Travelling with kids can be stressful at the best of times. Travelling with kids at Christmas time is enough to seriously consider hibernation.
So much to plan and remember and all with excited children running around, jacked up on advent calendar chocolate and the thought of new toys to play with. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
With family dotted around the world, we’ve made enough mistakes, as well as nailed a few ideas that have helped us create these top tips for travelling with kids this Christmas. I hope yule find them useful.
How will Santa know where I am?
Okay let’s start with the big one. It’s actually a pretty clever question when you think about it; if I’m not spending Christmas at home, how will Santa know where I am? This is where your pre-Christmas planning comes into full effect.
If you know you’re going to be away when you and your children start writing Christmas present lists, you can add in a line to remind the big man where you’ll be.
If you’ve already written your letter to santa and didn’t tell him where you’ll be, then you can always fall back on the truth, which is that the portly old timer knows everything. Santa’s got a team of elves whose job it is to track where each child is in the world, to make sure that he gets his presents to them. That’s actually pretty creepy when you write it down.
Make a list
It sounds obvious, but making a list, and checking it twice, is actually a great piece of advice. There’s so much to forget even if you’re not travelling with kids this Christmas. Making a list that covers everything you need to remember to ensure that Christmas is special for your children is a simple but massively effective thing to do.
Keep up your traditions
How often have you heard, or said: ‘it didn’t really feel like Christmas,’ when someone asks you about your holiday? When I’ve said that, it’s been because we didn’t do our usual Christmas traditions.
Christmas is all about the baby Jesus, obviously, but it’s also about traditions. Keeping these up when you’re away from home at Christmas time will ensure that you get that warm feeling when remembering how you spent it this year.
We make sure that we bring our Christmas stockings with us, and stuff them with the usual Christmas tat, as well as leave Santa a mince pie and Rudolph a carrot.
If you’re staying in a different country, it’s always fun to learn about their traditions and what they do differently from you. We had a BBQ on the beach in Sydney and a pizza in Singapore on Christmas day once. Come to think of it, I’m not sure whether that was a Singapore tradition or not.
Bring decorations with you
This is all part of keeping up the traditions and giving the kids something familiar that they can relate to Christmas. We’ve brought some light and non-breakable decorations with us before, which have given us that feel of Christmas and home away from home.
Order gifts to your destination
If you’re staying with family, ordering gifts to their house will help with you with packing and also keep them away from peeking eyes. Difficult to achieve if you’re staying in a hotel. However if you give them a call or send them an email, some hotels will allow you to send parcels in anticipation of your stay.
What other tips for travelling with kids at Christmas time do you have? Let me know what I’ve missed off!