Check out these fabulous family travel tips, especially for those that like to whine, fight, complain, bicker, etc. on long trips. Enjoy…
1. Pack a roll of tin foil and let the kids create tin-foil sculptures. (Shiny, noisy, easy to sculpt – what could be better or cheaper!)
2. Add multi-colored pipe cleaners to the sculpting mix and you’ll have masterpieces!
3. Bring a container of baby wipes – don’t ask, just bring them.
4. Give each child a clipboard. It helps keep papers secure on laps and is great for passing tic-tac-toe and Hangman games back and forth.
5. Have an easily accessible change of clothes for every member of the family. (If you have to ask why, you are in for a REAL surprise!)
6. Plan stops. (Gives everyone something to look forward to.)
7. If heading to the beach or lake or any place with swimming – pack a pool bag with suits, sunscreen, flotation devices, and towels. Do not bury this bag in the trunk!. Use a carry on bag!
8. Rent (or buy) a DVD Player made to fit safely in your vehicle. Then drop in a DVD and hit “play”.
9. Give each child a copy of the route map with key landmarks highlighted. (Include a highlighter for them to track your progress)
10. Keep Children’s Motrin and Children’s Mylanta in glove compartment for fast access – make sure you have a spoon. (If you have it, hopefully you won’t need it!)
11. Take stops. (Before the inevitable melt-down – this is key!)
12. Use the time in the car to talk with your kids. Let them ask questions about when you were growing up. Who was your first boyfriend or girlfriend? What subject did you hate in school? What subject did you love? Who was your favorite teacher and why? What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?
13. Ask your kids questions. If you were president, what would be your first law? If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner, who would it be? If you could make up a new holiday, what would it be?
14. Give your kids 25 pennies. Fine them a penny (or more) when they whine or fight. If they have all their money when you stop, promise to double their money. (Then do it!)
15. Have the car detailed when you get home – until then – DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE MESS IN THE CAR!!!!
16. Get Games: Occupy kids and adults alike by playing Ghost, 20 Questions and License Plate Bingo. Then try a scavenger hunt, tin foil sculpture contest or Penny Ante.
17. Photo Opportunity: Have the kids document their last year in an album during the ride so they can share them with the family when you arrive at the destination. Or create an album before the trip that includes the family members the kids will see to help them refresh their memories.
18. Roll Tape: Rent (or buy) a TV/VCR made to play in your vehicle. Then drop in a tape and hit “play.
19. Travel Off-Peak: Leave before sun-up or after dinner to avoid the worst traffic. (The kids will sleep, too!) But keep your eyes fresh – dusk and dawn offer the most difficult driving light of the day.
20. Get Out and About: Pack a football, Frisbee, skates and other equipment so kids can cut loose after Thanksgiving dinner. If you are going somewhere where they will be confined inside, plan to bring board games, art supplies and other activities, especially if the people you are visiting do not have children (or children the same age.)
21. Join A Club: Get peace of mind and join an auto club such as AAA for towing services (very valuable in cold weather,) pre-planned routes, discounts, insurance and more.
22. Be Prepared: Keep a first aid kit that includes the phone numbers of your doctor, dentist, and medical insurance company.