When you’re traveling with kids, it’s good to keep them interested and occupied with something. Sometimes, you can just point at something out of a car window. Other times, you need other options.
1. Have Learning Opportunities
Learning can continue even when your child isn’t in school. If you’re traveling by car, maybe you can learn some things about the surrounding areas ahead of time and talk about them during the ride. Ask your kid to guess what life might have been like in a particular town hundreds of years ago. Bring books and children’s learning materials, too. While you’re busy looking at a GPS, children can occupy themselves by studying materials on their own. You can balance quiet time with conversations and music over the radio.
2. Plan Stops
You can’t predict traffic patterns if you’re driving or long layovers if you fly. However, you can pack meals and plan bathroom breaks. Pack extra sandwiches and snacks. If you’re able to bring a cooler or cooling pack, use those to keep meals at a reasonable temperature. Check maps to figure out which rest stops you’ll pass and where bathroom stops will make sense. Encourage kids, especially younger ones, to use the bathroom at all stops. You can all drink and eat more freely once you’ve stopped moving.
3. Allow Leadership
Involve your child in making decisions about what to do on the trip. On a day on the road, talk about what you’ll do once you stop. Allow input while still maintaining some control. For instance, you might allow your kid to choose a museum to visit from a list or decide which activity to do first. Ask questions and entertain different possibilities. You might realize there’s something you can do in addition to what you already have planned.
Be realistic. Traveling can make many people anxious. Prepare the best you can and be patient with your fellow travelers.…