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Preparing Toddlers for Holiday Travel Situations

preparing toddlers holiday travel

With the holidays upon us, many families take this time of year to visit family or take other trips. If a toddler or small child is part of your family, you may be thinking about how to ensure they’re prepared and don’t have issues during the actual travel portion of this trip.

And while our caring staff at Smart Kids Development Center is here to provide child care programs and the very best care your children can get, few people on the planet have more experience with calming toddlers and young children than our team. Here are a few basic tips we can offer to parents this time of year on keeping their child calm and relaxed during various forms of holiday travel.

Car Travel

For those taking trips by car, a few basic tips:

  • Arrange quality nap setup: Many kids will sleep for most or all of a car ride if they are properly set up to doso. Make sure your child’s car seat is set up in a way that will allow for peaceful napping.
  • Bring along favorite toys and books: Having familiar items with them can help soothe children during travel.
  • Pack healthy snacks and drinks: It’s important to keep kids hydrated and fed during long car rides, and unhealthy snacks can lead to tantrums. Stick to healthy options like fruits, vegetables, and water.
  • Avoid over-scheduling: It can be tempting to try to pack in a lot of activities on a car trip in order to keep kids entertained, but this can often lead to meltdowns. Try to plan for some down time during the trip as well.

Air Travel

In other cases, you may be traveling by air to your destination. Here are a few tips in these settings:

  • If your toddler has never been on a plane before, spend the days and weeks ahead of time preparing them. This can mean things as simple as pointing out planes in the sky, explaining how airplanes work, or reading books about air travel.
  • Pack your child’s favorite toys and snacks: The more familiar items your child has with them, the better.
  • Arrive early to the airport: This gives kids a chance to explore and get used to their new surroundings.
  • Burn off energy in advance: Plan to take your child on a long walk or run before going through security and boarding the plane.
  • Pack activities and engaging items: Include coloring books, puzzles, and other activities that will keep kids occupied without causing a lot of noise.

No matter how you’re traveling this holiday season, these tips should help to ensure a smoother trip for both you and your little one.

For more basic calming and soothing techniques from longtime educators, or to learn about any of our child care programs, speak to the pros at Smart Kids Development Center today.