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Vacation traveling with children in cars

Planning a vacation can almost be as exhausting as a hard days work. If planning a vacation is in your near future, plan head for that dreaded car trip with the children. Planning ahead and packed with the right equipment can make this vacation car trip as painless as possible. 

I know sometimes it would be easier to just fly and get there as soon as possible. As nice as that sounds it just isnít in everyoneís budget. Traveling by car can sometimes be the cheapest and easiest way to travel.

Letís see what we can do to make this trip as stress free as possible.¬†

First line the seats with a plastic covered tablecloth and a sheet. This will insure that liquids will not absorb into the car seats and the sheet will keep the children from sticking to the tablecloth and itíll absorb the liquid spills.

Always plan to have a couple plastic grocery bags beside every seat in the event that a case of carsickness arises. Have paper towels and wipes available.

When packing your trunk place childrenís suitcase on top to save from digging to the bottom.

Try to leave as early in the morning as possible so the children are still tired and will sleep a couple of hours into the trip.

To avoid the ďAre we there yet?Ē pass out a watch and a mat to each child and show them the start and end destination. Tell them an approximate time of arrival. First start by saying we will take our first rest stop at 9:00 show younger children where the hands should be. Stick to the schedule and make sure you stop when you say you will. Over estimate your arrival time this way if youíre late they wonít be disappointed.

Give each child a map and stickers as they see different state license plates they can put a sticker on that state. You could award prizes at each rest stop to the child that had the most states marked. This will encourage them not to fight but keep their eyes looking for different plates.

For lunch pack a cooler and stop at a rest stop. The children will be able to run around and stretch their legs. Unlike a restaurant where they would be made sit down and eat.

A water bottle is a must for each child.

Have healthy snacks available for in between stops. You do not want sugary snacks, seeing how sugar can increase your childís activity level and make them get wound up.

A small pillow and cover for each child is a wise idea. When the children get drowsy they will have something to prop their heads on.

A grab bag for each child along the journey is a way to keep the trip exciting. Have several grab bags and on their maps show them where and when they get to pick a grab bag. Fun treats like party favors and puzzle books or coloring books and crayons. Each grab bag is meant to entertain for a long period of time. When the excitement wears off itíll be almost time for another grab bag.¬†

To avoid motion sickness, experts suggest lemon drops or peppermint. Salt covered foods such as crackers or pretzels cuts down on nausea. These would also be a healthy snack. So you will be covering two things at once.
Some other items you may want to have on hand is pine scented cleaner and a roll of paper towels. Wet wipes are always handy after the car snack. Have a change of clothes readily accessible in case of spills and messes.

Take along hand sanitizer. This works great without water and is perfect for cleaning grimy, sticky hands

The key to stress free traveling is planning ahead. Enjoy these years with your children before you know it they will be off on vacations with their own families!!

Visitors comments

Good Comments By: Samantha on 2005-04-09
Good tips I'll try them this summer while traveling with my child and nieces & nephews......Thanks
Papa Smurf Comments By: Lori on 2005-04-20
I remember when I was traveling with my daughter - We were approximately 10 miles into a 20 hour cross country trip when up over the back seat I heard "Are we ther yet Papa Smurf?" I just knew it was going to be a long 20 hours......

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