traveling during the holidays with small children.
Luckily, the Internet is full of jet-setting, road-tripping, mastermind moms who have this whole holiday travel thing down to a science. I recently started collecting these little tips and tricks to not only keep your holiday travel anxiety at bay, but make it so easy you’ll be able to actually enjoy your family.
Here are 5 tips for traveling with kids this holiday season:
Two words: Amazon. Prime. Order any supplies you may need to your destination and have it greet you when you get there. Diapers, wipes, formula, baby food etc. can all be shipped the day you travel or the day before and will be there when you arrive. If you’re staying with family, you could even ship any Christmas gifts, tape, bows and wrapping paper to your destination to save room in the car or in your suitcase. Not an Amazon Prime member? Sign up for a free month trial at the beginning of December!
HOLIDAY MOVIE MARATHON
If you have a laptop, ipad, or portable DVD player and a library card … you have holiday movie marathon capabilities. Borrow or download all the Christmas classics you grew up with and join in the fun from the front seat. Pick up a couple CD’s while you’re at it and have a family sing-a-long to get you to your next stop a little more cheery.
BACK SEAT SCAVENGER HUNT
Make a list of things to find during your drive or during your layover. Maybe a man who looks like Santa, an evergreen tree, 5 red cars, a house with lights etc. First one to check everything off their list gets a special treat at your next snack stop.
MAPPED OUT STOPS
If your schedule allows, give yourselves time for coordinated stops to let the kids stretch their legs and burn off some energy. Track down some holiday themed stops like a tree farm to roam through the aromatic evergreen fields, a Santa stop or simply a locally owned coffee shop for a cup of hot cocoa along your route to get into the spirit of the holidays.
‘TIS BETTER TO GIVE …
Traveling can make tensions run high, and when it comes down to it, you’re only going to be as happy as the people that are surrounding you. Use a crowded airport to teach the kids the importance of giving during the holiday season. Pick up a couple boxes of mini candy canes at the dollar store and help them hand out the candies to airport workers, service men and women in uniform and fellow passengers at the gate. This may also help to smooth things over when your toddler has a meltdown 30 minutes into the flight.
Emily grew up just north of Cincinnati in Hamilton, OH and now lives in Western Hills with her husband Jim, their son James and their lunatic yellow lab, Rosey. Emily graduated from Xavier University (Go Muskies!), and is now a stay at home mom after working in marketing and promotions for local radio and TV stations.
Emily spends most of her free time visiting the manatees (James’ favorite) at the Cincinnati Zoo, shopping at local antique shops, or singing Beatles songs with James who typically just stares at her like she’s crazy. Emily hopes one day he’ll join in but for now she enjoys his giggles. She also enjoys photography and has quickly turned into a Pure Barre addict while trying to melt away the daily milkshakes she consumed while pregnant. So far it’s going well, but Skyline frequently gets in the way.
Emily loves to write and is looking forward to connecting with other Moms in Cincinnati while writing for Cincinnati Parent.