Monday, May 19, 2014
Traveling on the Road With Kids
This post is in honor of a road trip the kiddos and I will be taking this week. We travel fairly regularly with our children. Our families both live four or more hours away, so we make a four plus hour trip many times a year. And that, in my opinion, is one of the things that make kids good travelers. They just get used to being in the car and the fact that they will have to stay in their seats until we get to our destination. Here are a few other tips for traveling.
1) Pack plenty of toys, books, and activities:
I always look through our toys before a trip and pick out some toys that are small and easily played with in a car. Since the girls enjoy coloring and using stickers, I try to pack some crayons, stickers, and notebooks. (I like to pack Crayola Twistables. They don't break easily and also don't easily color on clothing or car seats.) I also make sure to pack plenty of books for the kids to look at.
This is a shameless plug, but the art caddies that I make and sell in my Etsy shop are perfect for traveling!
2) Pack plenty of car friendly snacks:
I don't really like to stop to eat when we are traveling. That doesn't mean that we don't, but I plan to eat as much as we can on the go. I like to pack somewhat healthy and car-friendly options. Thankfully there are lots of choices out there these days. Bananas and Cutie oranges are great all natural choices. Fruit pouches are great as are individual yogurt tubes. String cheese, cereal, and pretzels are good as well. Of course you will want to have wet wipes handy to clean up messy fingers, faces, and car seats! A tip I picked up from my sister-in-law is to pack along plastic cups to be snack cups for in the car seats. Just pour some crackers or pretzels into the cup and the kids can put it in their cup holders for easy eating. We also make sure to have water bottles along for the entire family.
Before kids we used to hit the road and drive as long as we possibly could. Often we would make the entire trip without stopping. Obviously with kids, that isn't really an option, so plan some extra time into your trip. We have found that we really like to stop at rest stops. Then we are able to use the bathroom facilities, let the kids run off some extra energy on the grounds, and use the picnic facilities. Other good options are city parks and local attractions.
Our current van has a built in video system, however, we rarely make use of it. It does make the perfect diversion for those pull-your-hair-out moments when we just can't take it anymore or when the driver really needs to focus. I have mentioned these before, but we love the Scholastic videos. I also love to use books on cd. Our library has a great selection. We also make use of smart phone technology to find places to stop and check out traffic.
If you are bringing all of these items along, you need a place to store to keep it! I love using Thirty-One totes for traveling. We use Keep It Caddies to hold toys. They are great for keeping the items together, but accessible. I also love using the Large Utility Tote for other items we might need throughout the trip.