No-Stress Holiday Travel with Kids

While You're Away

Factor in recoup time. Be prepared to lose a day after a long flight or drive. It's best to stick close to your home-away-from-home to let kids adjust to a new place and possibly a new time zone. If you do go out, keep it short and sweet.

Dine early. Your family may be more active than normal on your trip, which means the kids will be exhausted by the end of the day. Plan dinner for around 5 p.m., before they get too fussy or fall asleep. If you're going to a restaurant, be an early bird to avoid long wait times for seating and food and to save money.

Don't overdo it. When you're away from home, it's tempting to cram in as much fun as you possibly can. But too many people, parties, and activities can overload your child. Instead, focus on one big outing each day and schedule in plenty of downtime. This way your kids -- and you -- will avoid burnout and will return home from your trip feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Originally published in the December 2008 issue of Parents magazine.

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