6 Holiday Travel Issues and How to Solve Them to Keep Your Family Happy
Wasn’t it just yesterday that our eager little learners headed back to school? It feels like it! Yet, here we are shifting the topic to the holidays already. And while we can’t pretend to contain our excitement for family time, baking, tree decorating, and presents for our mini-mes, we’d be naive to think that the holidays are without stress.
In fact, the holiday season can be one of the most stressful times of the year—especially if you’re planning to travel. But, not to fear! The Tripbound team is here to give the tips you need to be prepared to face any travel issue head-on and keep your travel tribe smiling.
1. Traveling with gifts.
If you’ve done it before, then you know how big of a hassle it is to lug gifts around. Whether you’re loading up the car for a big road trip or trying to pack light for a flight, gifts are bulky and a nuisance when traveling.
And if you’re traveling to visit family, then you not only have all the gifts you got for your kids, but also the gifts for family. Oh, and how can I forget that it’s not a one-way issue. Whatever presents you leave at your holiday destination are made up for by the ones you have to bring home.
So, with that in mind, consider a few alternatives:
- Have your kiddos open their presents from you at home before traveling; this saves space, and it also gives your littles something new and fun to occupy their time during your travels.
- Ship presents ahead of time to your destination and have a wrapping party when you get there.
- Order online and ship to your holiday destination.
- Skip the presents this year. Use the money you would’ve spent on gifts for the family and pour it into your unforgettable holiday vacay!
Most of us like to travel—in the sense that we love exploring new places and experiencing new cultures. But, not many of us enjoy the travel part of it all. That is to say; we don’t usually find ourselves looking forward to the flight or the 20-hour road trip. So, we can’t expect our kids to either.
Being confined to a small space, a car or a plane, can bring about a huge case of boredom for our mini-mes. Not to mention, their worst behavior. This can easily cause us enough stress that, by the time we reach our long-awaited destination, we’re begging to check into a spa instead of volunteer for more family time. So, how do we combat the boredom and keep our kids focused on the end goal?
- Pack lots of snacks. Not just what you think their little mouths can eat…five times that amount. And make sure they’re the good ones. We’re not recommending that you hype your kids up on sugar before boarding a plane, but it might be a good time to bend the rules on your regular healthy snacks.
- Bring new toys or books. Either pick up a few small, fun things to occupy their attention on the way there (they’ll have other gifts to entertain them on the way home) or download a handful of movies they haven’t seen yet.
3. The dreaded “bug.”
It always happens, doesn’t it? We get geared up for a fun holiday vacation or a trip to see the family, and the sick bug finds one (or all!) of us. And being sick away from home over the holidays is just the worst because now you’re all trying to adjust to being guests (and maybe a new time zone) while combating the sniffles, fever, cough, and lord knows what else.
But, here are tips to keep that from happening this year.
- Start taking preemptive immune boosters like Emergen-C and zinc lozenges to prepare your system to tackle sickness now.
- Carry hand sanitizer and apply a dime-size amount to hands, rubbing for 30 seconds, every chance you get.
- Bring a pack of disinfectant wipes to wipe down your seat, tray tables, toys, blankets, and luggage used during travel when you arrive at your destination and again when you get home.
- Keep up on sleep. It’s tempting to rush out and see everyone you’ve missed or visit all the exciting attractions. But, rest is a huge component to your overall well-being. Don’t compromise it if you don’t have to.
4. Fighting crowds.
Everyone travels over the holidays right? Probably not, but it certainly feels like it. There’s a higher volume of travelers during this upcoming season than many other times of the year. So, you’ll want to keep that in mind when planning your trip.
- Pack early and pack light. Within reason, try packing light and taking only things that stay on your person when traveling. This way, you aren’t fighting the crowd and spending time checking your bags or waiting on the luggage carousel. Think about borrowing a pack ‘n play (or using the ones available at the awesome resorts we have access to) and car seat from family instead of taking your own.
- Have your boarding pass ready. Don’t waste time checking your bags at the counter and printing your boarding pass. Do it at home or have it cued up on your smartphone.
- Have a ride ready (hello, Uber, Lyft, or taxi!) or reserve parking.
- Use travel apps. Apps like Waze, MyTSA, and USA Rest Stop Locator can help you plan your trip around peak times and minimize stops if you’re driving.
5. Packing for different climates.
Winter months look very different at each location—even if they’re just a few hours from each other. So, it’s essential that you prepare for the temperature change. And when you’re trying to pack light, then it’s no longer as simple as taking a little of everything.
But, we know that packing light is easier said than done. So, here are a few tips to help you do it right:
- Pack light layers. Bring the basics you can use with different climates and a few accessories to layer on for cooler weather. But, be sure that you’re not choosing bulky fabrics as they consume more space.
- Minimize shoes. Try not to take a pair of shoes for every outfit, but instead one pair for each type of outing like sightseeing, church or formal event, and everyday throw-on shoes.
- Use travel organizers. Though you can only fit so much into a suitcase, luggage organizers are designed to help you maximize the space you have.
There’s no place like home doesn’t ring truer than when your little creatures of habit are having a hard time adjusting to their home away from home.
And there are a couple things you can do to offer them comfort:
- Bring along a familiar blanket. A familiar smell and feel go a long way to comfort when you’re longing for home. Pack a blanket and your own pack ‘n play bedding.
- Keep a similar routine. While this isn’t always possible, maintaining the same nighttime routine that you keep at home can help your littles peacefully drift off to sleep. Be sure to bring their favorite book and read it before tucking them in bed and turning on their sound machines.
We sure hope that these little nuggets of advice help ease some of your holiday travel stress and keep you and your tribe happy. But, no matter what woes your family encounters, we have full confidence you’ll handle it like the super mama you are!
Are you just starting to plan your holiday getaway trip? Be sure to give your BFFs at Tripbound a call at 1-888-816-5214, and we’ll match you with your perfect home away from home to snuggle into over the holidays.
Is your adventurous travel tribe seasoned at holiday travel? We’d love for you to share some of your creative solutions for holiday travel woes—comment below!