Many families have no choice but to travel during the holidays, if they want to see their family and friends. I have a large extended family, who live everywhere from down the street, to Alabama and Florida! Traveling with children during the hectic holiday season can be stressful but there are ways to manage the stress and make traveling during the holidays fun.
Last year we went on a 3000 km road trip from Nova Scotia to Florida, for Christmas. We could have flown, but wanted to make an adventure out of our holiday and see many sights, along the way. I also wanted to give my children a better idea of how big North America really is. I packed many games, videos, snacks and drinks for the road. The best idea I had to keep them entertained was the surprise bags I packed with small toys and games in them. I would hold out each day until the moment when I knew they were really bored or until we got stuck in traffic. At that moment, I would pull out a surprise bag, which would keep them entertained for at least another 1/2 hour. This really kept our time in the car enjoyable.
Packing entertainment is important, but so is planning for safety. Don’t forget to pack an emergency kit in your car if you’re travelling in cold areas. Make sure to have extra blankets and snacks in your emergency kit as well!
One of the best parts about traveling during the holidays, is that you get to see and experience different Christmas decorations and traditions, everywhere you go. We loved driving through all the different cities and seeing the lights and decorations. Arriving at night in St. Augustine, Florida was amazing with all the palm trees lit up. It was beautiful and so different from home!
Almost everywhere you go during the holidays, you will see decorations, but some places really go over the top, such as Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. It’s a lot of fun to try to see what different hotels and amusement parks do to decorate over the holidays!
Traveling during the holidays can really be magical for children, if you take the time to see local sights, or find Christmas events that are happening during your stay. Take a look at this fantastic list of the Top Holiday Lights Celebrations Across America, to find amazing light displays, and events, in different cities across America. I’m very proud that Boston’s official holiday tree is donated, as a gift, from my home town, of Halifax, Nova Scotia every year! I would love to visit the Polar Express, in Saratoga, NY or The River of Lights in Albuquerque, New Mexico some day.
Here is us enjoying a light display in the town centre of Sebring, Florida.
What are your favourite events in your state or province? Have you ever spent Christmas eve in a hotel?