Traveling with children will no doubt make for some lively stories to share at the end of the trip.
Grandparents love to hear about their escapades. But when youngsters are confined to a car seat or in a plane seat for more than five minutes, boredom can set in faster than the speed of light. At least if you are in a vehicle, you have an option to stop for a while to give everyone a chance to stretch their legs. Airplanes are another story. If you are able to keep your child – or multiple children – happy and entertained for two hours, you deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. If you achieve the same results on a flight that exceeds five hours, you should be awarded the Hope Diamond. Then you can sell it and buy your own plane to fly you on your next vacation.
The sad state of the iPad
The time to think about planning for their travel entertainment – as if you had all the resources of Disney World – happened long before the doors were closed and locked. As wonderful as they are, iPads can soon lose their magic. When did you think they would ever tire from that? Certainly not when you wanted them to put it down to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or go brush their teeth or take a bath. Or clean their rooms. But I digress. But now that you are cruising at 30,000 feet, they hate it because it doesn’t download as fast as their friends’ (fill-in-the-name-here-of-friend-with-perfect-parents).
On the road or up in the air
Somewhere in all the pure joy that you are experiencing while placating the dissatisfied child, you discover one, two or more of your offspring complains of a sore throat. When they turn down a soda, an Oreo that you unscrewed, or a French fry, you know they are serious. This may end up on the evening newscast as a breaking news alert. If there’s a fever (where is that thermometer) it may be a bacterial infection. Hopefully, your pediatrician can prescribe an antibiotic medication for your patient, which can be filled when you reach your destination.
If you are on the interstate, you are actually in a mobilized living room/kitchen. Except the entire family is strapped into a space smaller than a bathtub. Having fun is a priority, but safety tops the list.
5 safety tips if you are on a road trip
- Have a vehicle check-up before the trip
- Take an extra phone charger
- Keep a supply of drinking water inside the vehicle
(Note: Kids won’t drink it but at least you can check this off your list. It’s further proof you are a perfect parent).
- Remind all passengers to straighten their posture. If your children are older than 8, avoid looking in the mirror. Otherwise, you may see eyes rolling.
- Driver – stay off the phone
Making a digital photobook
Once you are safely at home, and people are speaking to one another again, suggest an evening to come together and create an online vacation book. Give everyone a turn to select their favorite photos. If there’s any money remaining from the vacation funds, you can get a jump on the Christmas rush and order personalized gifts for family.
When the items arrive in the mail, you can recall some of the wonderful memories you had on your vacation.