Keep Calm and Travel On
By Hooray for Family
Summer vacation—that time of the year when most parents look forward to a little rest and relaxation. However, the journey there can be somewhat less than eventful. Packing, mapping and driving remain initial stressors, but let's not forget the kids.
Alas! Don't cancel that long awaited retreat. Take a look at these stress-less tips that will help you get from point A to point B without loosing any hair.1. Plan Ahead
Don't find yourself caught in a late-night frenzy the evening before the big trip! Begin your planning weeks in advance. Create lists of necessary items to pack and things to do prior to departure, and always follow through. 2. Get the Kids Involved
Let the kiddos create their own lists and help with packing. These tasks will give them a sense of importance for their part in the vacation. Allowing the kids to help map out the trip is a great way for the kiddos to learn and to get them excited about a long car ride!3. Don't Forget the Food
Parents can save so much money on long trips by bringing their own snacks and drinks. Also, full tummies will provide a more peaceful trip. Pack healthier snacks that will sustain for hours, rather than chips or sweets that will keep the cravings. Items like peanut butter, crackers, lunch meats and cheeses are perfect for road trips.4. Keep Them Busy
Although this point seems obvious, sometimes it's easy to overlook. Pack activities appropriate for car rides, and don't forget to bring options. Disposable cameras are a fun way for kids to make memories and interact. Anything from electronics to activity books will suffice, but no one knows your children better than you do!5. Collect Bins for Easy Storage
Instead of throwing a bunch of junk in the backseat, organize the items in small bins. Containers allow you and your kids easy access to their toys and electronics, and will keep everyone from losing toys between seats. In addition to that, it will keep the car clutter free!6. Bring Necessary Sanitary Items
A parent can never have too many napkins. Spills are easier to tolerate with cleanup on standby. Paper towels, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers are great for accidents, pre-snack disinfecting and unclean bathrooms. Remember, clean kids are happy kids!7. B.Y.O.E.
Bring your own entertainment. Parents tend to satisfy the kiddos, but their happiness is an important part of the trip! Bring a book or electronics when you're off driving duty. If you are riding solo, listen to a favorite podcast or music through your headphones with a single ear (for safety).8. Designate a Trash Bin
Trash tends to build up quick and can leave a stressful mess in the floorboard of your car. Tie a grocery bag to an inside car handle, or use a small bucket lined with a bag to keep the clutter to a minimum. Remember to empty it at each gas stop to prevent overflow. 9. Empty Bladders at Once
When one person goes, we all go! Need I say more? They may fuss and fight, but it will make for an easier trip along the way. This rule will decrease the amount of unnecessary stops or the awkward side-of-the-road potty breaks. OOPS!10. Be Patient and Stay Excited.
It's easier said than done, but we can all strive for it! Identifying memorable markers for the trip is a great way to keep a countdown. Let the kiddos capture a picture on their cameras. It will keep the kids excited, and it may decrease the ever so frequent "are we there yet."
Traveling with children isn't always smooth sailing, but it can be fun. Just remember to follow the tips, be patient, and always keep calm and travel on!
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