What parent is really ready to get in the car for that long distance trip or board that cross country flight? But with some preparation, many of these headaches can be avoided or minimized. I work with families to anticipate the problems they foresee with their upcoming travel. Once those are outlined we work at building in strategies to work through those issues if/when they occur. One family favorite tip is:
Time Travel Game
What is needed: Clock or stop watch and small trinkets, toys or snacks.
Let your child know up front that the trip is going to be long but that you have expectations of behavior for the trip—be clear with what those expectations are (i.e., keeping seat belts fastened, using quiet voices, keeping their hands to themselves, etc.). And that every hour if they meet your expectations then they get a prize. Parents say children really enjoy this game and watching time pass often becomes a game within itself. Some parents wrap the prizes to help with the WOW factor and others let the child pick so they get a sneak peak at what they can get next and it becomes a motivator. Adapt to what your child would most enjoy!