1. Prepare a schedule and review it with the children. Place strategic reinforcers during the day for good behavior on the schedule and discuss them with the children.
2. Talk generally about the holiday and what it means and what others expectation is of their behavior. For example, grandma will be there she love to hear about your school and what you are learning. Also, more generally, the purpose of the the holidays is to be nice to family, enjoy our selves and have a peaceful visit so your father will relax if you behave yourself and ask him politely to play a game with you.
3. Make sure that items such as bedtime or other health related items are honored so that they are not overtired and cranky during the holidays. Before going on the trip make sure they take all vitamins and take those with you. Also, if there are any medical issues such as coughs make sure to address them with your pediatrician before the holidays. A cold given to another elderly relative could be very dangerous for that relative and create problems for you on the holiday
4. Let children pack as much as possible and take responsibility for their own belongings. They will feel more involved in the trip, have less inappropriate behavior when you do it for them and feel like they are more important and better about themselves.
5. Take small games or activities to use during time they are not occupied during the trip or vacation time.
The extra effort to prepare for the holiday will make it much more enjoyable for you, your relatives and the children too!!