Saturday, May 26, 2012

Travel Tips

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu

Sometimes any travel with kids feels like a thousand miles! ;-) But in the end all the hard work that goes into traveling with kids is totally worth it (most of the time)! As Summer Break is coming soon I thought it might be helpful to share some tips for traveling with young children.

Last year for spring break we drove from Indiana to New Mexico for spring break. We had four adults and four kids (two under 1yr who were still nursing). It was a ton of work, but also a lot of fun. Here are a few things I would recommend to families planning on traveling - especially when driving long distances:

- pack lots of snacks (saves you from spending a fortune at gas stations)

- pack busy bags (just google busy bag ideas - you'll figure out which ones are best for traveling

- whether you are a gamer family or not bring a portable game device! On the long road you will be thankful for anything that stops the "Are we there yet"s that will be coming far too often!

- make pit stops to potty or sight see when needed - don't be too confined by a driving timeline

- bring portable dvd player (with head phones) - I know some may have an aversion to this but if you are traveling a really long distance you will be so glad that you did it!

- be involved, interact with the kids, play road trip games ie. liscence plate bingo, I Spy, etc

- don't have too high of expectations ;-) Relax and enjoy the ride!

If you are looking for inspiration on where to take your next family vacation check out this site: Budget Travel compiled a list of viewer voted places that every kid should visit and made The Top Places Kids should See before age 15. Todd at FamilyManMinistries takes his family around the country in their RV and he suggests some of their favorite camping spots.

It took me six years to convince my husband to do a road trip together, just the two of us. Then it was another two years after that before we took one as a whole family. And honestly that was only because I had gotten to the point that I was going to go with or without him. He had built up in his mind how hard and potentially awful it would be to be in the car so long with all those kids. But when it came down to it he did not want to miss out on being a part of the special memories that would be made on a trip like this. He decided to dad-up and do it. And we are all glad that he did! It was a great trip! And even though this year we are keeping things a little closer to home, we are looking forward to doing another big trip someday soon!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain


danielle said...

I do not even think about it much anymore with an average of 4 road trips a year to see family since the boys were born. We have found driving at night works best for us, but this is because we have done it since the boys were babies and they are used to it. Love the new blog look by the way! I view your blog on google reader so I had not seen it!

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