Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tips for Traveling with Children

     As a parent, you know how tough and stressful a long trip with children can be. It can feel more like a chore than a real holiday or vacation! I have spent many road trips in the car with two screaming or bored children, so I have learned a few ways to cope with these situations and help in keeping the kiddos entertained. Hopefully some of these tips can assist you on your next vacay as well!

1. Bring MANY packages of wipes--they are great for any age! From spills to stains, they can quickly clean any area or face. Remember to keep them close up with you in the car, instead of packing in the trunk where you will need to stop to retrieve them (this has happened more than once with us!) ;)

2. Kids always seem to be hungrier during long trips (probably more out of boredom than anything), so packing snacks ahead of time is ideal and prevents you from having to stop for food and saves some cash! Try using a tackle box to store a variety of snacks by placing different ones in each slot.

3. Along with snacks, comes drinks! Freeze juice or water the night before in water bottles or sippy cups. This will allow for a single drink to stay cold and within your child's reach when they need it.

4. If you do not have a problem with your children watching television, I highly suggest investing in a portable dvd player (possibly even two if you have more than one child.) Watching movies or shows will allow you to have some peace and least for a little while :)

5. Make your own DIY games for the road. Create a table on paper and draw or write in objects, letters or numbers for the kids to find along the way. You can even make an 'i-SPY' game like the one in the photo! It will keep your little ones entertained for hours. For full instructions, click here.

6. To prepare yourself and keep all items organized, pack emergency 'theme' packs/bags for the family. Some packages may include other activities, first aid necessities, craft supplies or clean up items.

7. Purchase a plastic cereal container to use as a garbage disposal in the car. There is nothing worse than stinky or messy garbage laying all over the interior of your nice vehicle. Place a sand bag or bean bag in the bottom to keep it from getting tossed around in the car while you drive.

 8. Pack your child's clothing in large Ziploc bags for each day of the week to save room. Bring along a few hangers to hang articles of clothing for the next morning if they get wrinkled.

9.  Remember to be patient! You are traveling with kids. They are going to act like kids. They will probably fight, yell, get tired and whine and have to pee often. So try to remain as calm as you can and BREATHE.  Factor in that you will probably need to make a few unscheduled pit stops to allow the kids to stretch their legs and 'reset.' 

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