Flying overseas for Passover? Here are five tips for a successful trip

Every parent knows that sometimes even the best vacations can turn into a disaster. Well, not this time. This is how to enjoy a vacation with the kids.

Travelers seen at the Ben Gurion International Airport, on December 22, 2021. (photo credit: FLASH90)
Travelers seen at the Ben Gurion International Airport, on December 22, 2021.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

Pesach is almost here, and these days the airport is filled with happy families going on a very long-awaited vacation. A family vacation can be a nurturing and empowering experience for parents and kids, but it can also be a daunting challenge. Here are five tips to help you get exactly what you need from this holiday.

1. Set expectations with the kids

Hold a family meeting and ask the kids to think about what they want to do on vacation, what’s important to them, and what are they willing to do for it. Demonstrate a discourse from "my place" - for me it’s important, I would like, and kids can’t say things like "Jonathan won’t bother me." Explain that there’s room for everyone's needs, there is nothing more or less important, everything fits. This is a conversation you can hold with kids of all ages.

2. Share plans

Tell the kids where you’re going and for how many days, what you’ll do, where you’ll eat. Show them on a map, tell them to gather information and come up with ideas for activities. Tell them to choose games for the road and what activities can be done while traveling. When kids are involved and take part in planning, they feel significant and influential.

3. Maintain realistic expectations

It's the same family, with the same kids, just in a different location — Don't expect them to be any different. The expectation that the children won’t fight or compete with each other, that there will be no disagreements because traveling abroad for a vacation that costs a lot of money, is unrealistic. Adapted expectations will help you be less disappointed with the kids.

4. At the airport and on the flight

Prepare for long waiting times and explain it to the kids as it’s also part of the experience. Come with travel versions of games that kids can play, booklets and crayons, toys that kids like and that will be used by them while waiting and flying. Listen to the kids, their feelings, if they share concerns about the flight, express understanding and empathy, don’t dismiss it: "Nonsense, it will be fun" — instead think together with them about what can help them.

 Travelers seen at the Ben Gurion International Airport, on December 22, 2021. (credit: FLASH90) Travelers seen at the Ben Gurion International Airport, on December 22, 2021. (credit: FLASH90)

5. Look at the big picture

Eventually, the children will remember the experiences of bonding, and this is what they’ll put in the luggage of their lives. The important part is how you talk during the vacation. Using humor and creativity can lighten tense situations and show the kids how you manage difficult situations. That's what's really meaningful.

Yehudit Oliver is a parent counselor at the Adler Institute.