With the holidays coming up are you planning any traveling with children? Traveling can add extra stress to your holidays so here are tips for traveling to get you on your way. Today, at the Kids Activity Blog, we want you to have the best time traveling and hope these Road trip tips for preschoolers help.
Traveling with Children
We travelled a lot before and continue to travel a lot after we had our boys. The “after” isn’t so easy for a while. We want to make exploration and adventure part of our boys and a big way to achieve that goal is actually taking the boys and traveling with children. So we have had some more challenging (e.g. sleep deprived) experiences but with those experiences we’ve adapted both our mindset and our approach to the journey.
Most recently we went on a road trip, which I suspect many of you are about to do for the upcoming holiday season. I traveled by car with my boys for two hours, then waited in a ferry line for two hours and then took a one-hour ferry ride to a beautiful island north of Seattle. A long day but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Traveling with children is rewarding.
Tips for Traveling
I thought I’d share some of my tips for traveling with young children.
- Take a Break – Don’t be afraid to take a break and let your children run around. These little spirits are not meant to sit still for such a long amount of time. Or choose the layover flight. Yup, I said it.
- Audio Books – We own many audio books via Audible.com but also check out many from our local library’s selection.
- New Music – Maybe this one is more for us adults. I certainly enjoy the new sounds. This past trip I purchased a Global Children’s music cd, which was interesting and fun. My three year old asked a lot of questions about the songs, the artists and the countries.
- Familiar Food – For the journey and at our destination, I always make sure to have food the boys know and I know the boys will enjoy eating, especially away from home. So for us that food includes shells and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, grapes, apples and rice cakes. For the car, pack a cooler with plenty of snacks and beverages
- Familiar Objects – Bring your child’s favorite blanket, stuffed animal or even photograph from his room. I always pack a few of their special cars and trains too. I even pack “track” so that my sons can build a track when we final arrive at our destination. Also, a roll of paper, stickers and crayons go a long way with young children.
- Don’t Carry Books – Visiting the library at your destination is one way to achieve this one. Great when it works out because children love libraries and you can check out a myriad of new material. Also, you may not realize it but many hotels have a library of their own, often specifically for children, and allow guests to “check out” books and DVDs.
- Don’t Carry Puzzles – Bring puzzles and leave them behind. Recently I grabbed a few puzzles that my son had done many, many times and was outgrowing them. I decided after this last “hurrah” that we’d leave them behind in our rental for the next guests.
- Arrive to a Stocked Fridge – Our last trip we were lucky enough to have this perk offered by the property manager of our rental. At first I thought it was a bit over the top but then I went for it. She charged $30 and hour for her time. Let me tell you, it was worth EVERY penny to have a stocked (not everything we would eat but the essentials) fridge upon arrival.
- Rent Gear at Your Destination – Many towns, cities and hotels offer gear rental at a reasonable rate. The Westin in Boston doesn’t even charge for the rentals, which was a nice surprise. I am sure many other hotels offer the same. One of our mantras is to pack lightly. Carrying and chasing around my boys is enough. I don’t need to worry about ten pieces of luggage and gear.
- Do Laundry at Your Destination – Same idea as above. Pack lightly. Stay in a rental that has a washer and dryer or spring for laundry service at a hotel. Trust me, it is worth it in convenience.
More Tips for Traveling with Kids
Don’t let the stress of the holiday ruin your plans of traveling with children. Prepare yourself and your kids with these 10 tips for traveling. Here are even more resources from the Kids Activities Blog to help you along the way.
- Entertaining while Traveling with Kids.
- Creative Road Trip Activities for the holidays.
- Vacation Essentials: Packing for a Playful Trip.