Traveling with children can be challenging without proper planning. Kids have the tendency to be easily bored and cranky, which will make the entire trip hectic and unpleasant. Here is our roundup of the top five tips to for a smoother and more enjoyable trip for you and your family:
Planning A Family-Oriented Itinerary
The most important aspect when you are traveling as a family is to brainstorm for travel ideas together and pick an ideal destination that will be enjoyable for everyone. Sure, you and your partner may enjoy museums, malls or long hikes. But now that you are traveling with children, you may need to set aside a huge portion of your itinerary for amusement parks and family-oriented activities such as a day trip to Disneyland, camping, and picnics.
While you are planning your itinerary, avoid cramming too many activities into it. Be realistic and plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt on your own or as a couple. Children tend to feel lethargic more quickly and will be whiney if they are dragging their heels the entire day. The less you need to rush, the more enjoyable and stress-free for the whole family. A good rule of thumb is to pace the vacation according to what your youngest child can handle.
Having A Good Supply of Snacks
A hungry child is a cranky child. So the most essential ‘bribes’ you need to have in your arsenal of pacifiers are snacks. Grab some individually packed snacks or candies such as Honey Maid Teddy Grahams, Mini Oreo Cookies or Vitamin Gummies for your children to munch on whenever they are feeling irritated or upset. There are plenty of other healthy snacks to choose from, but always remember to choose those that are easy to clean up, would not leave stains on car seats or clothes, and does not pose a choking hazard.
Catering to your children’s needs may already be frustrating as it is, so you would want to deal with heavy luggage as well. Pack sparingly and wisely, leaving all the unnecessary clothes at home instead of having them taking up precious baggage space. Know exactly where you are heading, the activities you will be doing and plan the outfits ahead. Packing all the individual outfits in gallon sized storage bag instead of pulling the pieces out of the suitcase will also make the experience more convenient. If you intend to do a little shopping during the trip, make sure you leave some space in your luggage to store them so you would not end up holding multiple shopping bags.
Keeping The Children Entertained
As much as you may want them to look out of the window and enjoy the scenery, kids tend to be squirmy and irritable if you need them to sit still during long road trips. Pack some personal entertainment such as storybooks, coloring books, card games, tablets, laptops or even high-tech wearable gadgets such as VR viewers preloaded with cartoons.
Check out the latest mobile tech news if you need more information on VR viewer box before investing in one to engage your kids. Playing games such as Travel Bingo and Alphabet I Spy are also fantastic bonding opportunities for you and your children. It is also recommended to pack some home comforts such as blankets, pillows or their stuff toys to keep them relaxed and entertained throughout the trip.
Plan For Intentional Breaks
Traveling at night tends to be the best way to avoid having your children whining and crying for attention as they will be asleep for the most part of it. However, if you are unable to travel at night, make sure you plan for sufficient intentional breaks for your children to let loose some of their pent-up activeness. Allow frequent bathroom breaks, snack breaks or check out some of the interstate parks so everyone can take the chance to stretch their legs and breathe some fresh air.
Evlin Symon is a freelance health writer from New Jersey. She enjoys learning about a wide variety of wellness issues and staying up-to-date on the latest research. She also is the author of many active blogs.