We’ve done a bit of traveling this summer. We took an 8 hour road trip to Baltimore to meet a new cousin and then a long plane ride to visit Grandma. With each addition to our family and their growing ages, each trip is a slightly new experience teaching us a little more about our children and ourselves as parents.
This summer I learned some things about our children during our first extended visit that have really helped with our second trip.
I learned Sammi needs to create art daily.
I’ve been thinking a lot of what worked for us and what we needed to improve. We’ve had a lot more success with round two of our family vacation. But there are still things that I’m learning about the kids that will help so much when we travel home next week. Since we have three kids, I’ve put together our top three tips for traveling with kids.
Top Three Tips for Traveling with Kids
- Do something familiar: Bring along one favorite activity for each child. Sammi and Elli have both benefited from having their favorite pastimes at their disposal. We brought along crayons and lots of paper for Sammi and Elli was able to choose one outfit out of the dress up box to put in her backpack. By having their own things to do their favorite activities they can use them whenever they feel the urge. This has helped keep them from getting out of sorts like they did on our first trip.
- Try Something New: A few well-chosen new activities can be just the thing to break up the monotony of long travel days. On our recent road trip we introduced our children to books on tape. We started with The Indian in the Cupboard. At first we thought it would be too difficult for our 6 year old and 3 year old to follow so we turned it off and told them we would find something more suitable. They both protested! Sammi (6) even recapped what we’d heard to show us that she was following the story and she was hooked. Vacations are also a great time to do something you might not get to do often at home: visit museums, go swimming, visit the welcome center in each new state you drive through, etc.
- Be Flexible: When traveling or visiting families with different routines it’s important to be flexible with your children. Sometimes schedules can’t be flexible. We had to be at the airport by a certain time to catch our plane. That meant we couldn’t dawdle on our 5 hour drive to the airport. But I was much more flexible in what I tolerated in terms of fussing or whining because I knew they were doing something hard. Inevitably you’ll have to make adjustments, but if you go into it with a game plan for how and where to be flexible, you can help keep some sense of normalcy for your little ones.
How have you survived traveling with your children?
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