Soooo, let's play the pretend game. Let's pretend that on the morning you are supposed to get to Omaha, there is a huge snowstorm. You are on your stop-over in Chicago, and the big electronic board of Arrivals and Departures starts flipping to a long list of red "DELAY"s...and yup, your flight is one of them. You and the family are stranded, at least for a bit. What do you do?
It could be a flight delay, a flat tire, horrible traffic on 1-95, or a myriad of other things that mess up those well-laid travel plans. How do you handle the not-so-perfect trip? Freak out? Get mad? The number one thing to remember is how you react to a blip or blizzard in the road impacts to how your kids will react. Here are some ideas to just plain bad travel juju hits your trip.
-- Be honest. As you hit the fifth hour of waiting at the airport or in the crawling line of cars, and he kids begin to whine, "This is NO fun!", agree with them. It isn't fun. It isn't great. Be honest, but don't dwell on it.
-- Try to keep the fun going. Turn it into a mystery or adventure or a scavenger hunt. This helps for a little while. Make a huge list of things you need to find or play the "what if" game - what if that man has a mechanical monkey in his briefcase?
-- Keep your sense of humor and perspective. This isn't so bad, keep breathing, remember patience and the fact that every person, from the lady behind the ticket counter to the waitress at the diner to your kids, is dealing with their own "life stuff" right now. Don't take your "life stuff" out on them.
-- Get a mantra ready before you leave the house. There will probably be delays. Your kids may describe Great Aunt Lila's creamed oyster stew as "Something the cat threw up" right in front of Aunt Lila. The flight attendant may not have the warmest demeanor. No matter what it is that makes your trip not to great, have a mantra to keep you focused and from not flying off the wall.
Share how you handle travel stress...or when you didn't handle it so well!
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside