As much fun as children are, they can present quite a challenge when it comes to traveling. Traveling can be extremely stressful—with or without children—thus, it is crucial to your sanity to be prepared for all scenarios when it comes to traveling with your children.
Here are five tips for keeping your kids happy and occupied during a long travel:
Planning ahead and giving yourself plenty of time can help ease the strain traveling can take on both you and your children. Expect unexpected circumstances to arise when traveling, and prepare in advance for them with extra time. Instead of feeling stressed about missing your flight or your road trip deadline, giving yourself plenty of time will ensure that even if things go awry, you can remain calm, cool, and collected, which in turn will help keep your children calm, cool, and collected.
Kids notoriously have short attention spans, and it pays to have a surplus of activities for them. Set aside a special bag that is full of new, fun toys, coloring books, and other activities your kids may enjoy.
Additionally, consider downloading an assortment of movies, TV shows, and books via the “my satellite provider” app or link through your TV company. These things can help to cure the boredom blues your children might face during a long day of travel.
One of the key things to remember is to space out these activities. Instead of letting your kids have access to the activity bag, or access to all the downloads on your iPad or tablet database, give them the activities one at a time. This will help ensure they do not get bored of all the activities at once.
Double and triple check the expected climate for your intended destination. Make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen, chapstick, and other necessities, such as comfortable tennis shoes and other accessories. You know how uncomfortable a sunburn or a blister is as an adult? Imagine that pain on a child. Making sure they are comfortable and healthy will make your trip much smoother.
Traveling can often bring with it lots of germs or unexpected illnesses, such as car, boat, or air sickness. Bring plenty of vitamins and other cold medicines in order to help them remain healthy and feeling happy.
While it is easy to assume your children need activities to occupy them (and sometimes they do), make sure you take the time to involve your children in the trip. Include older children in the planning process, asking them what sites they want to see and what other things they might want to do.
Lastly, while on the trip, enjoy one another’s company. While it is nice to have electronic distractions on hand for your kids, don’t be quick to rely on them. Vacations are meant to be spent as a family, so spend time talking, listening, and playing games with your kids.
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