However, right before Thanksgiving we went to Cleveland, Ohio to see my Grandparents. Now that wasn't such a quick journey. We had to drive through a few states through the mountains, and we had to endure the boredom that the Pennsylvania Turnpike brings. (Don't ask me why, but I have always hated driving through Pennsylvania!) Our trip was about 8 hours. With a preteen, a dog, and 2 toddlers, it could have been very tedious. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't. Neither baby fussed at all, my oldest was happy with his Nintendo DS and mp3 player, and the biggest hiccup was the dog jumping into the front seat as we were driving through the mountains. Awkward!
Why was it so smooth and uneventful? Well, because I was prepared. A lot of families travel during the Holidays, and road trips with children can be quite challenging. Kids tend to get bored and antsy, and parents run the risk of completely losing their sanity listening to fussing and an endless barrage of "Are we there yet?" This can be avoided by planning ahead and taking measures to bust the boredom before it starts!
Often, the key to keeping little ones happy during travels simply means they'd like to interact with Mom and Dad. Here are some fun ideas for car and air travel:
Get a good song book with all the lyrics.
* It surprising how many songs you think you know that you don't really know all the
words. Have a singing marathon and learn the old classics by heart.
Rest Stop Athletics
*Keep a frisbee or jump rope in the back of your van, along with a picnic blanket so when
you stop at a rest area, everyone can run and be free and stretch their legs.
Traveling With Fido?
*Bring a leash and some doggy toys. Dogs need exercise too, and kids will love playing a quick game of fetch with their furry friend during stops!
Pipe Cleaner Creatures
* Use fuzzy pipe cleaners to create all kinds of creatures that kids can also use for creative
play. This activity can keep kids busy at the airport, on the plane or even when you get
to your destination!
Conversation Is Key!
*Encourage ongoing dialogue with the kids while on the road. Ask questions...Tell stories...Spend some extra time really learning what goes on inside the kids' minds. You might learn something new!
*There is nothing worse than being on the road, 100 miles from the nearest convenience store or rest stop, and have a child complain of hunger. One key to easier holiday travel is providing your children with quick, portable, mess-free snacks, eliminating the potential of a sticky child stuck in an airplane seat or car seat for hours. Try Earth’s Best Sunny Days Snack Bars that are made from organic wheat flour and fortified with calcium, iron, zinc and six B Vitamins. These cereal bars are wholesome to eat and perfect for growing kids who snack on the
run. They contain no hydrogenated oil, trans saturated fats, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and
come in fruit flavors. Sophie, my toddler, LOVES these snacks! More great snacks from Earth's Best are their Pop Snax and their Tot Snacks and Sesame Street Snacks! We brought all of these on our trip to Ohio last month, and we didn't have an empty, grumpy belly the whole trip!
As you know, Holiday traveling can be quite stressful. But by thinking ahead and following a few key pieces of advice, traveling with even the youngest of kids can be a pleasant, fun experience for everyone! Are you traveling for the Holidays? I'd love to hear how you keep your kids happy on the road!
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