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Coping with Thanksgiving travel stress

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 13-11-2006

Family Driving

Thanksgiving—a time for tributes, turkey, and, well… travel. Thanksgiving is America’s busiest weekend for travel. It is, after all, a time of happy family reunions when people journey distances—long and short—to be with family and friends. But for parents travelling with young kids, the holiday spirit could be tinged with anxiety. Here are some tips to help you make your travel experience less stressful:

•    Plan ahead: Travel plans can always go awry. And when you are travelling with a bunch of kids in tow, they most certainly will. You can avoid a lot of travel stress by planning each step of the journey in detail, beforehand.

•    Beat the rush: Jammed highways, with traffic moving at snail’s pace is often an unfortunate reality during the Thanksgiving weekend. However, since the rush starts only by Wednesday, you can beat it by starting out a day earlier, on Tuesday. Another alternative would be to take a train or plane to your destination, instead of driving.

•    Take frequent breaks: If you expect your kids to sit straight through the ten-hour drive to grandma’s without complaining, you are asking for trouble. Ensure that you plan sufficient stops on the way, for snacks and to let the kids use the bathroom, for instance.

•    Keep them occupied: Kids will be kids. They are bound to get bored and weary. And they will react by throwing tantrums and being difficult. Your best bet is to keep them happy. Pack in a couple of toys, favorite books, and puzzles to help pass the time. Another way to keep them entertained is to engage in simple fun activities, like singing, reciting poems, or reading out the billboards on the way.