It’s that time of year… Time to gear up for lots of holiday travel with your kiddos! As I write this, I’m overwhelmed by the thought of packing for our weekend with family, wrapping and putting together my son’s Christmas presents, and stressing about basically everything. So just know, you are *not* alone in your holiday overwhelm.
I know this time of year brings on a lot of emotions and stress, but it can also be a very magical time with your little ones and family. So, to take some of the stress away, I put together a little list of ways I make holiday travel a little easier for our family…
Stick to your normal routine/schedule
If you’re able to, stick to your normal routine (naps, meal/snack times, etc.). That being said, you know your child better than anyone! If you think they can handle a skipped nap or a later bedtime, then go for it! But don’t feel pressured to push your kid to their limit. If they need to go to bed, they need to go to bed. If they need to take a snack break in another room, take a little break and give them a snack and some quiet time.
Bring snacks… Like, all the snacks
Honestly, just bring any favorites that your child will eat. Having a child with allergies, we’re already use to always having “safe food” on hand, but during the holidays it’s always smart to bring some of your kid’s favorite snacks just incase they’re served something they refuse to eat. This will (hopefully) eliminate the added stress of your kids waking up early or in the middle of the night hungry.
On the subject of eating, remember it’s ok if all your child eats are diner rolls
I read somewhere that, “It’s not your child’s job to finish their plate during the holidays. It’s their job to make memories with their family,” and that really resonated with me. Of course, you want to try to give your kids all the nutrition they need. Just remember, you’re not a bad parent for letting them eat bread and butter for dinner for a day or two. (And your kids aren’t “bad” for not eating a full plate.) Give yourself, and your kid(s), some grace with this!
Bring a few favorite toys
I know you’re going to be gifted a lot of fun toys, but bring a few favorite books and toys for during travel and if your kid just needs a break from the gatherings and wants to enjoy something familiar/comforting.
Make sure you have all your nap/bedtime comforts
Everyone has their own sleep routine for their little ones, and I always make sure we have everything with us whenever we travel. Our top needs are a sound machine, slumber pod, and Jack’s favorite puppy stuffies. Sleep is very important for our family, so we never leave home without the essentials! If you want my full baby/toddler packing list click here!
Remember it’s ok to go to a different room or outside for some alone/quiet time
You know how family gatherings can be over stimulating as a grown adult? Think of how overstimulating they can be for a child. Remember, it’s totally ok to go into quiet room and read a story or play with a familiar toy you brought from home. Also, remember it’s ok for YOU to do the same thing! Wanna hang out in the room with your kid during nap time? Go for it! Wanna bring a snack into an empty room and enjoy 5 minutes alone. Do it! The gathering can carry on without you if you’re in need of a little break.
No matter what your holiday travel plans are, always remember to give yourself and your child grace. I always say that traveling with kids is totally worth it. But, like anything, it comes with it’s own set of challenges. I hope these tips help! Let me know if you have any to add in the comments!
Happy Holidays and safe travels! 🙂