Many of us find ourselves traveling during the holiday season. Whether we have to fly across the country or drive a few hours, the busiest time to travel is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Spending the holidays with extended loved ones is always special, but it can also be challenging to create your own family traditions with your little ones when away from home.
Don’t let traveling keep you from making holiday traditions with your kiddos. It just takes a little bit more intentionality, but creating those sweet memories are always worth it. Decide some traditions that are important to you and figure out why they’re important. Are they worth a little extra effort to implement them into your busy holiday season? If the answer is yes, then you can start your game plan.
Think ahead. My family travels during Thanksgiving every year. So any tradition that I do with my kids is usually done before we leave town. For the entire month of November, we do a thankful tree. We also do a Thanksgiving thankful book each year. These are easy ways to include traditions within our holiday season without worrying about being gone on the actual holiday date.
Include extended family. Another tradition we do is let our kiddos watch the Thanksgiving day parade. But since we’re at Nana and Papaw’s house when the parade is going on, they get to watch it with them. We also celebrate Christmas with my husband’s side of the family while we are visiting for Thanksgiving. It’s become a fun tradition to watch the kids exchange gifts and spend the day playing with their new treasures.
Be flexible. Sometimes it can be too stressful to fit in all the traditions during the holiday season. For example, we always visit Opryland Hotel to see the lights and decorations. There are some years when we just can’t make it before Christmas…so we go after. The lights and decorations are up for another week, and it’s fun extending that special day into several more special days. Plus, who doesn’t want to celebrate 12 days of Christmas instead of just 1? 😉
Get out of the box. Sometimes traveling during the holidays requires some creative thinking. Figure out special things you can do during the actual traveling time. One thing we do is wait to listen to Christmas music until we’re driving to Nana and Papaw’s home. Waiting to listen to that special music gives an air of anticipation and excitement when we finally hear those tunes. Maybe a stop along your traveling route can become a family tradition––like a fun restaurant or cheesy tourist exhibit.
Bend the rules. When we’re traveling during the holidays, I let my kids stay up late. I let them eat an extra helping of dessert and have a cup of soda at dinner. I let them watch more than one movie. I even let my youngest skip nap time! The point is, I bend my rules so they feel like they’re getting special treatment which makes for sweet holiday traditions and memories.
With a bit of creativity and flexibility, you can easily create some lifelong family traditions even if you’re away from home.