Between visiting friends and family or enduring a permanent change of station, the military lifestyle can require a lot of extra travel.
It’s not so bad when you only have to plan a trip for yourself. But the challenge can rise dramatically when you have a child or children to bring along. There are ways to avoid the potential tantrums, sheer boredom and irksome insomnia.
Here are a few tips to effectively manage and enjoy your travels with kids:
Prepare Your Kids
Preparing your kids for traveling goes well beyond packing a few snacks for the road. Depending on the location and your time frame, you can start planning for it all weeks in advance.
Parents tend to create a routine that eases their child into sleep mode, but before you establish a routine, consider how often you’ll need to travel. While a musical mobile may be an effective aid, it probably isn’t the easiest carry-on item, nor can you hang it from an overhead compartment. Consider a routine like putting a teddy bear to sleep, reading a story or singing a bedtime song.
Speaking of Routine
Avoid making a schedule if there are chances you’ll be traveling across time zones. Rather, establish a routine a young mind can follow—wake up, eat breakfast, shower, get dressed, etc. Kids can acclimate to a pattern and more easily adjust the time zone hop from California to Florida.
Prep the Picky Eater
If your child only eats peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches cut into fours for lunch, you may be in trouble when it comes to having to eat on the run or in a foreign country. Establish a sense of cuisine curiosity at a young age by introducing your child to a variety of foods including fish, beans and multiple vegetables. For tips to turn a picky eater, you can search sites like AskDrSears.com.
Wean the Tech-Savvy
You may go to some places that are without Internet, computer games or phone service. Before your child starts foaming at the mouth from Facebook withdrawals, you can gradually wean them off by allocating a day without electricity. Sounds tough, but you can make it fun with candles, flashlights and board games.
During the Actual Travel
Pack some Munch:
Bring Mess-Free Distractions
Photo thanks to Heather Poole via Flickr Creative Commons