Bumps in the Road: How to Handle Itinerary Disruptions When Traveling with Kids

Bumps in the Road: How to Handle Itinerary Disruptions When Traveling with Kids

Posted by Alexander C. on 21st Apr 2023

Taking family trips is a worthwhile endeavor, but it’s never without the sense of adventure (planned or not). What used to be a fairly consistent traveling experience has been flipped on its head in recent years, with flight delays, outright cancellations, or extreme weather all impacting your ability to travel. With kids in tow, stress levels can heighten as their sense of direction is thrown off and as you and your family navigate these unexpected turns. Take a deep breath, embrace a positive attitude, and keep these tips in mind to get everyone through it in once piece.

Be flexible

Whether everything is going according to plan or it’s far from it, it’s always important to be flexible when traveling, especially with your children. Accept that things might not always go as planned and be ready to adapt to changes. Staying calm and focused in the face of unexpected events has twofold benefits: your kids will mimic your mood and stay calm if you are and will set a good example for your kids when things don’t go as they plan later in life.

Have a backup plan

Flexibility means you are able to pivot when plans change, wisdom is already having backup plans in case A, B, and C go wrong. In the days leading up to your trip, make a list of the biggest hurdles you may face: is someone prone to air sickness or needing a spare set of clothes, has the weather been clear at your departure and arrival airports, has the airline been canceling flights lately, do you know how to navigate the terminals in case your hour layover turns into a ten minute sprint due to delays? These are the sort of questions that take only a couple minutes to answer but will prevent you from hours of heartache and stress before what was supposed to be your relaxing vacation.

Communicate with your kids

Taking the time to communicate with your kids is extremely important, especially when they are somewhere completely new and ready for a sensory overload, like a busy airport. Take the time to explain the situation to your children in a way that they can understand and involve them in the decision-making process. Are you delayed a few hours? Present your children with two choices (that you’ve already thought of) like “do you want to get a snack while we wait or do you want to walk through the airport with me and watch the planes?” This will help reduce their choice anxiety and increase their sense of control in an unfamiliar situation.

Embrace the unexpected

While it may be tempting to get frustrated when things don't go as planned, try to look at the situation as an opportunity to explore and try something new. Your kids don’t know how it was supposed to happen, like an audience doesn’t know when an actor flubs their lines. Roll with it and keep it moving. Maybe you'll discover a new restaurant or exhibit that you would otherwise have run right past. Embracing the unexpected can help make your trip more memorable and you will all laugh at it years down the road.

Keep a positive attitude

Your kids will pick up on your mood, so show them it’s okay to be frustrated, then take a breath, calm yourself, be optimistic, and take steps together to improvise and move on. Try to see the silver lining in unexpected turns, and focus on making the best of the situation. At this point, there’s nothing you can do to make the plane arrive sooner or get back on Plan A, so all you can do is roll with the punches.

Unexpected delays or challenges are just a part of the travel experience, but these don't have to ruin your trip.With our helpful tips, you can handle unexpected events with ease and get to the fun part of your vacation that much sooner.

Best Sellers

Top selling kiddietotes this week

Customer Reviews