I love going on vacation! My son makes vacation time so much more fun, believe it or not. We have great times together. However, he does make traveling slightly more complicated as well. If this is your first time out on a road trip with your youngster, follow these 7 tips for traveling with small children to make your travel much more enjoyable!
1. Take Your Time
Understand that car time for kids can get rather irritating and boring for young children really quick. On top of that, if they're past the diaper stage, there's extra potty breaks as well. A good rule of thumb to follow for a time schedule would be to take your driving time, and add at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours extra in order to give you plenty of time for stops without making you late in getting to where you're going. When you get out at truck stops or rest areas, take at least 10 minutes to allow your child to run around and get some energy out. This will be beneficial to you as well, since all that running will tire them out and make them good and ready for a nap! Just take your time and don't rush the clock.
2. Be Prepared
In another article I've recently submitted, I list 9 things for a mother to remember on a trip. In that article, I state that you need to be prepared for anything, and I do mean anything. Car sickness for some children can lead to having to have a change of clothes handy. Wipes are great to have on hand for so many different kinds of messes. First aid kits and Band-aids are important for those banged up knees and elbows that sometimes happens in the parking lot. Just use your motherly instinct as you're packing, and be prepared for anything.
3. Be Happy
There is nothing wrong with having a great time on your trip! Get your arms moving and sing some silly songs with your kids. Play peek-a-boo with your toddler. How about a game of "I spy" with your 6 year old? With older kids, it's great fun to keep score as everyone tries to call out a said object. For instance, count motorcycles. The first one to spot one and call it gets a point. You can also do this with Volkswagen Beetles, vintage cars, or whatever else you like. The winner at the end of the trip should get something for their effort! Be creative and come up with fun ways to keep your kids entertained and happy as you're rolling down the road.
4. Have Snacks
To cut down on lengthy stops, I suggest snacking in the car on Pop Tarts and fruit in the morning, stopping for one meal that afternoon, and then snacking in place of supper, if your trip lasts that long. There is nothing wrong with eating snacks in the car and drinking juice boxes. Follow this, and cut a couple hours out of your travel time! And really, it's better for you, because you're not uncomfortable with a fully stomach for the following few hours. That's a definite good thing, wouldn't you agree?
Kids love to sing, so why not? For smaller children, just have fun with "Old MacDonald" or "B-I-N-G-O." If you've got older kids, crank up the tunes and let loose singing! Roll down the window and sing as loud as you can. Some might think you're crazy, but hey, why should you care? Your kids are happy, you're having fun...enjoy the ride!
Every trip can be a learning experience for your children. That doesn't mean, however, that it has to be a bore. If a car passes with plates from Washington State, find out if they know if that is East or West. How about one from Wisconsin? Or Texas? You can make it a learning experience for yourself as well, if you're not for sure what the different state birds and flowers are. Grab a book with all that info, and look up each state as they pass you. Make your trip fun and interesting, with a splash of education along the way.
7. Supply Toys
Don't leave home without a few of your children's favorite toys. Whether it be video games or their favorite doll, familiar toys are a must for long trips. I mean, after all, you can only sing and play games so long, right? A child's attention span is small, so make sure to break up your trip with time for toys, then a game. Then, back to the toys again. Traveling will be so fun, you might be lucky enough to only hear "Are we there yet?" once or twice!
Traveling with small children can be hard, but you can make it easier on yourself with a little bit of preparation. 7 tips for traveling with small children will help to prepare you for the best and worst of your trip! If you have anything to add to this article, I'd love to hear it! Please, leave me a comment!
Top Photo Credit: lupe1515