Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tips for Traveling with Children

As some of you know, I recently got home from a 1800 mile trip with another adult and 3 children, aged 3, 7, and 8.  There are definitely some things we would do differently with them and some things that we are glad that we did.

The Things We did Right

We brought a cooler that could be plugged into a car charger with water and snacks.  We wanted to keep the dining cost down and to have more nutritious choices.  When someone got a little hungry we didn't need to stop but could just get a snack out.  It saved us from having to spend a lot of money on snacks and hearing how hungry they were for miles if there was nowhere to stop. 

The children each had a backpack that they could put their toys, books, and other things that they each like to occupy their time.  They chose wisely and the 3-year-old had help packing his bag. 

We were traveling in a Dodge Grand Caravan and we had the youngest in the middle seat and the two older children in the backseat with a space between them.  We did not hear, "He/She is touching me" very much! Being touched on a road trip seems to be the one way to start a big argument!

Things We Would do Differently

They had their Nintendo DS games and did not want to give them up.  We wish that we would have brought a timer with them since that is the thing they react best to.  It would have made life a little easier for them and us on the trip to be more unplugged than what they were.

We would plan a little more time to get home.   We did not have any time to get out, explore, and see what this wonderful country has to offer.  I know I would have liked to have stopped at a zoo, a National Landmark, and a few other places; but we had a strict schedule to get home by.  Instead we stopped to use restrooms, fill the gas tank up, get some food, and sleep.  It was too rushed!

What are some lessons you have learned from road trips with children? What is the longest road trip you have taken with children?

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