Travel season is right around the corner. For us, being a Military Family, that means a lot of car rides and sore butts. With our average car ride being around 7 hours, at least 7 times a year, I have learned a thing or two. Here are my 5 Best Tips for Traveling With Kids!!
1.Timing Is Everything When Traveling With Kids
By this I don’t mean pick a time, I mean really look at when to leave. Find out if you will be hitting a major city at rush hour. It isn’t worth leaving at 6 am if this causes you to be stuck in traffic for an hour because you hit St. Louis at lunch. However, I DO suggest leaving early. Even if the kiddos are excited they are more likely to stay calm and relaxed for the first leg of the trip. Take full advantage of this!
2. Manage the Munchies
If you are going a long distance you will have to pack snacks. However, this might be where I have learned the most from trial and error!! This is where my ‘reading every label’ days have really paid off! If you want to maintain some sort of sanity, avoid letting them pick up HoHo’s and Twinkies for the ride. Loading them with sugar, then expecting them to have an “inside voice” or sit still… you get the point.Also, steer clear of artificial colors in food. There are many studies that link artificial colors to hyperactivity, you can check one out here. Car ride and the wiggles don’t mix well.
3. When You Are Traveling With Kids -Don’t Down the Drinks
The same rules as the munchies apply here. Stay away from loads of sugar, caffeine, and colors. Water. That is all my kids have in the car. We also keep the water in the front seat with the adults. If it’s sitting with us, we can control the liquid intake. They get enough to stay hydrated, but they’re not downing a whole bottle in five minutes.
Less drinks=less bathroom breaks.
4. Get Out for Lunch
This might just be the most important one of the tips for traveling with kids. Plan ahead and pack lunch. We usually do sandwiches, carrot sticks, and apples. Find a Rest Stop to have your lunch. Get Out of the car. Let them get out run around, play, be loud, & stretch! You too! Being stuck in a car all day gets exhausting for Everyone involved. This will give you all a chance to blow off some energy. Since they are right off the interstate. You won’t even loose much time. It will be well worth it when you can pile back in the car, and have some good quiet time again. ***Don’t forget to use the restrooms before getting back on the road!
5. Keep them Busy
We have all heard this one. Yes, there are tablets & portable game systems… but those batteries can die. We also don’t like their faces in tablets the whole time. The boys are always in charge of packing up backpacks for the ride. They make sure to have at least one reading book, colors, coloring books, & a few action figures. We block off ‘quiet time’ during the ride.Don’t make them too long, 15-20 mins at a time, that they pull out a book to read. I also always bring something New for the ride. A new coloring book or activity. It will hold their attention longer if it is new. Play Games! You can print out our Road Trip Activity Pack, play I spy, or even sing songs… (does anyone do that anymore??). Anything that gets the whole car interacting together. It can really help the time pass by.
You might even have some FUN!
Whether it is a 3-hour trip to visit Grandma or a 10 hour trip to the ocean. You don’t have to dread the car ride. With these tips for traveling with kids, it will be a bit more bearable, maybe even a little bit of fun!
Do you have younger ones in your car?
I’m bringing a timer on our next road trip. 15 minutes of quiet time sounds like an excellent plan!
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