November 19, 2012
Holiday travel often involved extended stays with family. How do you handle the stress of excited kids, rambunctious behavior, multiple generations and constant family togetherness? Here are our tips:
- Get outside (even if you have to bundle up). Go play football in the yard or hit a nearby park or hiking trail. Nothing burns energy like a crisp cool day running and playing at a playground. If the weather is bad, take a trip to a local mall, indoor putt-putt or movie theater.
- Bring along entertainment. A mix of new and favorite movies for winding down, toys, crafts – anything that will keep kids busy. Our road trip box contains an assortment of travel games, puzzles, play-dough, Habas bead kits, small crafting kits, beach balls, sidewalk chalk, stamps and more. The key for my kids is lots of variety – my standard is low mess. Your hosts will much appreciate the effort of bringing your own things. Be sure to bring enough to share!
- Set the ground rules and enforce them (no matter what the cousins are allowed to do!). No running in the house, no jumping on the furniture, no unauthorized hide and seek. Discuss with your hosts if certain rooms should be off-limits (for example, kids think nothing of playing in a master bedroom but your hosts might prefer they not!).
- Bring treats!
- Everything does not have to be a group activity – no one should feel obligated to go to a museum or park if they don’t want to – sneaking in a little alone time is sometimes crucial for a successful visit.
- Send flowers and a thank you note after the trip.
What are your tips?