8 Tips for Surviving Holiday Travel with Young Children
Whether you're going by plane, train, or car, traveling with young children can be stressful! To help, we've assembled tips to make your journey a little easier without breaking the bank.
Go Dora Style: Backpack, Backpack!
Let your child help pack a small backpack of entertaining items. Dig up some old toys that haven’t been touched for a few months. Rediscovering an old toy can be endlessly entertaining!
Dollar Store Distractions
Visit your local dollar store for a couple of new diversions to keep in your carry-on and suitcase. You won’t worry about losing toys in the car, and you won’t go broke entertaining your child. Keep a bag of “$1 surprises” and allow your child to reach in and select a surprise every few hours.
Bring the Office
Office supplies from around the house are great attention-getters. Sticky posting notes can become story boards, fluorescent highlighters add fun to coloring, index cards can become personally designed trading cards, and white labels make great “create your own sticker” projects for any ride.
Preschoolers will enjoy documenting their trip with a disposable camera. The camera will keep them alert to their next photo opportunity, and the photos they take will serve as a memory keepsake later.
Crazy for Coloring
Prior to your trip, print coloring pages off the Internet. There are several sites with great printable activities and color pages. Among our favorites are kaboose.com, fisher-price.com, and crayola.com.
Pack the Home Movies
Sometimes the longest car rides can’t be speeded up even with an on-board DVD. But it’s worth a try! A visit to your local DVD rental store or library can help. Select discs that are seasonal, ones that your child doesn’t watch very often. You’ll be amazed that even a small child will enjoy It’s a Wonderful Life, and it might even catch your attention. Old home movies work well, too: Children love to watch themselves.
Read a Story
Record yourself reading your child’s favorite books. You can pop a CD into the car’s player, and your child will enhance her imagination by having to visualize the pictures as she hears the story. And the best part—you won’t have to yell to the backseat to tell the story.
Pack snacks your child would normally not get to enjoy at home. Make your selections crumb-free, such as juice-made gummy bears and dried fruits.
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