10 Ways to Make Travelling with Kids Easier
So, you are all packed and ready to head off on your family vacation to South Carolina. You have the sunscreen, the camera, comfortable clothes for sightseeing and swim suits for the beach, the kids favorite stuffed animal and of course, you have the GPS directions set and ready to go- so now for the fun of getting there. Since you have decided to makes the trip by car, the biggest challenges of the trip are the driving and keeping the kids occupied.
Fortunately, GPS can help you with the traffic alerts, but keeping the kids occupied may be a greater challenge. To make the drive more pleasant for everyone, here are a few ideas:
- Audio books are a great way to pass the time. You can either play them for everyone to enjoy or provide each of the kids with their portable device that allows them to listen on their own. (The beauty of the individual listening devices is that the adults can enjoy a nearly uninterrupted conversation!)
- Have a family sing-along. Put together a CD that has all the family faves on and sing together. For added fun, try making up new words for the songs that fit where you are going or what you are seeing.
- Play the memory game: Each person contributes an item to the story line as well as has to remember the previous things. For example: “We are going to the beach and we packed an Anchovy, a Basketball, a Catamaran, a Dinosaur, etc…” each person adds an item beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. The more outlandish the item the more fun it is!
- Plan for a picnic. Not only will this save money, but it will allow the kids to get out and run. If you bring along a ball or a Frisbee it is great opportunity to get some exercise and release some energy after sitting in the car.
- Plan for stops at least 10 minutes for every 2 hours. This is especially good when kids are younger, but it is also safer for the driver as it allows their eyes to rest from watching the road.
- Pack word searches, crossword puzzle, Sudoku, Mad Libs and other puzzle books so that kids can keep mentally active and not just play video games or watch the DVD player.
- If you do use the DVD player, select movies that haven’t been watch 1,000s of times so that there is something different. Consider renting/borrowing some of the classics. Who knows, you just might find some new faves!
- License Plates- Before the trip print off a list of the states so that the kids can keep up with the state’s plates they see. You may want to give a prize for the person who sees the plate from the farthest away.
- Pack snacks and juices boxes to save money of convenience store items. This way they kids have a snack for those times when they just don’t think they can make it another mile without a snack. After all, “They’re starving!” even if it has only been an hour since lunch.
- Create a map of the route that includes landmarks, city or state borders and off to the side a list of things to look for. However, be sure to leave as much blank space on the page as possible. Provide pens, pencils or crayons and encourage to kids to improve the map by drawing in the items they see along the way. Also, as they see the listed items, they can mark them off the list.
Travelling with kids is a lot of fun. Yes, it can be a challenge at times, but often it is where some of the best memories of the trip are made. With a bit of planning, you can enjoy your next family road trip-whether it is across the state of across the country!