As soon as Halloween is over, the winter holidays begin— which means get-togethers and lots of time spent in cars, trains and planes, and on-the-go in general. Don’t let your wellness (or sanity!) fall by the wayside during the most wonderful time of the year. After all, the holidays are really about celebrating with the ones who matter most.
Here are a few simple tips you can use to make sure your family is extra prepared while being out-and-about this holiday season:
Winter is an inherently busy season for a lot of people, especially families with kids who have time off for winter vacation. When traveling, it is easy to let snacks slip through the cracks knowing roadside stops may be an option. Avoid backseat hunger and pack treats for the kids (and yourself, too). Fruit, nuts and seeds, and sandwiches are easy to nosh on the road or in the air. Include some pumpkin-flavored Entenmann’s Little Bites muffins for easy, seasonal options the whole family can enjoy. Bonus: the pouches are nationally recyclable through TerraCycle.
Create Shared Moments
While the tendency is to regard time spent on the road, riding rails and in the air as a necessity to get from A to B, see it as carved out, built-in quality time for parents and children to bond and make memories. Our time nowadays is at a premium with work, school and scheduled activities. Instead of finding ways to kill time on tablets and mobile devices, use the routes to and from locations to enjoy each other’s company.
Good old-fashioned conversations about what your kids were grateful for this year and look forward to in the next can help you learn about each other in surprising ways.
When we’re busy or when the weather is cooler, we forget to drink water. Bring a reusable bottle in your tote to fill up at pit stops. By replacing your disposable water bottle with a refillable alternative throughout your travels, not only can you reduce water bottle waste, but circumvent some of the rules and regulations that come with traveling by plane.
For example, TSA regulations stipulate that liquid carry-on items can be no larger than 3.4 oz. per item. Unopened or not, standard sizes for bottled water averages at around 17 oz., or five times that maximum. Airport security will not allow full water bottles, but an empty reusable bottle can be filled once through. Many airports have water stations built to fill your bottle with clean, filtered water.
Walk It Out
We’ve all heard that sitting for extended periods of time isn’t great. Take the time to (carefully!) pull over at a scenic view, stand up to briefly stretch your legs when the seatbelt sign turns off, and do a fun family exercise such as jumping jacks or some standing bends to keep the circulation up.
Bonus: if you’re on a train or in an automobile and a rest stop allows you to do so, do it outside. Not only does stepping into nature to walk around unplug us from our machines (which saves energy), it can actually keep us well. The happiness boost that comes from being around fresh air, direct sunlight, and plants is just one of the benefits of engaging with the natural environment while getting to your next destination.
Where are you and your family going this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below.