Travelling to spend Christmas with your relatives is always a major undertaking. You have to pack, buy everyone presents, manage the kids, keep everyone happy, travel, and, generally, do your best to get through an eventful few days. Planning ahead is a good idea. It can minimize stress, help get everyone’s needs met, and ensure everything goes smoothly.
Emily Graham from mightymoms.net has put together a few tips for us on how to make the trip to see relatives go as smoothly as possible this Christmas.
Check the weather
If you’re driving, check the forecast – the weather frequently plays truant during this time.
Managing kids’ expectations
Your kids may or may not like travelling to your relatives for Christmas. Having a talk with them beforehand is a good idea – explain to them the importance of tradition and how this is (likely) the only time of the year when everyone is together. Ask them to put some effort into interacting with your relatives, being friendly, and getting into the Christmas spirit (don’t forget to do the same yourself!). Try to make it seem like an exciting, fun event – and it will be.
Buying gifts is always a struggle – most people never know what to buy. The Zag offers several excellent tips: pick practical and durable over flashy; give gifts that solve problems; and focus on long-term value. You can find many meaningful, practical, and beautiful gifts in the Hippychick Christmas shop. If you’re buying hard-to-transport items, consider how you’ll get them to your relatives in time. Consider the value of getting them sent direct to your destination, which will also save on precious car space.
Food for everyone
If you and your family are picky eaters, you may need to plan everyone’s meals. It’s a good idea to talk to your relatives in advance about this and mention the “special dietary requirements” part to avoid offending them. Be prepared to go shopping for groceries or to help out in the kitchen (or both). Packing snacks and drinks you know your kids can’t live without is a very smart move.
You’ll have to pack many things – holiday essentials, special holiday clothing, gifts, food, travel documents, laundry bags, and much more. Making a packing list and ticking items off is a good way to ensure you don’t forget something important. Again, check the weather and pack accordingly. Packing light, if possible, will give you extra travel flexibility – lugging bags around is never fun. A portable high chair saves on space and is ideal for travelling, high chairs are often bulky but the Bumbo Multi Seat is an ideal all-purpose solution with an integrated tray that can easily be secured to a standard dining chair.
If your child is prone to bed-wetting, they’re almost certainly more likely to have an accident in a strange bed. Bring their own bedding to make them feel at home and invest in some waterproof sheets such as these fabulous soft and silky ones from Hippychick which will save any embarrassment – as well as the mattress.
Safety considerations while travelling
Whether you’re travelling by car, plane, or something else, everyone’s safety is a priority. Coach your kids on dos and don’ts during travel (and keep an eye on them at all times). If you’re staying at a hotel temporarily, don’t stay at the ground level, keep your luggage locked when outside the room, and lock the deadbolt when you’re inside to keep your family and belongings safe.
Managing travel stress
Traveling can be exhausting and stressful. You may need to help your kids stress bust and do the same for yourself. Playing games on the journey or giving your kids entertainment options (like movies or gadgets) can keep them happily occupied for hours on end. The adults can practice breathing exercises or meditation to stay calm and centered.
Doing your best to stay organized and planning in advance is the best way to ensure your Christmas goes off without a hitch. Don’t forget to enjoy your Christmas – focus on all the good things and you’ll find plenty of enthusiasm and energy for the journey ahead of you!