Summer travel should be fun, but traveling with young children can be stressful and put a damper on vacation bliss. Take control of the trip by planning for success. Whether you’re driving or flying, having a plan of action can help keep chaos to a minimum and increase the fun factor for everyone you encounter on your journey. Check out these practical travel tips:
– Absolute musts in the car: healthy snacks, wipes x 10!, garbage bags, air freshener, water, towels (can be used as window shades, blankets or for emergency clean-up), and always pack a change of clothes for each child in individual, easy-to-access clear plastic bags.
– Plan a few quick stops ahead of time so you have options to get a little fresh air, run around, or just goof off. Playgrounds or quirky roadside tourist attractions are always great. Even if you couldn’t care less about the “World’s Largest Cherry Pie,” your kids might like it. Check out a part of the country you wouldn’t see if you weren’t with your kids.
– Let the older kids help pack! This is a great way to get them psyched up for the trip and channel their excitement in ways that foster their own independence. Items like personalized luggage and checklists can also make the packing process fun.
– Relax when it comes to bathroom breaks, because you’ll eventually get to where you’re going. We have our kids visit the restroom at every stop, even if they don’t think they need to, and thank them with, “Glad you tried . . . you never know!”
– No road trip would be complete without this: If someone gets car sick, there’s no rewinding that smell! And there’s nothing that divides siblings more! But you can make it better fast with lots of wipes, water, and air freshener (even homemade versions work)! If you’re near a town, you can also vacuum up the damage at a gas station.
– Let your kids earn a little of their own spending money for the trip before the trip – and let them decide how they want to spend it individually.