And by “tolerable” we just mean “nobody has to die this year.” Kiplinger offers 10 ways to prepare yourself for traveling with kids now that cough syrup is frowned upon. We think one of the best is “team boarding”—don’t pre-board an airplane, because all it really does is increase the time your children are stuck in their seats getting all bouncy. Instead, if you’ve got another adult with you, one of you should board early and get the luggage stowed, pillows arranged, etc., while the other stays in the airport for as long as possible trying to run the kids ragged enough that they’ll promptly fall asleep once they’re settled in.
A couple of other great ones: look online to locate rest stops (they usually have nicer changing facilities than gas stations), sightseeing opportunities, attractions, and other on-the-way diversions to keep your kids from rebelling. And if jet lag is going to be an issue, gradually stagger your child’s sleep schedule by about 15 minutes or so each day a few days before traveling to minimize the effects.