Tag Archives: traveling with children

How to have a stress-free family road trip

How to have a stress-free family road trip

How to have a stress-free family road trip

Planning on taking a family road trip on your next vacation? Don’t want it to be chaotic?

I feel you. Being in a far for hours with kids can be a challenge. But no matter where you’re headed, you can make the trip easier and more enjoyable by planning ahead and taking breaks.

Make Sure To Pack kid-friendly Healthy Snacks

You never know what types of sugar-loaded, unhealthy snacks will be available at whatever gas station or 7/11 you pass on your trip. And it may take hours until you hit up a decent restaurant. In order to ensure the kids are eating well while you’re traveling, make sure to pack healthy snacks they love. Whether it’s carrot sticks and hummus or organic granola bars, have a bag filled with healthy options in the back seat ( right by the kiddos) so they can munch whenever you’re hungry. If you’re overseas and aren’t sure where you can get healthy snacks, iHerb is a great place to get organic chocolate, gluten-free cookies, almond butter, and pretzels. They ship pretty much anywhere too!

Pack Lots of Games

The inevitable ‘I’m bored’ is sure to creep in at some point, maybe even a few minutes into the trip…if you’re not prepared!

Have your kids pack their favorite toys & games that will help them stay entertained, and keep the bag within reach so they access them easily. Even if you’re a low-media family, you’ll probably want to give in on a long trip and let your child use your phone or ipad. Minecraft is our daughter’s favorite game, as well as the Toca Boca series. And if you’re homeschooling/unschooling or just looking to help your child learn to read, apps like Homer and Hooked on Phonics are fun and affordable investments that they’ll love!

Take Breaks Often

While you may have a time frame you need to stay within to get to your destination, it’s still important to take breaks, which will make the road trip more enjoyable for everyone. Plus, you need bathroom breaks and to eat, right?

If you’re going on a family road trip in an area you’re familiar with ( or can easily research/google) plan ahead of time where there will be gas stations, restaurants with healthy options, cafes, and sights to check out.

This can be a lot harder to do if you are say taking a road trip in Thailand and you’ve never been here before, but even if you haven’t you can ask the hotel you’re staying at if they have driven to wherever you’re going and if there are any sights/stops they recommend. There are actually loads of gas stations and rest stops on all the main high-ways here, if you are planning on driving in Thailand. And thankfully, our 7/11s have decent frozen Thai dishes, if you’re driving late at night and need a quick bite to eat.

Make sure to take loads of family travel photos when you do take breaks, even if they’re short.

Diffuse Essential Oils

Whenever we travel, we always take essential oils with us. They are seriously so versatile, especially oils like lavender and tea tree. You can purchase a cheap diffuser for your car, and choose a relaxing oil to help the kids ( and adults) stay calm.

Get Your Kids Excited About The Trip

We’ve always tried to use our travels as a teaching opportunity for our daughter, even when she was a toddler. By talking about why we’re taking a trip or going somewhere ( even if it wasn’t a vacation per se) this got her excited. Whether we were driving to get my ID card in South Korea or through Tuscany, we told her about the fun we’d have on the way.

Point out different attractions you see our your window, or come up with a game to spot a certain type of car, bird, etc

No matter where you’re taking your family road trip, you can make it an enjoyable, stress-free experience by being prepared ahead of time!

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Leave the Crankies Behind: A Survival Guide for Traveling with Children

 

photo by Holidayextras

Traveling with children brings families closer together and builds memories that will last a lifetime. It can also be stressful and exhausting. Here are some tips to make your next holiday a vacation from the pouting, complaining and whining that so often accompany family travel.

Planning


Creating a positive vacation experience for everyone starts with careful planning. Research kid-friendly activities at your destination and work them into your itinerary to keep young travelers engaged throughout the trip. Choosing a child-friendly vacation spot, like one of the Top 10 Family Holiday Destinations listed at:
http://www.hostelbookers.com/featured/family-holidays/ is another way to ensure that children enjoy the trip. Let kids be part of the planning process, looking up attractions online and reading travel guides with you. If they have a hand in building the trip’s itinerary, they’re more likely to want to follow it.

Packing


Be sure to pack comfortable clothes and shoes. Nothing brings little ones to tears faster than blistered feet or other physical discomforts. Frequently used medications and a first aid kit can also come in handy. Have younger children select a few comfort items to pack, like favorite stuffed animals or blankets, to make sleeping away from home a little easier. Don’t forget to bring a bag full of activities to keep kids busy en route to your destination. Age-appropriate books, movies, toys, music and games should be readily available during long flights or car rides as well as when waiting in airports or train stations.

Health and Wellness


Keeping kids feeling their best when away from home makes for more pleasant family vacations. Whenever possible, respect their sleeping and eating schedules throughout your holiday. Because children might not enjoy the local cuisine at your vacation spot and because traveling often means too many fast-food meals and sugary snacks, it’s wise to bring some of your children’s favorite healthy treats along to keep their energy up and avoid nutritional pitfalls. Whole wheat crackers, granola and nuts are just a few suggestions. If your trip is marred by illness or injury, seeking immediate medical attention might be the key to salvaging the rest of your vacation.

Sightseeing


Children have notoriously short attention spans, but that doesn’t mean they should be left with a hotel nanny while you go out and see the sights. What better way to teach children about culture and spend quality time with them than to venture to museums and monuments together? Older children might be captivated by trivia or unusual stories about the places you visit, so bring a guidebook or research sights ahead of time. For younger children, turn a museum visit into an engaging game by preparing a scavenger hunt that encourages them to discover the museum’s most famous exhibits. Many cities even offer food tours, shopping tours or ghost tours that make for fun and interesting ways to explore new places together.

Downtime


Never forget that fun and relaxation are the main goals of family holidays. Be sure to leave some unstructured downtime so kids don’t get burned out on sightseeing. Stop at a playground to climb and slide between tourist attractions, or go for long walks through airports during layovers. Look at your vacation destination from a child’s point of view; the hotel pool might be more attractive to them than famous landmarks or cultural experiences.

Traveling as a family allows you to experience new things, reconnect with one another and create priceless memories. With careful planning, packing and scheduling, children of all ages can enjoy holidays away from home—and so can their parents.