Traveling with kids shouldn’t be something that is dreaded. It can be fun, and it is all about how you spin your exciting trip. Going on a trip can be an adventure. Oh, all the wonderful things you are going to see! A great trip with your kids requires a bit of planning, some organization and lots of creativity. Here are some tips on how to make traveling with kids seem like a breeze.
- Be Prepared. Start your trip off by making sure you have everything you need in case of an emergency. Make sure you have a roadside safety kit, first aid kit, water, snacks and extra charging devices. Also, make sure you have a hard copy of a road map. With GPS devices, it may seem like a waste of something to bring but you never know when your device may stop working or run out of battery.
- Get Organized. Make sure that you have everything in an easily accessible place and easy to find. Keep activities and snacks at an easy reach for your children, but in a place you can easily pack away. Also, make sure you have a garbage area to ensure that your car stays somewhat clean throughout the trip.
- Make a Game. One of the pitfalls of traveling with young kids is that they get bored pretty easily. You will get bombarded with questions like, “Are we there yet?” or “How much longer?” An excellent way to keep them from getting bored is by putting a scavenger hunt together. List items that they may see your traveling adventure. It can be things like the yellow bus, blue car, train tracks, or a police car. You can also make a game of bingo with each square space being something that they spot during their road trip. You can also include fun prizes they can win.
- Turn a caddy into a car organizer. Having a caddy is an excellent tool to have in the car, especially if you are stopping for fast food and want to eat in the car. It works great as a food tray as it keeps everything in one contained area without worrying about their food falling all over their seats. You can also use the car caddy to hold small books or toys, an empty tissue box that they can use for garbage or a place where they can put their video games. Another caddy you can use to help hold items as well as save space is a suction caddy (like in the shower). You can stick them right on their windows next to where they are sitting.
- Bring travel bag surprises. Sometimes waiting for the long travel time to reach your destination can be hard on young ones. To make the wait a bit more exciting use travel bag surprises where they can open when you reach a city you pass through, or you can do one every hour. Each bag can contain a small yummy snack, small toys to play with or activity they can do. It keeps kids happy and excited about the travel time. Air-Travel-Watching-movies
- Pack extra clothes. To make packing easier, more efficient and organized is to pack each outfit for a day in a Ziploc bag. Label the bag with what day they will wear it and the name of the kid it is for. If your children are old enough where they can dress themselves all they need to do is grab their bags and put their clothes on. No need to wait for you to pick something out for them. It would help you make sure that you have everything you need and are all accessories are easy to reach such as socks or hair accessories.
- Be extra prepared for kids who are recently potty trained. Bring a portable potty with you so that you can avoid using the gross gas station bathrooms. You can even save some clean-up time by putting a clean diaper in the portable potty. The diaper will collect all the waste, and you can just toss it out when you find a place to dispose of it. To make sure that you are prepared for accidents, putting down a puppy pee pad underneath them in the car seat will help save the cleanup time.
- Don’t bring your fancy stroller. If your child still needs a stroller, just buy a cheap umbrella stroller. It is small and easy to pack. You won’t feel so bad if it gets banged up or lost. You can even leave it at your destination if you no longer want to bring it home. You won’t have to worry about someone stealing your expensive stroller if you go to a theme park or any place where you may need to leave it for a while.
This post originally appeared on Way2GoodLife. It has been reprinted with permission.