The holidays can be quite hectic. There’s decorating, shopping, gift wrapping and meal planning to do, plus there’s holiday events and parties to attend. If you’re planning to travel this holiday, you’ve more than doubled your to-do list.
But traveling to see friends or family over the holidays is surely worth the extra effort, and with a little careful planning, you’ll arrive with your holiday spirit still intact.
A long drive shouldn’t seem longer
If your holiday travel plans include spending a few hours or more in the car with your kids, you’ll need a plan to keep them from asking “are we there yet” before you’ve even left your neighborhood. Be sure to consider how often you’ll need to stop along the way, how you’ll handle meals and snacks, keeping them entertained and especially keeping everyone comfortable.
Meals and snacks
To avoid stopping for food within the first 20 miles of your trip, it’s best to start your journey after everyone has had a light meal. You should also plan where and when you’ll be stopping for food and breaks and discuss the plan with the entire family. This will help keep everyone from pestering to stop (other than emergencies) every few miles or so.
To get a few more miles in before your first stop, be sure to pack a few snacks to hand out along the way. But if you’re hoping for a fun yet calm atmosphere during your trip, it’s also a good idea to avoid sugary snacks, processed carbohydrates or anything with artificial coloring or caffeine, as these culprits can ramp up fidgety behavior and make kids agitated.
Instead, keep snacks on the healthy side by packing a cooler full of pre-sliced carrots, celery, apples and raisins. These foods have a lot of fiber to keep your stomach happy a little longer, and they also contain plenty of water for hydration. Although it’s also a good idea to keep water on hand for everyone as well.
Keeping them entertained
Depending on the ages of your kids and the amount of space you have in the car, let them be involved in what to pack to keep themselves busy. However, it’s a good idea to pack a few backup choices without them knowing, just in case they do get bored.
Comfort is key
If you’re driving with children for an extended period, it’s important that they’re comfortable. Loose, soft clothing is best, and shoes they can easily kick off are ideal. If there’s a special outfit Grandma was hoping to see them in, just make sure it’s easily accessible and stop for a quick change before you arrive.