Although my kids are really experienced travellers, they are still kids. Quite young kids which I sometimes forget. Yesterday was a bad travel day for us. Here are my 5 tips to beat bad travel days with kids.
1. Take A Deep Breath
Travelling is stressful. Its also stressful for kids. Our bad days seem to be based on two things, my stress level and the weather. Yesterday was definitely a weather based bad travel day. In Memphis, we got wet everywhere we went. There were severe lightning storms and a lot of our kids activities were rained out. We arrived in Nashville and the same thing happened. You can’t control the weather and your kids will eventually learn you can’t make everything better all the time. Its a life lesson. Take a deep breath and hope tomorrow is better.
2. Help Them Ride It Out
Its hard to turn a bad day around sometimes. The worst thing you can do is get mad at your kids. Its not their fault. I spent a lot of the day giving out hugs, kisses and tickles. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes.
3. Figure Out What’s Not Working For Your Kids
It was pretty easy to see my kids needed some real outdoor time or pool time. When the sun came out, we ran to a park, grabbed gelato and just ran around and played. This made the day exponentially better than it could have been. Soon, the storms returned and we decided to head back to the hotel. They immediately started to get on each others nerves and fight which is very rare for my two. Thus, the hotel was not working. We got changed into dry clothes and went to do a scavenger hunt at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. I didn’t make them read the exhibits or learn about country music, instead we played on an indoor slide shaped like a guitar for over an hour. You will eventually find somewhere that will make them happy and feel like kids. Stay there as long as possible.
4. Let It Go
The kids and I have a tradition where we restart the day. When something just isn’t clicking, we take a deep breath together, close our eyes, count to 3 and pretend we just woke up and its a new day. The important thing is that you then commit to yourself not to mention anything that happened earlier that day. Essentially just like Elsa you need to all “let it go”.
5. Listen to Your Kids
You know when your kids ask to go back to the hotel or go in to a store or do something you absolutely don’t have planned. Its important to not always give in but on bad days feel free to just say yes. By dinner time, we were having fun again and had found a huge restaurant with line dancing lessons. The kids both danced for about an hour and then in unison asked to go back to the hotel. I’ve never gotten a check so fast in my life. We headed back on a happier note, got soaking wet again and immediately hit the sack.
Bad Travel Days
In the end, everyone has bad travel days. Kids included. Don’t stress too much about it and do your best to help them through it. You need to ignore that undoubtedly you are also having a pretty bad day and focus on your smaller travellers. Mine work up happy and excited to go see a friend of mine in Indianapolis, Indiana. That’s the great thing about kids. They don’t hold on to emotions and bad days the way we do. This blog post is my way to vent and share. The joy of it is once I press publish, yesterday will be just a memory we won’t discuss again.