How can you reduce the stress that often accompanies family holiday travel? Here are SIX ideas to make your next family trip a superb one.
1. Check Baggage Allowances
Check your flights' luggage-weight allowances, which will change with every airline you use.
Pack for the flight with the most restrictions—baggage fees can quickly add up with multiple family members.
Check with hotels to see if they provide items such as playpens, to avoid schlepping them.
2. Bring Kids' Favorite Snacks
A necessary extravagance: your kids' one must-have snack. Some countries may not stock that rabbit-shaped, cinnamon golden yum-yum treat.
3. Slow It Down
It's easy to get excited and overdo it. Pace your trip with enough downtime for the family member who tires easiest.
The last thing you want is a tired toddler ruining everyone's time.
4. Involve Everyone
What's the goal of the trip? Ask each family member for the top three things they want to see or do, and make sure to include at least one of everybody's picks.
Get your children participating in planning the trip. If age-appropriate, let your kids plan at least one activity to do on the trip – maybe a sandcastle-building contest, or trip to a park, or seeing a sight from a favorite book.
If they’re younger, present pre-screened options that they can pick from. Those might be an afternoon at an amusement park or visit to the beach.
5. Dine at Family-friendly Restaurants
Get some family-friendly restaurant recommendations from your advisor and save the nice restaurants for when Mom & Dad leave the kids with the hotel sitter.
6. Build Pre-travel Excitement
Prepare kids for the vacation by reading books or watching movies and videos about the destination to build pre-travel excitement—but keep some aspect of the trip a secret to enhance the wow factor!
7. Prepare for Long Flights
A good rule of thumb for long flights: Bring a different activity for every hour to keep toddlers entertained. For overnight flights, change kids into their pj's and bring a favorite stuffed animal, so they feel as much at home as possible.