From what I gather through reading parenting blogs, traveling with small children is not the easiest thing to do. Before portable DVD players and travel Magna Doodles, what in the world did parents do to keep their children occupied during long road trips? I remember a few ways…
My Mom used the old “Sugar Daddy” trick on me that my Pop-Pop came up with many, many years ago. In the beginning of the trip she would hand over a brand new, x-large Sugar Daddy. Those chocolate treats took so long to eat and then when I was done, all the sugar made my mouth stick together, which made it a little difficult to talk! That would usually last me at least half of the way… then we would usually play the “guessing game” – you give the first initial of something in sight and the other person has to guess what you’re looking at. Very fun!
After many trips down the [Jersey] shore and a handful of dentist bills later, I’m sure my mom wishes they had then what they have now!! I certainly wouldn’t recommend the Sugar Daddy trick, so Colleen at Classy Mommy helped me gather some great tips for traveling with your kids. Colleen hosted a giveaway of the Graco Nautilus Car Seat, and she asked readers to submit tried and true travel tips. Here are the top 9 tips chosen from almost 900!
1. Watching DVDs, playing games like “count the number of red cars we pass”, making a note of the car license plates to see which states they come from and talk about that state, read out the funny sounding street/place names, singing songs, are all fun ways to make the journey pass quickly.
2. One trip we did we had “100 mile bags”. Every time we drove 100 miles the kids got to open a bag, filled with goodies, books, toys or other things to keep them busy. They looked forward to opening something new, and it cut down on the fighting and whining.
3. Leaving just before nap time usually makes for a nice quiet trip.
4. Take turns telling short pretend stories in the car. It keeps the kids occupied and time passes more quickly.
5. We bring lots of snacks, travel pillows and a portable DVD player for the kids. They usually never make a peep!
6. Lots of books for our little one to read.
7. My best tip is to plan ahead hours before departure. Whether it be packing the diaper bag or loading up the car…everything is easier when done ahead of time while the kids are sleeping. Just remember-things get forgotten and extra stops inevitably need to be made.
8. Keep a positive attitude along the way and your family will be happy as well!
9. Check out rest stops ahead of time (vs. stopping at gas stations). State rest stops are often times, in our experience, much cleaner. And we’ve come across a few that actually have playgrounds on them, those are great when the kids get restless and need to release some of that pent up energy!
I certainly have made mental notes of many of these tips, which have definitely surpassed the old “who can stay quiet longest” game! Thank you Colleen and Classy Mommy readers for sharing your travel tips. For more tips from parenting bloggers, check out Ready for the Road Ahead and for information on the Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat and to view all of the beautiful new fashions, click here.