Thanksgiving is next week and you planned a trip to visit family. If you are a mom, this means a lot of tasks and to-do lists. So far you have made arrangements for your pet, put a reminder to check in with the airline, and you are almost done making the list of things to pack. Traveling with little kids can be stressful, and even more so if it’s during the holidays.
Traveling is a lot for kids. An airport, with crowds of people, stressed-out people shuffling suitcases, can be overwhelming for kids. For some kids it can be anxiety-provoking, for some, it is sensory overload and dysregulating. Having to be seated for hours while strapped in and having your ears pop, is not easy for kids. Waiting on the passengers in front of you get their luggage requires a lot of patience and self-control.
Here are 9 tips to help make the process a little smoother:
- Take a deep breath!
- For first time travelers; explain and prepare; play it out, using figurines, stuffed animals, role play.
- Pack the entertainment; things like sticker books (Melissa and Doug have good ones), coloring books, dig in that toy box and find toys that they have forgotten about aka NEW toys (wink).
- Pack some of their favorite snacks – have them handy because a hangry child is no fun.
- Do not forget water (dehydration=cranky kid=stressed out mom).
- Dress kids comfortably.
- Do not forget a favorite blanket or stuffed animal for comfort.
- Make waiting times fun, play games: clapping games, I Spy, Simon Says.
- Tablet should be a last resort -try to leave the screen time for the movie on the plane.
The key is to keep them comfortable. Trust me makes your life a whole lot easier! Unless you are flying on that airline that gives families free tickets for having a crying children board!
Try to follow their routine as much as you can while visiting relatives. This will make it easier for everyone when returning home. Also, avoid late flights the night before school otherwise you can expect irritable, tired kids the next morning.
Safe Travels! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!