Traveling with kids over the holidays doesn’t have to feel like just another family obligation. Instead, make the road trip to Grandma’s house an adventure with a holiday flair. Jeff Siegel, author of the forthcoming book, RelationTrips, offers these five tips for transforming the annual ritual into a family memory.
- Name your holiday trip. Weave in something relating to the holiday for which you are traveling, such as “Turkey in Detroit.” Or consider including the family name, such as “The Douglas Family’s December to Remember!”
- See the journey with new eyes. Sure, you do the same road trip every holiday, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Challenge kids to look for new landmarks along the way, take the time to stop that “roadside marker” you’ve passed every year and always wondered about, or stop to eat at the little roadside restaurant you’ve always wanted to try.
- Get creative with games. There’s nothing like a rousing chorus of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall or the license plate game to help pass the hours in the car. Give the road trip games a holiday feel by playing “Guess My Favorite Present,” “Name That Christmas Tune,” “The Chanukah Memory Game” or “Quote that Holiday Movie.”
- Be your own DJ. Ask each family member to put together a playlist of their top ten holiday tunes. During the road trip, each member of the family gets a turn presenting their own countdown. If the relatives like music too, consider burning the songs onto a CD for a personalized “Jones Family Holiday Collection” that makes a great gift.
- Have fun with holiday food. While you are on the road, take a detour to a farm or market to gather ingredients for the meal. Once you arrive, plan a food-themed activity such as visiting a turkey farm to “Pardon a Bird” or a local orchard for a sleigh ride and hot apple cider.