Road trips can be a great way to spend time with the family, but traveling with kids presents its own unique challenges. Looking to keep your kids happy, entertained and comfortable without making frequent stops? Check out our kid-friendly tips for road trips!
1. Do your kids love watching movies in the car? Check out your local library for DVDs, audio books and even video games to keep them entertained. This is a great way to introduce your kids to the local library and is a cost-effective way to let your kids watch different movies from the ones at home. They might even pick out a few educational options in the process.
2. Traveling with a baby or a toddler means packing lots of accessories. For easy, on-the-go cleaning, pack a box of denture cleanser tablets and bottled water. These let you clean pacifiers, baby spoons, lids, and a variety of other small plastic objects without stopping the car. Simply drop the tablet into a denture bath or a glass of warm water along with whatever item you need to disinfect and let it sit for about an hour. These also work great for retainers if you have a teenager.
3. It’s always important to be comfortable during long road trips, but wearing slip-on shoes can also be a huge time saver with kids. Anyone who is riding for an extended period of time will naturally want to take their shoes off to get more comfortable. That means taking the time to put them back on at each stop. Equipping your kids (and yourself) with slip-on shoes or flip flops helps to minimize down time and gets you back on the road faster.
4. If you’re traveling with a teen, make them a part of the planning process. Before the trip, ask them their input on places they’d like to stop. This can include anything from picking a restaurant to finding attractions they’d like to see along the way. If they’re old enough, you could also consider letting them drive during part of the trip. Teens will have a much better outlook on the vacation if they feel like they have ownership and are more likely to keep complaints to themselves.
5. Keep the travel entertainment confined to the car. Video games, laptops, books, iPods and DVD players are great for the road, but can take away from the experience when kids continue to use them after reaching your destination, at dinner, in the hotel or during family rest stops. Make sure the kids know beforehand that all of their in-car entertainment stays that way when it’s time to pull over.
Some great sites for more road trip ideas with your kids:
- SheKnows.com (http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/957949/road-trips-with-kids)
- MomsMinivan.com (http://www.momsminivan.com/)
- Parenting.com (http://www.parenting.com/ )