This is a sponsored post written by me and brought to you by Holt FIAT. All opinions are my own.
One of the challenges that comes with parenting is transportation. Things that used to be affordable, like flying, aren’t so affordable when you have children. After they reach a certain age their ticket costs the same as an adult ticket. Paying for five airplane tickets just isn’t in our budget! So what are we to do? Take a road trip of course!
Something I love most about being a homeschooling family is that we can take our vacations whenever we choose! There aren’t any schedules tying us down! If we’re in need of a vacation or want to visit friends and family we can pack up and go! Of course, planning is always a necessity – particularly when you’re traveling with kids. In our case, we’re usually traveling with our mastiff as well! Sometimes I didn’t have a choice – like moving from the DC area to Texas. I had to travel with the three kids and our pup by myself! That definitely took a lot of planning! Here are some tips I’ve found that make traveling with kids a little easier:
Know Where and When to Stop
One of the most important parts of a successful trip with kids is knowing when and where to stop. Planning ahead is important. How long is the overall trip? How far can you drive in one stretch? Plan your nightly stops based on how long you know you can handle in one stretch, and should you arrive a little early, be prepared with information on the local area for family-friendly places to visit!
Likewise, if you’re planning a long trip, plan intentional stops along the way of fun and unique places you would like to visit. Road trips can be really fun and educational, too!
Pack Plenty of Snacks and Drinks
There is nothing worse than having grumpy kids that are hungry. Do you really want to buy overpriced junk food when you fuel up, though? Be prepared and pack a sufficient amount of healthy snacks and drinks that are “vehicle friendly.” Pack snacks that don’t make a lot of crumbs and aren’t otherwise messy to eat. Drinks are best with straws or a spout (particularly for the younger kids) to avoid spills. You don’t want to have to clean up a mess during one of your stops!
Have one Bag of Easily Accessible Items
Most of your bags will most likely be in the trunk or crammed between seats. Be sure you have one bag that is easily accessible that has essentials you may need before you stop somewhere such as: a first aid kit, a change of clothes for everyone (in case of spills or other mishaps), toys, reading material, wallets, diapers and wipes (if you have a baby or toddler) and your snacks and drinks.
Entertainment can make all the difference on a long trip. Many assume a TV is necessary, but there are many alternatives. In fact, you can find great entertainment in the form of educational apps or even games you can play together in the car such as “I Spy.” You can count objects or look for letters, colors and shapes. You can also sing a lot of fun songs! If the younger kids are getting tired, you can sing softer songs to help them fall asleep for a nap, which definitely makes the drive a little easier!
Dress in Comfortable Clothing
If you’re going to be on the road for a while, you will want to be comfortable. You will want to make sure your kids are comfortable, too! Dress is comfortable clothing like loose work-out pants or shorts and a t-shirt and loose pants or shorts and a t-shirt for the kids as well.
If you will be traveling in the winter it’s important to remember that your children should NOT be in bulky winter coats or suits as this poses a danger as you are unable to tighten the car seat straps securely. Be sure they’re dressed in comfortable long sleeve shirts and pants and cover them with a blanket OVER the seat belt to keep them warm. If you will be running the heater, though, you may want to keep in mind it could get too warm!
Most of all – have fun! Instead of worrying about how stressful it may be, enjoy the extra time with your family and make it memorable!
A special thanks to our sponsor Holt FIAT. If you’ve been considering a new vehicle check out Holt FIAT which serves the DFW area. With years of experience and training, Holt FIAT sales and service team will get you into the FIAT that was built for you!
What are your go-to tips for traveling with kids?
Christina Strapp says
Thank you for posting this, these are some good tips I will have to keep in mind.
Emilee Roberts says
Lynn Buttedal says
I love your tips! I dont have small kids anymore but do have grands and we do go on trips quite often!
I can use these tips. My grandkids are hard to travel with. Thank you.
Michele Ash says
I enjoyed reading about your tips for traveling with kids! We never really did an awful lot of traveling when the kids were really young. We got our Mobile Home a long while ago and all we ever used it for was taking it up to the raceway and spending the weekend there with the racers and Tim occasionally raced. After Scarlett was born, we took our first LONG ride in the Mobile Home to Fort Knox, KY. We had the kids and the dogs with us. It was an ok trip, meaning that we were learning more about the Mobile Home than we had ever before. We made the mistake of driving straight through all the way from PA to KY. We should have stopped at a rest area or a Walmart parking lot and slept in it overnight and then got a fresh start in the morning. When We arrived in KY, we were a bit on the cranky side from sitting. We did stop at rest areas to stretch our legs and go to the bathroom or what have you. We took along plenty of water and drinks along with food and snacks! We played some games in the “bus” as my grandson calls it. All in all though, looking back, we had a good time. We stayed in the Mobile home so that we wouldn’t mess up Amanda’s house and use her shower/bath. Plus we had to keep the dogs separated. Her one dog constantly picks on my 2 little ones and I just wasn’t having it. We all said it was worth the trip to see Nolan and Scarlett plus Amanda (Chuck was in Afghanistan at the time). So, just like you mentioned, you need to be prepared! If you’re not prepared, you may be in for fighting or whatever. Thank God we were prepared with drinks and snacks and then some because we took plenty of food to cook! Thanks for the tips and sharing with all of us! I truly honestly do appreciate it! Thanks again, Michele 🙂
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Tina M says
Thanks for the info.
denise low says
We have raised our kids but we still travel with our grandkids.And if its a long ride they take there writing tablets.
That is a great idea!
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Don’t do it. If you have to, it’s easier to start off in the evening. That way they’ll likely sleep through.
I can’t believe I forgot to mention that. I almost always traveled at night when the kids were younger.
Good Tips. But, nowadays my child’s are spending more time on smartphones than anything. Anyway, your tips are nice!