♥ 10 Helpful Tips for Road Trips with Kids

Copyright Andy Dean Photography

♥ 10 Helpful Tips for Road Trips with Kids

1. Have patience: Try to relax and make the travel a fun part of your road trip. Use the long ride as an opportunity to spend quality time with your little ones. Give them lots of attention, play games, tell them stories and by the time you're ready to come home they'll be talking about the "best trip ever!"

2. Capture the memories: Buy each child an inexpensive disposable camera or one of those fun little kid's cameras - so they can take pictures on their road trip. Your kids will really feel special when they can snap their own photos. They'll also love the resulting photos they can later use in a sweet memory photo scrap book of the trip.

3. Prepare individual bags or a back pack filled with goodies, but don't let your kids look inside until you're on the road. They'll enjoy having their own personal items and will gladly spend hours with their snacks, games and crafts. Here's a quick list of items you can include in the bag, but get creative and consider each child's personality and hobbies. Favorite snacks, books, sketch pad, coloring books and crayons, pipe cleaners, stickers, games, children's playing-cards, puzzles and some brochures about your destination.

4. Don't forget to play: Take the time to plan fun, creative games that can be played while you travel. Your child will have a blast and the time will fly by.

5. Buy an inexpensive journal or notebook and encourage the kids to create a vacation scrapbook. Bring child safe scissors and a glue stick or double sided tape. Show them how to attach photos, tickets stubs, brochures, maps etc. from the places they visit. By the time the trip is over they'll have a great book of memories they'll always remember.

6. Never enough snacks: Snacks are a good way to get children through times when they need to sit still or just aren't behaving (boarding a plane, for example). Snacks also help break up the monotony of a long road trip. The trick here is to be sure you don't give them out too fast. Pack snacks that are convenient and interesting to your children. Gradually dole out gummy fruit snacks and goldfish-crackers - these make for quick and non messy snacks for small children. On long road trips, pack mini pretzels, chex-mix or dried fruit. For younger children bring along sippy cups and don't forget wipes, napkinssmall trash bags.
7. Games and crafts: If you plan properly, you can add a number of games and crafts that will be interesting to your children. Bring a small serving tray or box with low sides. Your child can use this as his or her own personal workspace/ desk to make simple crafts such as pictures, puzzles or even Play-Doh. An excellent activity for young children is MagnaDoodle. It's mess- free magnet drawings can be easily erased and small children have no problem scrawling pictures on it. You can even take turns drawing interesting little pictures with your child and each trying to guess what the other one is drawing.
8. Be the DJ: One of the most common things to pass the time on trips is listening to music. Be sure to bring selections your children will enjoy. You can also bring along CDs with children's stories or other educational materials that your child may be interested in, just to mix it up a bit.
9. Potty time: It may sound obvious, but make sure you always have your children go to the bathroom before you leave - even if they tell you they don't have to go. Also, when taking long road trips with younger children who are potty training, have them wear pull-ups while riding in the car.
    10. Dollar store: Make sure you visit the dollar store before your trip. You'll be able to find a ton of cheap toys, music, craftssupplies and little things that are fun as you travel with kids. You can make a grab bag and reward your children for their good behavior. Let them draw out a prize every 50 miles or so. On long road trips, it could be every 2 hours. This will add variety to the trip and give them something to look forward to along the way. 

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