Travel tips to keep the kids happy on long holiday trips

WASHINGTON — Whether flying or driving, holiday travel can be stressful on everybody, and that is especially true for your kids. A local parenting expert offered some tips on how to avoid hours of kids putting on their own children’s choir during your trip.

Denise Stern, founder and CEO of Let Mommy Sleep, says the best thing to do for both you and your kids is to make sure you leave yourselves plenty of time for breaks or personal upkeep.

“Having lots of time to stop and let them run around and feed … To do those things comfortably, that’s going to pay off dividends in your travel time and sanity,” Stern said.

As for flying, Stern says you can’t arrive too early for your trip. The pressure of getting through security with all of your luggage intact is just as stressful for your kids as it is for you, especially when you’re in a rush.

“We don’t want to be dragging our kids behind us,” Stern said. “Making them run to keep up with us. If we stay on our toddlers’ time, we can help prevent those tantrums and meltdowns.”

In-air ear trouble is another cause of discomfort for children, and no one wants to receive stink eye from fellow passengers because the kids have been crying since takeoff. Stern says the best thing for ear discomfort is to give them something to chew on. For an infant, that would be a bottle or a pacifier, while a toddler or older child should get a piece of candy or gum to chew.

However you choose to travel, following these tips may help you make it through the holidays with your sanity intact.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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