For busy parents who never seem to get a chance to sit back and just take a moment to breathe, booking a vacation can act as that much-needed break from reality. While you as the parent may be counting down the days until you leave with sheer excitement, kids can feel a little different about the situation.
For many kids, the idea of traveling, especially if it includes flying, can be the cause of worry and anxious feelings. As a parent, it will be your job to identify that they are feeling a bit worried, and then use different techniques to help calm them down. To help you with the process, here are some simple tips you can use.
Discuss the Trip During the Planning Stages
While some kids may be perfectly fine with a surprise last-minute trip, others need time to let it sink in. For those kids, it’s a good idea to include them in the planning stages and talk openly about the travel plans from the start.
When discussing the plans, the focus should be on all the activities and fun that the destination offers. For example, maybe you are planning an adventure-themed holiday in Whistler, BC and plan to stay at the Blackcomb Lodge. While discussing the plans, it’s a good idea to point out all the positives about the destination. It will give them something fun to focus on, rather than worries.
You can discuss the skiing and snowboarding opportunities, the indoor pool at the property that the kids can enjoy even if the weather is lousy; all the cool shopping and restaurants just outside the hotel’s doors, and the Family Adventure Zone filled with activities and more. You are trying to replace their negative thoughts with positive ones instead. This technique is called “re-directing”, and it can be used any time they start to worry or stress out.
Think About Their Comfort While Traveling
Another tip is to put yourself in their shoes and think about what would help them feel comfortable while traveling. Maybe that would include bringing a couple of their favorite books, a tablet with their favorite movies pre-loaded on it, a travel board game, etc.
Lead by Example
Your kids look to you as an example of how to act and feel, so if they see you acting stressed out and frazzled, then they will feel they should be too. If you are the perfect picture of calm and stress-free, then they will figure there is nothing to get upset about.
Pack Medication Just in Case
While one can hope that all these techniques will be sufficient, the fact is that they may not work for every child. This is why it’s a good idea to pack travel medication just in case. Look for something that targets nausea and motion sickness which is meant for kids, such as Kids Gravol. These types of medication can often leave a child feeling a bit drowsy too, which can help them get through traveling.
Don’t Let Worries Hold You Back
Just because your child gets worried and anxious about traveling doesn’t mean you can’t go ahead with your plans. Instead, make use of these techniques and create a worry-free situation for all.