This is the time of year when many families head for the open road to visit family and friends for the holidays. While spending time with loved ones is a lot of fun, sometimes getting there can be a little stressful. We recently drove almost 2000 miles with a toddler and a pre-teen when we moved from New England to Colorado and below are the six biggest things that helped us all keep our sanity.
• Bring plenty of drinks and snacks that can easily be eaten at rest stops and will keep in the car. You may also want to pack a cooler if you are traveling a long distance. Some snacks that we packed were yogurt, cheese, trail mix, granola bars, fresh fruit, bottles of water and juice boxes.
• For older kids, handheld games, mp3 players, books/e-readers, magazines and activity books are great.
• Keep your travel time relatively short. Gauge your own children and how well they travel, but we found that 500 miles was our max per day.
• If you will be traveling for more than a day, a smartphone app for finding a hotel such as hotels.com proved to be invaluable. We found inexpensive places to stay in minutes. Please note hotel check in times but we pulled in to a hotel parking lot while completing our registration and had a key in minutes.
• Bring plenty of toys to keep your little ones entertained but not so many that they are taking up the majority of the room in the car. Quiet toys are the most ideal. Stuffed animals, books or a doodler such as the Magna Doodle are some good choices.
• Make fairly frequent rest stop and bathroom breaks. If it’s nice, let the kids run around the rest stop and blow off some steam so they don’t have a lot of pent-up energy in the car.
Have a safe, happy, stress-free trip!
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