Smarter Living

Smarter Mom: Handling The Not-So-Perfect Trip
November 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM


Soooo, let's play the pretend game. Let's pretend that on the morning you are supposed to get to Omaha, there is a huge snowstorm. You are on your stop-over in Chicago, and the big electronic board of Arrivals and Departures starts flipping to a long list of red "DELAY"s...and yup, your flight is one of them. You and the family are stranded, at least for a bit. What do you do?

It could be a flight delay, a flat tire, horrible traffic on 1-95, or a myriad of other things that mess up those well-laid travel plans. How do you handle the not-so-perfect trip? Freak out? Get mad? The number one thing to remember is how you react to a blip or blizzard in the road impacts to how your kids will react. Here are some ideas to just plain bad travel juju hits your trip.

-- Be honest. As you hit the fifth hour of waiting at the airport or in the crawling line of cars, and he kids begin to whine, "This is NO fun!", agree with them. It isn't fun. It isn't great. Be honest, but don't dwell on it.

-- Try to keep the fun going. Turn it into a mystery or adventure or a scavenger hunt. This helps for a little while. Make a huge list of things you need to find or play the "what if" game - what if that man has a mechanical monkey in his briefcase?

-- Keep your sense of humor and perspective. This isn't so bad, keep breathing, remember patience and the fact that every person, from the lady behind the ticket counter to the waitress at the diner to your kids, is dealing with their own "life stuff" right now. Don't take your "life stuff" out on them.

--  Get a mantra ready before you leave the house. There will probably be delays. Your kids may describe Great Aunt Lila's creamed oyster stew as "Something the cat threw up" right in front of Aunt Lila. The flight attendant may not have the warmest demeanor. No matter what it is that makes your trip not to great, have a mantra to keep you focused and from not flying off the wall.

Share how you handle travel stress...or when you didn't handle it so well! 

© juliardi 


  • othermom
    November 15, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    I always figure there will be something to go wrong. We try to make sure we have extra stuff in case something does go wrong

  • bwsmommy
    November 15, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Im so glad the only thing we have had happen is a dead battery at the dr office .. so it wasnt a long time of being stranded .. but even then it was all about the games on the phone and the dsi's we try to keep with us .

  • kgmmw
    by kgmmw
    November 16, 2012 at 6:35 AM
    Me either

    Quoting mrswillie:

    I really haven't had travel problems

  • elasmimi
    November 16, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    We don't usually have bad experiences, (knock on wood). The worst I can remember was when we were flying from Tennessee to Alaska for my son's funeral, and there was a pilot "slow-down" just prior to a strike. We were stuck in Seattle for 9 hours, and had paid for first class. We finally got on a flight, but it was all the way in the back of the plane, crowded, people were already angry, and I just about had a melt down. Thanks to my wonderful, sane and calm hubby, we made it ok.

  • justins_momm292
    November 16, 2012 at 8:20 AM

     It's important to be flexible when traveling.  No sense in getting stressed over things you can't control.

  • lizzig
    by lizzig
    November 16, 2012 at 11:21 PM

     my best tip for handling travel stress?  don't travel!! ;o)

    our last few trips have been full of so many issues, mostly car, that i've decided it's not worth the headache or financial strain to travel.  that's why we simple stay home for the holidays & do things close to home for vacation.

  • LifeCafe42
    November 16, 2012 at 11:33 PM
    I'm scared to travel my car died luckily near grandpas but it was a pretty bad day
  • sdmermaid
    November 19, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    During a 5 hour airport delay when dd was nearly 2, we just walked endlessly around the terminal.  Ipad movies helped, and I had a back pack full of toys meant for the plane but we broke out everything!  Just this past weekend we got lost on a long car trip, making the total car time yesterday 11 hours.  DD, now 3, did great.  I just sat in the back with her and read books, played games and listened to stories.  All was great until about 2 miles from home when her tummy had finally had enough.  So, next long car ride will definately include many towels and wipes to clean up.  

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