Include rest stops in your travel plans
Anyone who's heard those four despairing words, "are we there yet" knows traveling with children can be chaotic at times. Make your trip a memorable one with these ideas for keeping your children—and yourselves—happy and entertained during your travels!
Children are full of energy, so if you're taking them on a road trip, be sure to stop frequently at roadside parks and small towns. Get out and take a walk, letting your children explore, stretch out their legs and burn off some pent-up energy.
Schedule Flying Time During Naptime
A sleepy child is a cranky child. If you're traveling by air, try to avoid flights where naptimes overlap with boarding or deplaning. If this isn't possible, try to make sure your child is well-rested before the trip so he'll be in a more agreeable mood.
Plan Games for Your Children to Play
Create an activities pack with supplies like colored paper, colored pencils and stickers to use in the car, restaurants and downtime at the hotel. Other family favorites include the license-plate game, where each child keeps a list of all the different states plates they see during the drive. Or, consider doing a travel scavenger hunt! Provide passengers with a list of items like a red sports car, a maple tree, a blue semi truck and have them mark off what they see. You can even create games as you go! Encouraging children to keep an eye out for native animals, birds and plants along the way is educational and entertaining!
Everyone Loves a Surprise
A few additional games or fun art supplies that children haven't already seen can help when crankiness sets in. Keep your secret weapons hidden until it's absolutely necessary to reveal them to your kids.
Pack Some Snacks
Bring along plenty of healthy snacks such as veggies, crackers and grapes for the car or airplane ride to tide them over until your next meal (don't forget wet naps for cleanup).
Bring Naptime Supplies
Be sure to pack your child's pillow, blanket and stuffed animal along for the ride to help keep her comfortable and nap ready. Don't forget an extra layer of clothing for the car or plane ride that's easily accessible in case it gets chilly.
Pack Disposable Cameras
Buy each of your children their own disposable camera so they can take pictures along the way! After the trip, help your kids place the pictures in their own photo album for lasting memories from your vacation.
Make a Postcard Album
If you are going on a long road trip, provide your child with their own photo album that fits standard-size postcards. At each stop on your trip, help your children pick a new postcard to mark the location. Have them write descriptions on the back of what each town was like.