Holiday Travel with Kids
By Rick Chapo
If there were every two words that went together, they are "holiday and "travel". They can be a pain in the neck during the holidays if you travel with kids.
I happen to be a big fan of the Christmas televisions shows. I happily admit that I am still a fan of the Grinch, the island of toys and, of course, Rudolf. Alas, one can't help buy notice none of these shows make any mention of holiday travel. While we occasionally see Santa in his sleigh, he certainly isn't sitting in a depressing airport lounge waiting for a four hour flight delay to pass.
Holidays are a great time because they give you a chance to loaf. If you're traveling out of town to a family home, you can anticipate spending a few days of eating too much, sleeping a lot, watching football and pretending to explain gifts to a child while you are really playing with them. Everyone looks forward to these family gatherings.
Nobody looks forward to actually going through the process of traveling to family gatherings. Travel by airplane, and you have to sit in crowded airports, suffer through connecting flights, pray the weather doesn't act up and, of course, wedge yourself into a seat made for a super model. There is also that moment of apprehension when the plane is loading and you hope not to get stuck to "drunk guy", "gonna get sick guy", "cute, hyperactive child or an insurance salesman. All of these downfalls are multiplied when you travel with your kids.
Being a child is about having fun and exploring your surroundings. Sitting in an airport for 5 hours is not conducive to such things. The old Stapelton Airport in Denver used to have a giant waiting room that was painted in dark red. When the weather acted up, it was like getting a 10 hour preview of hell. As miserable as you might be with delays, your child will be ten times worse off. So, what do you do?
In this age of the gadget, there is always the video game. There problem, however, is there something disturbing about watching a child's eyes glaze over as he digitally kills monsters, other humans or whatever happens to be on the screen. One has to wonder what society will be like in another 20 years or so when these video game experts come to the forefront.
A better solution to your child's boredom would be to get them engrossed in something that actually helps their minds grow. Books are great, particularly the latest installment of Harry Potter which is sure to keep them engrossed for a few hours. Another option is to give the writing journals, and tell them to write down things such as their impressions of the trip, all the important things they experienced during 2005 and so on. Both of these options will keep them from being miserable as well as develop a skill other than pressing a button as fast as humanely possible.