Traveling with kids? Here are eight helpful tips to make your travel easier.
Having a large family doesn’t always make travel easy, however; over the years I’ve learned some great tips on making travel a little easier on mom and dad.
Leave early. Kids are notorious for making you later and delaying the whole process. If you can pack up the car (or suitcases) overnight that can help with last minute rushes; if you can’t pack up the before get up earlier than needed to prepare for the trip.
Pull over often. There’s nothing like heading on your way and hearing the “I have to go to the bathroom” speech, and half the time you stop they don’t even have to go. When traveling long trips, it’s important to stop for bathroom and even times to get out and stretch. If you have little once they bore easily and they don’t like being contained in small spaces. Also when you sit for long periods of your at higher risk of blood clots; which can be dangerous. So, don’t be afraid of rest stops and let the kids out and run around (weather permitting) and of course for potty and diaper changes.
Bring items that remind them of home. If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or blanket they sleep with every night do NOT forget to bring it! No one likes a fussy child and having something that reminds them of home will help soothe them and make those overnight stays easier.
Eat at kid friendly restaurants with play places. While eating fast food may not be ideal, it can also be messy if you have little ones. So finding a place to let the kids play will help them burn off extra energy and have some fun outside the car.
Pack snacks and drinks. A money saving tip is packing your own drinks and snacks. This will eliminate trips at gas stations and rest stops that can be costly, they also will keep kids entertained and happy until you can stop for your next meal. Bonus tip – pack each kid some snacks in a bag that they can reach so when their hunger they can easily reach for them.
Don’t forget the activities! This should be a no brainer but sometimes we tend to forget about these. So bring along small toys, coloring books, games, printable activities, gaming devices and movies to help ease the boredom kids have.
Don’t forget the extras. You never know when an accident or breakdown is going to happen so being prepared is always the best option; don’t forget to bring a change of clothing for each traveler and store in your car or carry on for easy access.
Make a list. If you’re like me and benefit from visually seeing everything you need can help decide what you need to pack and what you don’t really need. However, just because you think you don’t need something doesn’t always mean you shouldn’t pack it either. There are lots of checklists online you can print out to help with making packing easier and list those items you might forget. Don’t forget your print of out itinerary of things you’ll want to see and do and stick to it as much as possible, but leave empty spaces for anything you might want to do on the way.
What you may forget to pack:
A camera and its charger
Cell phone, chargers, extra batteries and memory cards
Clothing for how many days you’re staying and extras!
Batteries, flashlight, first aid kit, sunscreen and bug spray
Blankets and pillows (if necessary)
Toys and activities for the kids
Strollers and car seats