Summertime usually means a little travel time. Nothing can invoke stress in a human being more than the thought of traveling with kids. We faced that fear head on when our kids were young and forced ourseleves to travel. Sure, it hasn't always been pretty (we have some GREAT stories), but the memories are rich. I believe our kids are better for it.
How do we travel with kids?
1. Leave your inner control freak at home.
In reality, you can control very little on a vacation. A kid may get sick. A car may break down. The fact is you don't know what is going to happen. A vacation is not about controlling a schedule, but being TOGETHER. Don't ruin your time together by hovering over every detail and behavoir. Relax. Enjoy the experience.
2. The Judy principle.
When I was a kid, my mom had this philolophy that once we left the driveway we weren't going back. If we forgot something, we just buy a new one on the road! As soon as we are a few blocks from home the BIG GUY will say, "the judy principal starts now." It kills the frugalista in me to obide by this, but is has given us so much freedom. One year, we forgot the entire bag of clothes for ALL our kids. Whooops! Another time I forgot to pack swimsuits (...did i mention we were going to visit a water park?). We laugh and immediately pull into the nearest Target!
3. Plan EARLY. Start thinking about your trip months in advance. What do you need to buy? Buy it now and store it for later. Don't wait unitl a week or days out to plan and pack. Do yourself (and your spouse) a favor and plan ahead.
4. Two Pairs of Shoes.
When my son was 3 years old he peed his pants on vacation....with his shoes on! I only brought one pair of shoes for him. Since then, I pack 2 pairs of shoes for every child, because you never know!
When something doesn't go as planned, learn to laugh about it. Keep your schedule loose and your expections low. Have fun and enjoy each other.
What are your secrets to travling with kids?