12 Days of Family Travel Tips: 4 ways to minimize stress on travel days

Okay, I admit it, as much as I loooove to travel with my family, I will confess that travel days still can be stressful. What I do, though, is get my game face on and take some action to minimize the potential for stress.

Here are my four travel tips to minimize stress on travel days:

1. Allow extra time and expect delays

Especially during holiday season, there are more people than normal traveling. And most of those people don’t travel all too often. There will be confusion. There will be delayed flights. There will be extra traffic.

So be ready. Give yourself way more time than you need. Believe me, it’s much better to be on the airplane side of security playing Uno, reading books or snacking and waiting a little longer, than to be in line wondering if you will make it through security in time to catch your flight.

2. Discuss expectations with your travel partners and kids, if they are toddler or older

Let your kids know what’s coming in the day and let them know what you expect of them. I find that the more I tell my kids, the better they tend to do.

Also, chat about who is going to do what at the airport if you are traveling with another adult. I usually do the talking at the check-in counter and at the gate (if we need gate check tags) whereas my husband is totally in charge when it comes to collecting our luggage or hailing a taxi.

3. Remember the basics: Get good sleep and don’t forget to eat

When I’m hungry or tired I don’t function all that well and I don’t think I’m the only one.

Plan to get your packing done in time to give you a good night’s sleep before a travel day. Help your kids to get good sleep, too. Plan ahead to fit in time to eat and pack hearty snacks just in case. Sitting on a runway for an extended period of time can be irritating. Doing so with a growling tummy is even worse.

4. Do your best to keep a good attitude and be friendly

Like I said at the beginning, I always get my game face on before every trip. Smile. Say “Thank you.” Let other people go first. Be your most courteous and try to give other travelers the benefit of the doubt. And remember, once all the traveling stuff is over, you’ll be right where you want to be for Christmas, or right back at home, sweet home.

Take it all in and enjoy the journey– you really CAN have fun on travel days if you want to….

Miss any days or want to know what’s ahead? Here are all 12 Days of Christmas Travel Tips on MomsTravelTales:

Day 1: One pep talk about family travel

Day 2: The two best ways to manage a time zone change

Day 3: Three reasons to consider a hotel staycation in December

Day 4: Four ways to minimize stress on travel days

Day 5: Five ways to be a gracious overnight houseguest

Day 6: Six ideas for pampering overnight guests

Day 7: Seven people to tip when traveling (and how much)

Day 8: Eight tips for international travel

Day 9: Nine secrets for a great hotel stay with kids

Day 10: Ten things to keep in mind when flying with children

Day 11: Eleven tried and true ways to beat boredom while waiting

Day 12: Twelve things I’ve learned about travel with kids

Want to know more than just travel?

Swing by any of the other 7 sites during the 12 Days of Christmas and here’s what you’ll learn: (And these girls know their stuff!)
Christmas Homeschool Fun: 1+1+1=1

Christmas Decorations: Songbird

Tips for a Healthy Holiday: The Thrifty Mama

Saving Money: Surviving the Stores

Christmas Recipes: Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Christmas Family Fun: Life as Mom

Homemade Christmas Gifts: The Happy Housewife

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