I know the idea of long car trips with children sound daunting to many, but it doesn’t have to be. I took my first long car trip with my oldest when he was only two months old. We made stops along the way. On the way home, I traveled at night, so he slept most of the way. Since then, we have made many long-distance trips with our children, and I have learned many tricks along the way.
First off, make sure you pack a cooler with snacks and drinks. It saves on stopping for food along the way, but it also provides a distraction for when they start to get bored. I fill baggies with cheerios, cut-up fruit, and string cheese for our go-to travel foods.
Next, you might want to invest in a travel tray, like the one pictured below. They are great for snack time, but they also provide an instant tabletop for activities.
For activities, you may be thinking a DVD player or maybe even things like a Leap Pad or Nintendo DS (which is my kids’ go to). However, some kids have a greater tendency to get car sick, which sometimes makes having these a bad idea because my kids used to have problems with this when they were younger. If your child is prone to motion sickness, don’t fret; there are other things to keep them occupied.
One thing is travel games and activity pads, like the ones pictured here.
They are compact, and some even fit into the cubbies in the travel tables. Also, Bendaroos work great for travel. Kids can make all sorts of things, and it is not messy. My kids also like playing with action figures and other smaller figures. One way to make sure they don’t get lost in the car is to make sure that you have them packed in baggies that the kids can put them back into when they are finished.
If all else fails, a good game of I-Spy or the License Plate Game can liven up a trip with older kids. Also, if you don’t have a tight time schedule, consider searching for places to stop along the way that feature family-friendly activities to break the monotony.
I hope you find these tips helpful. What other tips do you use when you travel with your kids?