I bet you never thought you’d see that title on my blog! But heck, it’s summertime—a great time to change things up a bit. I’m going off the rails to present a guest post from my friend Daniel over at Dadsolo. Daniel is an adventuresome, single dad with two kiddos under 10. Early on he discovered a dearth of resources for single dads, so he decided to share, on a blog of his own, some of the tricks of the dad-trade that he’s picked up along the way. I can’t imagine life with two kiddos, much less vacationing with two kiddos, but Daniel breaks the task into five common-sense steps. Hope you enjoy this departure from my usual drivel. Don’t forget to drop over and see what other cool stuff Daniel has to say about single dadhood. Would you enjoy seeing more posts about single-dadhood?
5 Ways to Reduce Stress on Vacation When Traveling With Kids
Vacations offer a much-needed chance to relax. However sometimes, traveling with kids can be anything but. Even though children need lots of attention and assistance, that’s no reason you still can’t have fun! Check out some tips below on how to help reduce stress while vacationing with your little travelers.
- Plan Ahead
Before you hit the road, plan as much of your trip ahead of time as possible. Do your research on the area and create a list of things you would like to do. Having an itinerary will help you budget and save you the stress of having to improvise everything at the moment. To skip long lines and avoid impatient children, try buying any tickets in advance. Remember to share your plan with your kids as this will help set their expectations for the trip.
Even better, get your kids involved in the planning. By letting them invest in activities and learning about the location, they’ll be just as excited as you to get there. This will help you keep them under control as you travel to your destination. Lifehacker recommends letting them chose the vacation spot from a parent-approved list or let them pick a fun activity to do once you get there.
- Pack Smart
Do not save packing for the last-minute. Start laying out your clothes a week before you leave. Many parents like to utilize the zip-top bag trick where you pack each outfit in a 1-gallon zip-top bag. This way you can easily visualize how many outfits you have and this keeps all the clothing articles together.
Parents.com strongly encourages parents to pack familiar items from home for your kid too. This means items such as blankets or stuffed animals. Traveling can be stressful and confusing especially for young children, being around familiar objects will help put them at ease.
- Anticipate Needs
Accidents happen and spills can happen to anyone. Keep a spare change of clothes in your carry on for easily accessible outfit to swap your child into. If you are traveling with an infant, you may want to pack several changes of clothes for extra precaution and don’t forget a spare shirt for yourself.
It’s a good idea to keep a set of wipes and paper towels on hand as well for quick cleanup. If you are going on a road trip, create a designated garbage bag to keep trash from getting everywhere.
- Pack Snacks
Kids are notoriously picky eaters. Getting them to try unfamiliar foods can be tough and they get cranky when they are hungry. Avoid this by packing a variety of travel safe snacks that won’t melt or go bad in the heat. Super Healthy Kids recommends homemade muffins, granola bars, and crackers among many other tasty treats for plane rides.
If you’re traveling by car and will have access to a cooler, you’ll have a little more flexibility. Take advantage of the lack of restrictions to pack car-friendly meals to keep the family healthy and happy with PB&J, veggies with humus, sandwich wraps and protein boxes.
- Bring Entertainment
Sitting still for too long is bound to create a restless child. Do not neglect to bring an array of different games and activities to keep them entertained. If you’d prefer to shut out the sound, make sure you invest in child-friendly headphones.
Load up your tablet in advanced with movies and games. Install new material for them to get engaged and distracted for an extended period of time. If you’re trying to limit screen time, try creating a travel art kit. You can also provide them with puzzles and car games such as License Plate Bingo or I-Spy.
And You’re Off!
Traveling with kids can be a challenge, but worth it. Vacations are a great opportunity to bond and create lifelong memories. Keep those memories happy by planning ahead and preparing to travel with your child before the trip starts.
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