See these Travel Tips for Families if you’re planning a vacation with the kids!
Are you planning to take a road trip with your family? Depending on how long the trip is, and how young the kids are, things can get kinda hectic. Having a plan, lots of snacks, and some entertainment will help you have the time of your life on this vacation. Here are a few Travel Tips for Families on the move!
1. Be Prepared
As parents we have all been there- one parent driving while the other quickly tries to map a nearby restaurant on the smart phone, all while the kids are getting more and more hungry! My tip is to Plug all of your stops – and your destination – into a GPS or your phone maps app before you leave the house.
Having an outline of your trip ahead of time will help you stay on track. Whether you want to hit all of the tourist spots or travel like locals, mapping your stops ahead of time will help ensure you have the most fun on your trip because you’ll be able to spend less time getting lost or trying to figure out where you want to go next.
2. Allow Time for Traffic
For travel to busy places like Disney, Sea World, and larger cities, inevitably there is traffic. Often for us, that’s when younger kids are tired and just want to be done! Allow extra time (even 30 minutes extra travel time) helps us parents not to be so stressed out. And in turn, the family is more relaxed.
3. Find Something for Everyone
When planning stops, keep each family member in mind. If one kid likes museums and another likes parks, plan on stopping at both to keep everyone happy. Add in a stop for Mom and Dad, too. Especially when the kids were young, having one nice dinner (yes it’s more expensive) helped keep in mind that the vacation is for parents too!
4. The Food!
OK, moms, we all know this list wouldn’t be complete without a nod to those snacks!! Pack tons of snacks and drinks. If you think you should pack 10, pack 20. For babies, I never brought much but liquid like juice, or easily dissolving Gerber Puffs. I could just picture someone choking on something during the trip, so safety first! I have also had to sit in the back with my kids before.
Our favorite go-to travel snacks:
- Trail Mix
- String cheese (cooler item)
- Apples and bananas
- Granola bars
- Fruit snacks
- The giant cube box of chips from Sam’s or Amazon (For the hotel stay!)
- Cheese-Its or Gold Fish
- Small boxes of cereal (Cheerios and Chex are my favorites to bring)
- Capri Sun (cooler item)
- Bottled Water (cooler item- Get these at Dollar General, Sam’s or Walmart)
- Ritz Crackers Fresh Stacks (Believe it or not, these are eaten first! The salty snack helps with queasiness too if someone is prone to motion sickness.)
5. Cleaning Supplies
Keep Lysol wipes and paper towels on hand. Spills are bound to happen. Preparing for them can ease frustrations a bit. I also learned over the years to bring a couple laundry pods in a child-proof container. We had a need to use hotel laundry several times. Kids just have a way of going through clothing no matter how much you bring! This is a huge money-saving hack.
6. Emergency Numbers
Make sure you have a list of emergency numbers – written down, not just stored in your cell phones. Include numbers such as AAA or your roadside assistance, parents and/or in-laws in case of emergency, and doctor office phone numbers for the kids. While we already have those in our phones, phones can die or lose service or get dropped and break, so you’ve gotta have a backup plan. Even though we hope and pray it doesn’t worst case scenarios do happen every day. Cell phones are often lost when accidents happen.
7. Be Flexible
If you’re traveling with kids, you’re going to have to make quite a few stops. That’s just how it works! When you’re stressed out, the kids get whiny and stressed out, and the road trip turns into a chore rather than an adventure. Being flexible will save you huge headaches while you’re on the road.
How many “Are we there yet?”s until we’re actually there? That’s what every parent is thinking when they’re on a long road trip with children! Keep the whole family happy with these 10 Tips to getting Kids to Unplug on Road Trips, playing I Spy, decks of cards, handheld video games, and sing-along CDs (with headphones!).
You can make your own car games with magnets and cookie sheets, or browse Pinterest before your trip for other ideas. Check out these sensory bottles for another great way to keep younger ones busy.
9. Have Fun!
Traveling as a family can be stressful, but you’re creating memories that will last a lifetime! Keeping the plan in mind while remaining flexible is key to traveling with less worry.
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