How To Travel With Kids And Survive
Traveling with kids can be stressful, but if you dedicate time to plan, get the family involved, and consider all the things that could go wrong as well as all the fun activities and places to visit, you’ll have an amazing trip and great new memories.
Planning is the most important thing, and you want to get the kids involved.
You will decide where to go, where to stay and all the behind the scenes details, but getting the kids involved in the process will make them feel like they are being considered in the decision making, and that they are actually choosing where to go and this will make for happier and better behaved children.
Since the children are deciding what games to play, what snacks to eat and what places to go, it’s less likely that they will get bored or start a tantrum.
Do your research. Many places accept children but others don’t, so be prepared and ask about it if the information is not 100% clear on their website.
If you’re camping, double check if you have all the things you need, including emergency kits, and make sure you read what you are allowed to do in the area. If any type of fire is prohibited and/or you are not allowed to have a stove take enough lamps, pre-cooked meals, snacks, and charged devices to watch some movies or read.
WHAT CAN THE KIDS DO?
- Give them choices of places or activities you already researched, and ask them to pick out of a list. You need to be ok with all the items listed, and you can give them the pros and cons of each option.
- They can pack their own bags. You can do this a couple of days prior to the big day. Make it feel like a game, you can let them know what they need and let them pick their clothes and small toys. Give them a backpack and let them pack their own things.
- List the car games that you know your kids like, and that won’t drive you crazy if they want to play for hours, and out of those ask the kids to pick their favorites.
- Think of healthy snacks and not so healthy ones, make a deal with the kids and come up with a balanced selection of snacks for the road.
- Bring a car emergency kit and tools
- Take antibacterial wet wipes and sprays
- Your kids’ favorite pillow or toy! If you know your kid needs something to be able to sleep, this is not the time to make her/him get over it. Just bring it with you, avoid the drama and enjoy the trip.
- Plan for the unexpected.
After you plan the whole trip, take care of payments, and all the little details, list the things that could go wrong. Just go point by point: places you’ll visit, the games you’ll play in the car, the activities, and places you’ll go, all the stops you want to make… what can go wrong?
This will help you realize that you may need extra changes of clothes, an extra pair of shoes or extra batteries and chargers. What if you arrive to the hotel and they tell you they never got your reservation and that they are fully booked!? What’s your plan B?
Remember that you need to plan and be prepared but also be flexible.
WHAT TO DO WITH BORED KIDS?
If you see your kids are getting bored, even though they are playing with the toys the wanted, and they are eating the snacks they chose:
- Get out of the car, find a place for them to stretch their legs
- Find a place to get ice cream or just get out and let them take a photos
- Stop at a local toy store and let each kid pick one toy, something that will keep them entertained for a few more hours.