Traveling with kids can be challenging anytime. When schedules are tight, like they are for Memorial Day weekend, parents need all the tips they can get. Here are some lessons I’ve learned the hard way, so you don’t have to.
How often do the kids go potty? Or, if they’re in diapers, how many do you need? At home, it’s easy to get into a routine and not really count. Before you get in the car, plan out exactly how many diapers or changes of clothes you may need. If going by plane, bus or train, consider how much packing space you’ll need for supplies. The same goes for snacks, toys, and special equipment, like a Pack-N-Play.
There are so many entertainment options now, compared to just a few years ago. With all our highway miles logged, I’ve found the best ones engage everyone. That way, the kids aren’t too rested or too bored, just when parents are needing a highway break. Old fashioned license plate games, singing together (my five year old loves “Ants In Your Pants,) or listening to music or audio books keeps everyone on the same page. I don’t recommend too syrupy, kiddie music. Being too annoyed or stressed at the destination won’t help anyone.
Put Yourself In The Kids Shoes
Memorial Day is a great opportunity for a teenager to visit Vicksburg or Gettysburg en route to the beach. It wraps up the school year, with a road trip for fun. But, for a preschooler, Memorial Day can be too intense, depressing or shocking. Even adults have difficulty balancing the barbecue with commemorating the dead. Make sure the activities are age appropriate. Create opportunities for younger children to play separately, while older kids witness some of the somber events.
Before I had kids, Memorial Day weekend could be jam packed. Now, I know to slow the pace down. The younger the child, the harder it is to interrupt schedules. While we will still get some time in the sand and the sun, along with a parade, I never forget how overwhelming it can be for them. What seems like an easy weekend for adults can be too much. Pay attention to their needs and reactions, and respond accordingly.
Memorial Day weekend can be the beginning of summer fun and vacations. With a few planning tips, you can kick off summer on the right foot. Remember both the occasion and the kids’ needs, and you should start the season off smoothly.