Any parent knows the headaches that can occur while traveling with the kids. From bathroom breaks every 30 minutes to sibling rivalry flare-ups; bringing the children on a road trip can really test the patience of even a saint. However, with a little advanced planning and some easy family travel tips, many of these travel pains can be minimized.
One of the most important family travel tips is to simply relax. Nothing ever goes completely as planned when on a trip, and bringing the kids only adds additional stress when things go awry. Even seemingly benign set backs can cause major outbreaks of crying and screaming from tired, road-weary children. And because children naturally look to their parents when gauging the seriousness of a given situation, if you’re exhibiting signs of stress, this will inevitably be magnified by the children.
For a child, nothing makes a car ride seem longer than having nothing to do but look out the window. And if you’re a parent, nothing makes a trip seem longer than a bored and unruly child. This being the case it is vital to bring a variety of entertainment when traveling with small children. Books, games, DVD’s, and anything else that can be used as a distraction will make a long road trip go by much faster for both the parent and the child.
An often overlooked aspect of family travel tips is choosing the right time to do your traveling. When possible, traveling at night is often the best idea, as most children will simply fall asleep within a short period of time on the road. If you must travel during the day, arranging your travel time around regularly scheduled naps is an excellent idea as it can provide at least a few hours of quiet while driving.
Ensuring you have plenty of time to travel is also very important. Having the time to be able to make regular stops along the way not only helps break up the monotony of driving, but it also allows children a chance to move around and burn off some energy. And with any luck, by following these family travel tips, your next vacation will be a great experience for the whole family.