Christmas is a super-busy time to travel, but millions of US families brave the rush each year to be with friends and family.
Indeed, in 2017, AAA estimated that 107.3 million Americans traveled 80km or more during the holiday period between December 23rd and January 1st.
It’s unlikely that it’ll be much quieter in 2018, but with a little prior planning, navigating the logistics of your festive vacation needn’t be stressful.
Here are ten Christmas air travel tips for happy families.
- Airport eats
Fill your bellies with brilliant food before boarding for a flying start to a fun time — find some useful information on this cnn.com guide to great airport eats.
- Kids facilities
Children’s play areas are manna from above when you’re facing flight delays. Confirm what’s on offer at your departure airport to plan ahead and prevent pre-flight boredom — forewarned is forearmed.
Creating a Christmas playlist with your kids is one of the best ways to get them on board for an impending journey. Select your tracks on Spotify.com and you’ll be jingling all the way to your destination.
Travel to the airport in your own vehicle to avoid packed public transport. Book secure spaces at any US hub from Seattle to Newark on airport parking comparison site Looking4.com and you’re good to go.
Who said you can’t exercise in an airport? Search for pre-flight yoga on YouTube and calm your nerves before heading off to holiday horizons. But for the sake of fellow travelers, don’t insist on donning spandex.
- Tech-free games
Don’t be stuck when children’s iPad batteries drain mid-flight — be sure that sticker books, Play-Doh and sketch pads are packed and sharpen up your ‘I-Spy’ skills. If you need to go old-school with kids entertainment, be prepared.
Take care of your own psychological health while travelling by downloading a mindfulness app like Calm on your cellphone — when everyone’s been a bit antsy, plug your headphones in for a blissful break.
- Adult coloring
If music’s not your bag, Amazon’s range of adult coloring books offers a calming alternative that’s more cathartic than you may realize. Just don’t beat yourself up if you veer outside the lines!
Matching family moccasins are a cure-all for Christmas cynicism — no one feels like The Grinch when their toes are toasty. Grab some Swedish moccasins in all sizes at mykonfetti.com and thank us later — they’re a way of life rather than a mere leisure shoe.
Last but by no means least, kitting out your entire fam in onesies is an excellent way to bond through festive fashion. Tipsyelves.com has a superb collection of these comfy one-piece rompers, but save them for wearing in private rather than on the plane — embarrassed kids would never forgive this fashion faux pas.
So ends our list of Christmas air travel tips — please add your own suggestions in the comments section.