Family Travel Deal

Tips for traveling with the kids

Vacations, short trips and holiday visits to relatives are all opportunities for quality family time. But, hassle-free traveling with kids involves more than just buckling up - parents and caregivers should be ready for more than one round of "are we there yet?" when taking children on the road!

Here's a list of what to pack when taking your little ones on tour, to lessen their boredom (and your stress):

  • Toys, books and games. Try to pack toys your children rarely get to play with, and that are soft and travel-safe. Trip BINGO, crosswords and books on CD or tape can really make time fly.
  • Drinks and snacks. Dehydration on long trips is a valid concern, so make sure you have some water and juice at hand. Also, munchies like cut-up fruit or trail mix are a must if stops are few.
  • Anti-nauseants. Many children experience motion-sickness during long car rides, so having these medications on hand will help prevent discomfort or vomiting.
  • A map. For children old enough to read a map, being the "navigator" and following the progress of the trip will mean less whining from them, and less frustration for you.
  • Baby essentials. That pacifier will be a godsend, and knowing you have extra diapers to account for any mishaps at the baby change station will provide extra peace of mind.

Above all, consider your child's comfort and safety. Dress him or her in layers to adapt to car temperatures, and provide pillows and blankets for naps. You may want to invest in a detachable sun shade for the window. Plan enough rest stops to incorporate some physical activity and accommodate a small bladder. Ensure that car seats and seatbelts are properly installed and fastened. The best way to have children travel safely is to model correct behavior yourself.

A well-executed travel strategy can mean a world of difference to everyone's mood when you arrive at your destination. After a six-hour car ride with two little ones in tow, you will understand why they say it's not the destination that matters - it's the journey!