Summer Travel Sanity Savers
by Deb DeArmond
“Not another fast-food hamburger. I can’t want that.”
“I can’t want that,” was our toddler’s saying. This time however, it came from my husband. We’d been vacation road warriors for days.
Traveling with our kids over the years was both a joy and a challenge. Three boys in close quarters could create a meltdown. For them—and me too.
Our best travel experience occurred when the boys were young teens. Snowstorms had cancelled flights across the nation as we headed home after Christmas holiday. My 80-year-old mother also traveled with us. God help us. It was a strangled prayer, but I hung on to hope.
After several hours, I begged the agent for seats. He took pity on me. “I have six seats, two are emergency row. The kids and your mother aren’t eligible. The remaining seats are scattered throughout the cabin.” I accepted them quickly.
Best. Flight. Ever.
My kids knew how to behave with strangers; they saved their best antics for us. They loved feeling like world travelers, free of parental units. Mom’s seat companion was lovely; they had a high time in row 17.
So, how can you get through long car trips, oversold flights and amusement park visits this summer? Here are a few tips:
- Put the kids to work. If the kids can’t carry it, it stays home—clothes not included. Backpacks are lifesavers. Fill with snacks, books and toys. Don’t over-pack clothing. Even a four-year-old can pull a kid-sized wheeled bag.
- Plan realistically. Visiting all the Disney parks in three days is crazy. It’s not fun for anyone. You end up exhausted, miserable and broke. Stay longer or plan less.
- Prepare to meet family. If you are seeing family members who are unfamiliar to your children, show your children photos of the family members and “introduce” them with stories before you arrive. Facetime calls are great too. Nothing hurts like the baby who screams when the far-away granny tries to hold him.
Try these summertime sanity savers this year. And bon voyage!
Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship and conflict resolution. Her newest book is entitled Don’t Go to Bed Angry. Stay Up and Fight! Deb’s books help readers, whether newlywed or long-time married, create the life God meant marriage and family to be. Visit Deb on her website: www.debdearmond.com