Let the Kids Pack Things To Do
Have your kids be involved in figuring out things to bring and do. Get an extra small rolling suitcase (kind of like a backpack on wheels) or a small backpack just for things to do. We love Trunki backpacks because they are unique and lightweight.
Have the child carry the pack around so that it’s always available. We like making a quick dash to the dollar store for finding new and interesting things for kids to explore and use on travel trips. David Robert Hogg, Publisher of Samkip Hotel Guides, says —
The whole trip (even the airport and the plane ride) should be “an experience”. Make it fun, entertaining, and memorable. Don’t go into a 12 hour plane ride with a feeling of “How are we going to get through this?” – go in with an attitude of “How can I make this fun?” and “What do I want them to remember about this plane ride 5 or 15 years from now?” Make it special and something worth remembering.
Avoid Early Evening Dinner Hour
Everyone’s blood sugar is low and tiredness sets in just before dinner. It’s best to travel early in the day and be done by 4 p.m. if possible. This is helpful advice for scheduling flights and road travel. Just avoid that time of day.
Consider Renting a House
If you’re not going to be staying with relatives, consider renting a house instead of staying at a hotel. Tripadvisor and Airbnb are great resources. Kids are more comfortable in a home-like place, and you won’t have to worry so much about your children crying or running around and bothering the hotel room next door when you have more privacy in a home. Oftentimes renting a home is also cheaper, plus you can make your own food from the grocery store — savings overall.
Photo: Las Vegas Guest House off the Strip from Airbnb
Use the Car DVD Player
Bryce Christensen, father of several young children, says “I wonder how my parents (also have many children) survived before portable DVD players. Most models we have tried are good for one movie, maybe two before running into overheating problems. So we plan on watching for about 2 hours and then trying to change things up.” A great way to keep everyone happy for a long time on a road trip!
Take Breaks and Stretch Out
Whether its getting out of the car every 2-3 hours at a rest stop to stretch and run around, or walking the plane every few hours, it really helps kids (and adults!) to feel better and reduce stress by taking a moment for physical activity.
Drink Plenty of Water
It’s so important to make sure everyone stays hydrated on trips, especially when traveling on an airplane. Water and juices are usually free on the airplane, so take advantage of it. In a car, it’s easy to forget about hydration, but it’s still really important. Be careful of drinking sugary drinks, however. It’s better to stick to water and the occasional unsweetened juice.