Traveling with kids can be a challenge. We’ve got a few tips for you to help make traveling this holiday season a little easier!
Car Rides – Traveling with kids tips
It is easy enough to play games like “I spy…” or to try to see the most cars with license plates from different states with your children, but there are other ways to keep your child entertained that require a bit more forethought:
Have a little activity bag filled with all kinds of toys to keep your children entertained: coloring books, crayons, snacks, etc. Have everything accessible so that you do not have to wait till the next stop before distributing.
Use an empty DVD case to pack a small pad of paper and some coloring pencils inside. The hard case can also be useful for writing, but when I was younger, my parents bought me a travel desk – essentially a flat surface attached to a beanbag to put on top of my lap before our trip to the Grand Canyon.
If traveling at night, packing glow sticks or glow necklaces is a way for your kids to travel in style.
Audiobooks on CD or kid-friendly podcasts are great ways to spend long car rides as well. Something like “Harry Potter” can keep the whole family entertained! Alternatively, creating a playlist with your child may be useful and give them that always important sense of control.
Buy some small toys or trinkets from the dollar store before the trip and wrap them up. Reward your kids for good behavior by letting them unwrap one every few hours.
A little bit of online research will provide you with all kinds of printable games – I spy games, scavenger hunts, lines and dots, paper dolls, hangman, tic-tac-toe, etc.
Make your kids little “passports” – little trip notebooks for them to record their favorite memories and put in stickers, pictures, tape in tickets or other paraphernalia from the trip–you can collect picture postcards from each place.
If possible, leave before the sun comes up! Perhaps this way your child can keep sleep for the part of the trip!
Making Flying Easier – Traveling with kids tips
Have a carry-on backpack or rolling duffle bag for each child filled with enough books and games to keep them entertained the whole flight. Video games, portable DVD players, iPods (all with headphones), Mad Libs, and coloring books are a few great plane activities! (Bring extra batteries or chargers!)
While you can’t bring juice or water bottles on the plane, bringing snacks for your kids is cheaper and healthier than anything you get at the airport. Make sure to pack similar snacks and the same amount for each child (if age appropriate), so siblings don’t fight over the snacks.
Pack away a little surprise for your kids on the plane. A pack of gum, a new DVD, or a new CD will excite your children and make the plane ride that much more enjoyable for the both of you.
Pick your seating carefully. If you’re going to be switching planes, sitting close to the front is easier because you’ll have a quicker entrance/exit. If you have a direct flight, sit as close to the back as you can so the bathrooms are accessible and you won’t disturb as many people.
As the founder and managing director of Destination Sitters, LLC, a national hotel and event babysitting service, and the mother of two children, I strongly believe that family comes first. I personally needed babysitting when I moved to San Diego 14 years ago. Like most parents, I assumed there were standards for temporary babysitting; in reality, there are no state standards or licensing requirements for temporary babysitting. The idea for Destination Sitters was born! I wanted to Give Parents Peace of Mind® when traveling with their children, so I created strict screening requirements for the sitters we refer. There is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from getting great professional help to care for your children, especially when traveling away from home. I and my partners, along with our office staff, have that one goal in mind with everything we do.
Through the years of working with children, I have been inspired to write three books, and this blog for parents’ and children’s wellbeing. I believe the best way to teach a child is leading by example, with love, honesty, integrity, compassion, perseverance, and personal responsibility. Learning these values and teaching children that all women and men are equal will encourage them to dream big to be anything they want to be!
An entrepreneur for over 35 years, I previously spent years running a construction and design company with two offices in California and built million-dollar estates and remodeled existing ones. For three and half years, I was one of the primary designers on HGTV’s Curb Appeal. I have also been published in books, magazines and newspapers, and have been a featured designer in multiple showcase houses.
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