Find tips and information about traveling with children. Help make a long road trip with kids less stressful for you and more fun for the them.
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TRAVEL WITH KIDS – TIPS AND IDEAS
Have patience: Try to relax and make the travel a fun part of your trip. Take the long ride as an opportunity to spend quality time with your little ones. Give them lots of attention, play games, tell them stories and by the time you're ready to come home they'll be talking about the "best trip ever!"
Capture the memories - Buy each child an inexpensive disposable camera so they can take pictures. Your kids will really feel special when they can snap their own photos. They'll also love the resulting photos they can later use in a memory book of the trip.
Bag-O-Fun - Prepare individual bags filled goodies, but don't let your kids look inside until you're on the road. They'll enjoy having their own personal items and will gladly spend hours with their snacks, games and crafts. Here's a quick list of items you can include in the bag, but get creative and consider each child's personality and hobbies.
Favorite snacks, Books, Pad of paper, Coloring supplies, Pipe cleaners, Stickers, Games, Deck of cards, Puzzles, Brochures about your destination
Don't forget to play - Take the time to plan fun and creative games that can be played while you are traveling. Your children will have a blast and the time will fly by.
Vacation scrapbook - Buy an inexpensive journal or notebook and encourage the kids to create a vacation scrapbook. Show them how to attach photos, tickets stubs, brochures, etc. from the places they visit. By the time the trip is over they'll have a great book of memories to go with the ones they'll always remember.
Never enough snacks - Snacks are a good way to get children through times when they need to sit still or just aren't behaving (boarding a plane, for example). Snacks also help break up the monotony of a long road trip. The trick here is to be sure you don't give them out too fast. Pack snacks that are convenient and interesting to your children. Gummi Bears or fruit snacks top the list of quick and handy snacks for small children. For road trips, pack pretzels, potato chips or fruit. For younger children bring along sippy cups and don't forget wipes, napkins and small trash bags.
Games and crafts - If you plan properly, you can add a number of games and crafts that will be interesting to your children. Bring a small serving tray or box with low sides. Your child can use this as his or her own personal workspace to make simple crafts such as pictures, puzzles or even Play-Doh. An excellent game for young children is MagnaDoodle. It's simple magnet drawings can be easily erased and small children have no problem scrawling pictures on it. You can even take turns drawing interesting little pictures with your child and each trying to guess what the other one is drawing.
Be the DJ - One of the most common things to pass the time on trips is listening to music. Be sure to bring selections your children will enjoy. You can also bring along CDs with children's stories or other educational material that your child may be interested in, just to mix it up a bit.
Potty time - It may sound obvious, but make sure you always have your children go to the bathroom before you leave--even if they tell you they don't have to. Also, when taking long road trips with younger children, have them wear pull-ups while riding in the car.
Dollar store bonanza - Make sure you visit the dollar store before your trip. You'll be able to find a bunch of cheap toys, supplies and many things that are fun as you travel with kids. You can even make a grab bag and reward your children for their good behavior. Let them draw for a prize every 50 miles or so on long road trips. This will add variety to the trip and give them something new to do in the meantime.