Summer travel has winded down, but families are already planning ahead for holiday travel. It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to start thinking about the holidays, but especially when it comes to travel, planning ahead is a good thing.
In addition to all of the cool supplies One Step Ahead has to make travel a little easier, they went to their Facebook fans to collect a list of tips. I’ve seen a lot of these lists floating around, but this list of “real life” parent tips for traveling with kids is great!
· Travel fairy. Purchase small, inexpensive toys to use as rewards during the trip. For each hour of good behavior while on the trip, hand out a wrapped reward to each child. They will be motivated to behave and will enjoy a new treat to keep them occupied during the next stretch.
· Catch your Zzzz’s. Time road trips or flights around sleep schedules if possible. Try to travel when the kids are sleeping to pass a large chunk of time. If possible, travel overnight. Try our Deluxe Seat Belt Snoozer Car Pillow.
· Snack attack. Bring a cooler of snacks for kids (and parents!). This will help keep kids hunger-free for longer periods of time and will prevent frequent food stops. This will also cut down on airplane snack costs while in-flight. Try our My First Insulated Lunchbags and Snack Happened Reusable Snack Bags.
· Family time. While road-tripping, play family travel games such as License Plate Bingo, I Spy, Landmark Scavenger Hunt & throw in family sing-along time to boot! Try our Flip to Win Travel Hangman.
· Bookworms. In addition to favorite story books, bring along brochures of your destination for kids browse and pick out things they want to do when they arrive and/or catalogs for kids to circle picks for birthday/holiday lists. Even load up the iPod with audiobooks for whole family entertainment. Try our Kids Activity Books or My Quiet Activity Book.
· Activity binders! Print free online coloring pages of kids’ favorite characters, dot-to-dots, mazes (even some fun school skill worksheets!) & assemble in a special binder for each child. Give to each child at the start of the trip for hours of entertainment! Bring along our Deluxe Snack & Play Kids Travel Tray or Family Travel Car Organizers!
· Everyone needs a break. When traveling by car, try and pre-plan meal stops around rest-stop/park locations. Either bring or buy meals there & let the kids stretch their legs and burn off some energy running around before hitting the road again! Take along our Waterproof Outdoor Blanket for perfect rest stop picnics!
· Engage children. Have children help with the packing! Give them each parent-approved bags to fill with special toys and activities that they want to play with en route and while at your destination! Try our My First Backpacks or Sun Smarties Swim Bags.
· Mail the luggage. When flying, cut down on airport baggage by mailing some items to your destination ahead of time. It’s easier to maneuver with kids through the airport when you’re not carrying so many bags. Try our Go Go Kidz Travelmate for whizzing through the airport.
· When flying, bring at least one small, carry-on bag with your family’s “essentials” (think change of clothes, diapers, toothbrush, favorite stuffed animal etc). You never know when your flight could be delayed or your baggage could get lost for a night or two!
· Whether you’re road-tripping to Grandma’s house or flying to a destination vacation, bring along some items to help children easily transition to their temporary home-away-from home. Try our Go-Pod Portable Activity Center, Stay-Put Inflatable Bed Rail Set or Tuck Me In Travel Bed.
· Stay safe. No matter where your destination, be prepared & address appropriate safety behaviors with the family in advance of the trip. Explain what to expect at the airport, theme park, hotel or visiting house & agree on best safety practices. For theme park visits, try our Clip-On Child Locator and/or Temporary Tattoos so you can write your cell phone number on your child’s arm.
Traveling with kids seems like a scary thing, but once you just go ahead and do it, you see it’s not as bad as you think. With tips like these and more great resources at One Step Ahead, you can make all of your family’s travel smooth sailing.
About Ashley (Managing Editor at MomStart): Ashley is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and former teacher working to navigate through the mysterious world of Mommyia. Read more about her adventures at Momicles and follow her @Momicles2010 .