December is prime vacation time for families with school-age children, so we are often traveling with kids over Christmas. Although we enjoy experiencing a new destination and it’s culture, there are a few Christmas traditions we pack along with our luggage.
Five Tips for Traveling with Kids Over Christmas
1. What About Santa Claus?
One of the first questions when the boys were little – how will Santa know where we are? We have a long-standing agreement with Santa – he leaves the presents at our home in Canada. This way we don’t have to worry about packing these gifts for the flight home. And the boys get to experience Christmas twice. Once on December 25th and again when we get home.
2. Milk and Cookies
Regardless of where we are, we leave local treats for Santa and the reindeer on Christmas Eve, e.g., macadamia nuts and a Mai Tai in Hawaii.
3. Christmas Stockings
I pack lightweight Christmas stockings in a suitcase. Santa fills these on Christmas Eve, so there are small gifts to open on Christmas morning.
4. Order Gifts Online
I often purchase stocking stuffers and other items, e.g., Christmas PJ’s online and have them shipped to our destination. If we are staying at a resort, the concierge receives these packages and stores them until our arrival. Be sure to contact the concierge to confirm the delivery address and any other details before you shop and ship.
5. Christmas Decorations
We often decorate our vacation accommodation. Pack a string of Christmas lights in your suitcase or go big and order a tree and Christmas lights online. The Christmas lights in the hotel room create a festive feeling. You might be able to purchase decorations when you arrive at your destination, but this isn’t always possible. And who wants to battle the Christmas crowds when you can be poolside or on the slopes?
Good to Know – Tips for Traveling with Kids Over Christmas
- Some resorts offer a Christmas decoration service. Ask the concierge about ordering Christmas trees, fresh florals, and other festive decorations.
- If you purchase decorations online and can’t bring them home, consider donating them to hotel staff.
- I often supplement the usual (and expected) stocking stuffers, e.g., candy canes with items from local markets or shops.
If you observe the holiday, are you often traveling with the kids over Christmas? Do you pack a few Christmas traditions too?
You may also enjoy reading about how to deal with jet lag when you’re traveling with kids and these helpful holiday air travel tips.