Here, There and Everywhere: Ten tips for Traveling with Kids

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We took our kids on their first big road trip this Summer. Three states, another country and back home again. Throw in a family wedding, visits with friends and family along the way and it was the kind of trip you think about and smile. Our kids have been traveling since they were two months old. They are really good at rolling with what ever happens and dealing with things being different than at home. I know that I am fortunate that my kids are like this. As a family we have worked to find ways to travel with them that make it easier for all of us. Here are some tips that I hope help make travel with your kids a little easier.

  1. Pack snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. Our kids say they are hungry as soon as we pull out of the driveway.
  2. Expect to stop, many, many times. You are not going to make your best time traveling with kids, so plan accordingly.
  3. Potty accidents and spills will happen, pack extra clothes that are accessible without having to unpack the entire car.
  4. Let the kids pack an activity bag for the car. The rule in our house it that everything must fit in the bag, and they must be able to pick it up and carry it themselves.
  5. Pack your lunch. This will save you time and money. Find a road side stop with picnic tables, eat and let the kids run.
  6. Check the web for activities related to your travels. The national park service junior ranger program is free, fun, and has age specific activities
  7. If your kids are as freaked out by automatic flush toilets as mine are, use sticky notes to cover the electric eye. Thank you LeeRay Costa for this sanity saving advice.
  8. If you are staying at a hotel, it is worth it to find one with a pool. After all day in the car, the pool is a great way for the kids and adults to get some exercise and have fun. If a hotel is not in your plans find a park or playground near where you are staying and plan on arriving in time to take advantage of it.
  9. Pack something for meals that your kids will always eat and that can be made quickly. For us this is a loaf of bread, peanut butter and jelly. This has saved dealing with hungry/cranky/crazy kids and adults more times than I care to admit.
  10. Breathe. Be kind to yourself, and remember that most things do not go according to plans, relax and have fun along the way.

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