Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Travel Tips {On the Road with Kids}

As a family we are getting ready to take a road trip to visit my husband’s family for a few weeks so I’ve been thinking about all kinds of activities and things we can do in the car to help the time go by fast. We have about a 13 hour drive from home and it’ll be straight through which makes it a little tough when traveling with young children but we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again!

I loved these tips from The Savvy Source (a website by parents, for parents with lots of local savings deals, preschool information, camps & classes, city guides, activities, parenting and more) on traveling with kids and thought I’d share a few of my own. You can view the full article entitled Five Savvy Ways to Entertain Your Child on a Road Trip HERE.


1. Music- Check out fun cd’s of children’s songs from your local library to save money. At times you might want to make singing along to fun songs a family event this is not something I want to do for the full 13 hours we’ll be in the car so be sure you have at least one portable CD player and headphones so those who would like to listen can do so while the other members of the family keep their sanity.

2. Games- I remember as a child playing the Alphabet game while in the car- which meant seeing who could find all the letters of the alphabet in order first. The License Plate game was another one I remember- keeping track of all the different states to see who could spot the most. In the past my kids have also really enjoyed the portable mini versions of their favorite games for the car, like Don’t Break the Ice, and Travel Connect Four. We have a fun new game from Hasbro called Scrabble Flash that would also be great for the car.

3. Rest Stops- Traveling with little kids can be difficult because after a while they start getting stir crazy no matter how many activities they have to occupy them and need to stretch their legs. I find that rest stops with picnic tables, bathrooms and enough space to run around and throw a Frisbee or kick a ball are the best ones to stop at, rather then the gas station bathroom. Stopping for 10 to 15 minutes to let the kids run around can be really helpful.

The last time we made a big trip like our upcoming one we packed a picnic lunch with snacks and stopped at a nice rest stop with picnic tables to enjoy our lunch and get the wiggles out rather then running through a drive through. It saved our vehicle from messy foods and let the kids enjoy some time away from the car while saving money at the same time!

4. Books- I find that books can be difficult in the car because after a little while kids and parents alike can start to feel a little queasy. This is where your local library can come in handy with audio books.

5. Surprises! Each year my husband and I try to go shopping a few days before our trip and grab some fun activity books, crayons, and some of the kids favorite snacks for the car. It’s always much more fun to have new things and things that are a surprise. One year I had a bag full of goodies that I kept in the front of the car and every couple of hours I’d let the kids close their eyes and pull out a new surprise from the bag. They loved this! The trick if you’re going to buy these items a few days in advance is hiding them well enough so the kids don’t find them before your trip.


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