Ah, summer is almost officially upon us, and the sweet sounds of the season are knocking at the door. “Mom! Are we there yet?!!!” “How much longerrrr?!” “I WON’T eat that, it doesn’t look like the food I eat at home!” And the ever-popular “Ladies and Gentlemen, our flight is delayed. We’ll have to wait on the tarmac a little longer.”
To help ease a little of the summer travel anxieties, we thought we’d compile a few tips that might allow you to be a bit more prepared and a little less distressed. After all, it’s your vacation too!!
THE ROAD TRIP
Check the car – It’s the most important element to your trip so have your car serviced before heading out. Consider wheel alignment, an oil change, checking your clutch and brakes, rotating or replacing your tires, and fixing any chips in your windshield. Also, make sure you have (and know how to get to!) your spare tire and jack, and bring along some jumper cables.
Map It Out – Plan your route and plan your stops. Sometimes, the kids are sleeping so soundly and the car is so quiet that pulling over to stick to your pit-stop schedule is not going to happen. So plan your pit-stop options in short intervals from one another so if you skip one, there’s another one not too far off. This will also allow for those panicked squeals from the backseat for a restroom stop. By planning this way, you’ll also help to avoid the ever popular “Let’s just pull off at the next stop and see what’s there” move.
Snacks Snacks Snacks! – Part of the fun of a road trip is all the snacking. Keep in mind that healthy food choices will give you energy and keep you aware, while too many drive-throughs and a poor diet will make you sleepy and could give you a slower response time. Avoid the messy foods (or foods that have the potential for a lot of cleanup). For example, yogurt requires a spoon and can be sticky if spilled. Juice boxes can be a nightmare when squeezed too hard, and too many fruits with seeds or nuts with shells will leave you ‘discovering’ discarded seeds and shells for days. Instead, opt for string cheese, pretzels, sandwiches, apple slices, bananas, granola bars, cookies, raisins, trail mix and energy/protein bars. Road trips can also be a great time to allow the usual junk food rules to slide a little, and allow the kids to eat those snacks that aren’t normally part of their healthy diet. A day or two of some junk food will not transform the kids into junk food addicts, and at the same time, you’ll be adding to the allure and excitement of the road trip (and possibly, future road trips).
Games – You’re all in the car together, you might as well share some laughs and use that time to play together. Fun for all ages are the classics: ‘I Spy’ or the ‘Alphabet Game’. In ‘I Spy’, one person finds something (“I spy with my little eye something that begins with the letter ‘M’) and the others have to guess what that object is based on the letter it begins with. In car trips, that might be tricky as you might drive past it, but set up some ground rules and it can last a long time. In the ‘Alphabet Game’, players take turns finding the letters of the alphabet in sequence from A-Z in the scenery around them. One person could find the letter ‘a’ in ‘car pool’ and the next person could find the letter ‘b’ in ‘call box’ and so on. It’s also fun to create new games or make strange rules or twists to the games everyone already knows.
Leave Enough Time – there’s nothing worse than arriving at the airport and seeing long lines of people at every turn (at check in, at security, at the restroom, at your gate…). Give yourself plenty of time to wait in those lines, peruse through the gift shops or stroll to your gate. If you are traveling with children, make sure they use the restroom or make sure you change any diapers before you board. You never know when you might get stuck on the tarmac or how long it might be before that “fasten seat belt” sign is turned off. Arriving early also affords your children the chance to exercise a little before the flight. Look for an empty gate for the kids to be able to run around, and, before getting to the airport, check to see if your airport has a children’s play area.
Two Words: Flight Delay – the dreaded words no parent traveling with children wants to hear. Unfortunately, flight delays are a reality, so it’s best to be prepared. If you’re in your seats, get your kids involved in some positive play with the people around you (how can anyone resist peekaboo from a laughing toddler?!). That way if your kids are having a difficult time later, you’ll have a little more understanding from your neighbors if they’ve seen your kids being cute. For a more peaceful flight, resist allowing your kids to eat sugary treats in an attempt to keep them quiet. It will only make them harder to manage later (stick with high protein snacks for example). And try not to let your kids see your frustration, they’ll pick up on your mood and it will change theirs. To keep everyone feeling light and the kids quiet, try playing a game with them where they have to create stories about why the flight is delayed (an elephant on the runway?!) or what they would need to pack if they were going to a different, exotic destination (an igloo in the carry-on for Alaska?!).
Stretch – on both short and long flights, it’s important to stretch and keep yourself well hydrated. If possible bring your own bottle for water and fill it at a fountain or just with ice, after you pass through security. This way you don’t have to depend on the flight crew. When you can, take a walk up and down the aisle and raise your knees to hip level to increase the circulation in your legs. If you’re seated, try rolling your neck in a circular motion (in both directions), making sure you pause with chin to chest to stretch your neck, shoulders and back. Still seated, and with your feet on the ground, slowly alternate raising your left then right heel, making sure you feel the stretch. Next, slowly alternate raising your toes, making sure you pause to feel the stretch with each exercise. Also, try rolling each ankle in a circular motion about 15 times, then in the opposite direction 15 times for optimum circulation. With your hands on your legs, try rotating your shoulders, making sure you count and match the rotations in each direction (15 forwards, 15 backward). For arms, try reaching for the overhead compartment with one arm for while keeping the other arm to the side of your body, making sure you remember to alternate, and then repeat several times. You can also make a fist and/or rotate your wrists while they are raised and reaching to optimize the exercise.
The one great thing you can depend on no matter where you are traveling to or how you’re getting there, is SilcSkin. Want to make sure you look great at that family reunion, wedding or weekend getaway?! Be sure to order the Decollette and Facial Pads ahead of time and wear them overnight so you can wake up in the morning feeling more beautiful and years younger. And bring them along to wherever your destination. They fit easily into your luggage, they don’t set off alarms, and they won’t be confiscated for being more than 3.4 oz of liquid or cream.
So now between making you look younger while you sleep and costing less than a lunch for two at the airport, let’s add that they are the easiest anti-aging treatment you could travel with. Reduce your wrinkles, arrive looking beautiful, looking younger and looking somehow… stress-free? Kind of makes you smile when you think about that vacation now, doesn’t it?