Tips for Traveling With Kids
It’s summer time and most families are taking nice, long summer vacations. Whether you’re heading to the beach or to the mountains, there’s likely going to be some driving going on and we all know that driving with little ones isn’t always easy.
While I can’t tell you how to avoid hearing, “Are we there yet?” over 100 times, I can give you some fun tips you get you through the long haul. Traveling with children should be fun and most of all, memorable. Whether it’s good laughs, fun car games, sights to behold or minivan dance parties, make the experience count. Many memories, conversations and lessons can come from right within the vehicle on the journey.
Below I am sharing some of my favorite tips for traveling with children to help keep them occupied and engaged!
Tips for Traveling With Kids
Pack a caddy. We use the Mollie Ollie caddy that can be found here on Amazon, and pack it down the essentials. I keep this caddy next to me so I can gently toss anything to the kids as needed. Our caddy is full of movies for the DVD player, books for the toddler, a mess free Crayola art pad, spare underwear, spare socks, wipes, quick change outfits, diapers, pull ups, hand sanitizer, bug spray, essential oils, pacifiers and snacks. This is the perfect place to grab what we need, when we need it.
Pack suitable snacks. When it comes to little ones, not all snacks are okay for the car ride. You want to provide snacks that are not a choking hazard and that you know won’t make a big mess. Some of my favorite suggestions are applesauce pouches, baby food pouches, puffs, Annie’s Bunny crackers, yogurt if there’s a small cooler, bananas, etc… You want avoid hard candy, chips, popcorn, chocolate, etc…
Give each child their own basket. In this case each of our oldest will have a backpack filled with activities to do. Coloring books, a few Barbies, reading books and activity books will provide them entertainment and help use avoid the need to constantly use our DVD player. Purchase an inexpensive lap desk like this one or a travel desk like this.
Pack the colors. One fun hack is that if the car seat has a cup holder, put a cup of colors right there for quick grabs and easy access.
Surprise them. Purchase a few new things that are going to keep them entertained for a bit. I made a purchase of several Little Skill activity books from Amazon that all ranged from $3-4 so each child had activities for them. Sticker books are a great tool, Color Wonder Mess Free markers is excellent for traveling and little readers are great for the big kids.
Grab a busy book. Busy books are excellent for younger toddlers as they are mess free, educational and fun. We enjoy the felt ones from Amazon such as this one.
Pack comfort. Make sure they have their favorite stuffed animals, dolls or blankets. This comforts them for long rides and prepares them for resting in the car. Another easy tip is to travel during nap time so children can rest and provide mom and dad some quiet time. #yesplease
Introduce car games. While I enjoy my quiet time and my music in the car, sometimes you need a backup plan. Younger kids can play easy car games like iSpy or the alphabet game where they have to find an item for each letter.
Save electronics for last. While it seems easy to throw them an iPad, headphones and a movie, the truth is they lose a lot of the moments that way. If you’re traveling with stunning sights or if this is one of the few moments your whole family is together, enjoy it. Don’t rely on electronics to entertain you until you absolutely have to. Enjoy the moment and the memories.
Have essentials. If you know a child gets sick easily, have those tools on hand. If you know your four year old may have trouble holding herself for the duration, travel in a pull up. Be prepared. Have napkins, have plastic bags for trash, and so on. It’s never a bad idea to travel with some snacks, a roll of toilet paper, blankets and spare clothes because you never know what life has in store for you.
Use the oils. Apply oils such as Stress Away, Lavender or Peace and Calming to your little ones before heading on the journey. Invest in a USB diffuser or simply add a few drops of oils to some kleenex or cotton balls and place near the air vents. Some cars these days even have a regular plug for your diffuser. For more information on oils, check us out here.
Lastly, if you’re traveling a long journey and may stop overnight, have ONE small bag packed with everyone’s overnight clothes to avoid having to take out all of the suitcases.
Enjoy your time with your children. Children crave memories and presence, not things. Providing them with the memories of vacation and presence of your undivided attention during vacation is a blessing. While the journey may be long, it can surely be beautiful.
PIN these fun tips below!