- LEAVE EARLY- Seriously, you can wipe out half of the travel stress with this one easy tip. When my husband and I know we have a long drive ahead of us we get everything packed and ready in the car the night before and set our alarm clock for about 4am. Sounds miserable, but if you can get the family on the round by 5am it will still be dark out and the kids usually will be back to sleep in no time. Knocks out a few hours before the whining begins and beats the holiday traffic as well. You can even have the kids sleep in their clothes so there is no worries of having to stop to do that later on.
- KEEP THEM FED- Hungry kids makes for fighting, whining, crying kids. Stop for a hearty breakfast and then have lots of healthy snacks ready for the rest of the trip. If you can avoid stopping for lunch this will get you to your destination quicker. Avoid sugary treats for snacks. You do not need kids on a sugar high in your back seat! Some good food choices would be granola, string cheese, crackers, fruit, cereal bars, and nuts. If you pack a small cooler you can even include things such as milk, yogurt, wraps, etc. Don't like the idea of having the kids eat in the car? Designate 5 or 10 minutes for snack time each time you stop for a break.
- TAKE BREAKS- We have found that allowing our kids to take a short break every hour or so can make a world of difference on their attitudes about traveling. Hit those rest stops and encourage the kids to get out and take a potty break, stretch their legs and get some fresh air! It doesn't have to take long and you will be glad you did.
- PLAN ACTIVITIES- Unless you enjoy hearing the words, "Are we there yet?" then you should probably have a plan on how to keep your kiddos entertained. Sure you can pop in a movie, but try to keep that as last resort. Kids watch so many movies these days, why not make travel time a special time for learning and playing new games? I will give you all my best travel activity ideas in another post! Stay tuned.
- BRING LOTS OF MUSIC- Radio stations break up quite a bit when you are on the road and unless you have a service such as Pandora, the car can become quiet and boring FAST. Don't forget to pack you children's favorite CD's. It may be tempting to play one of your favorites, but it probably won't make the children happy. The key here is keeping them satisfied even if it means you have to suffer a little. Sorry!
What does your family do to make travel time during the holidays less stressful?
This post is sponsored by Kia Motors. All written ideas and suggestions are my own.