Every parent knows the headaches that can occur while traveling with the kids. From bathroom breaks every 30 minutes to flare-ups of sibling rivalry; taking the kids on a road trip can really test the patience of even a saint. With a little advanced planning and some simple family travel tips, many of these travel pains can be minimized.
One of the most important travel tips for the family is to simply relax. Nothing ever goes quite as planned on a trip, and taking the kids with you only adds extra stress if something goes wrong. Even seemingly benign setbacks can cause big bursts of crying and screaming in tired, tired children. And because children naturally look to their parents when estimating the seriousness of a given situation, this will inevitably be magnified by the children if you show signs of stress.
For a child, nothing makes a car ride longer than having nothing to do but look out the window. And if you’re a parent, nothing makes a trip longer than a bored and unruly child. That’s why it’s essential to pack a variety of entertainment when traveling with small children. Books, games, DVDs and anything else that can be used as a distraction will make a long journey go by much more quickly for both parent and child.
An often overlooked aspect of family travel tips is choosing the right time to travel. If possible, traveling overnight is often the best idea, as most children simply fall asleep within a short amount of time en route. If you must travel during the day, it is an excellent idea to arrange your travel time around regularly scheduled naps, as it can be quiet for at least a few hours while driving.
It is also very important to make sure you have enough time to travel. Having the time to make frequent stops along the way not only helps break the monotony of driving, but also gives kids a chance to get moving and burn off some energy. And with a little luck, follow these family travel tips to make your next vacation a great experience for all the family.