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Traveling by oneself can be challenging, but traveling with others presents even more difficulties. Of course, traveling with children means more bags, car seats, strollers, and not enough hands. How do you get through this experience and keep your sanity? Start by finding your inner girl/boy scout.

Be Prepared
Who hasn’t been caught unprepared while traveling? When my children were little, I was pooped, peed and puked upon and didn’t have enough clothes in our carry-ons to change. Nothing reminds you to plan to be more prepared next time than stinking to the high heavens (while in the high heavens) until you can get your suitcases from the baggage claim. It only takes having your luggage lost once before you pack an extra pair of underwear in your carry-on bag along with your Kindle. The Scout motto: “Always be prepared” became my mantra when traveling and has served me well over the years.

If making lists helps, make a list and check it twice. Pack a special bag/backpack for your children with new toys and books (buy oodles of them from any Dollar Store), a couple of extra outfits, snacks and hard candy or gum. We tend to remember to pack things for our children, but not always for ourselves. Pack an extra outfit, and bring your own books, crossword puzzles, etc. Get where you need to be with lots of extra time so you aren’t stressed and yelling at children who don’t understand flight schedules and TSA rules. If you’re driving, have extra batteries for electronics in the glove compartment, a new movie for the DVD player, and your destination entered in your GPS.

Trust That It Will All Work Out
santi2Trust that you are prepared. You have packed a lot of things for entertaining the children. You have remedies to prevent anxiety attacks. You and the family are set with extra clothes if your bags are lost in transit. When stuff starts to happen – whether it’s long lines in security or a flat tire – take a deep breath. This is the time to stay calm by giving yourself a pep talk. Remember this: “You are creative. You are smart. You can be flexible and roll with the punches. You will use your ingenuity when you get stuck.” Trust that if your flight gets canceled, you won’t wait in line at the information desk for assistance. Rather, you will use your smart phone to help find a solution. At the end of the day, you will get where you are going. Breathe. It will all work out.

Laugh. It’s An Adventure
Part of finding your santi – and your sanity – is being able to laugh and enjoy the adventure of travel. Kids love adventures. They don’t care if they wear the same clothes two days in a row. They don’t care if they brush their teeth with a toothbrush or with their finger. They don’t care whether they stay in a Motel 6 or The Four Seasons. Watch as kids make the airport their new playground. Remove the rules you hold so strongly to back home. Let them eat their favorite junk food. Let them pet the bomb dogs and have the handlers explain what important jobs they have. Look at this time as one to explore with child-like eyes. If you are driving, stop in interesting towns to take a break. Try the back roads instead of the highways. It’s the adults who get their “panties in a wad” and have issues when travel plans go awry. Learn from your children. Traveling is an adventure – just like life itself.

Be Grateful
You can become quick tempered when travel plans start to fray, but do you also remember to be grateful when things do go your way? Being happy that there were no long checkin lines or that your plane left on time can shift your mood. Think of all the smiles you received from workers, the fact that the person sitting next to you was kind, traffic was flowing, the service areas had Starbucks for your caffeine needs, and your child had only one tantrum during the trip. When you arrive at your destination, you might notice that more good things happened than those that went wrong. That’s something to celebrate. Finally, be grateful that you’re not at work. You are going someplace fun – and bringing home wonderful memories.

Finding the santi is about being prepared and shifting your perspective. Travel with your inner child’s eyes, and be on the alert for fun and adventure. Trust that you have the flexibility, ingenuity and ability to overcome any obstacles put in your path. Be grateful for all the things that go your way. You will get where you are going. Wouldn’t it be nice to get there with your sanity intact?

Repeat after me: “I can have peace and calmness when I travel – no matter what happens.”

 
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This entry was posted on
Wednesday, June 06, 2014 at 11:16 am and is
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