Maybe I’ve just got vacations on the brain since everyone is going out of town these days…
I got to thinking about how much I’ve learned about traveling with children (preschoolers and babies in particular) and thought I post a little bit about that.
- Planning makes all the difference in the world. Gone are the days when I could keep a change of clothes in the backseat of the car and go anywhere anytime…Now I need to know how long we’ll be gone for, where we’re going, who we’ll see and a whole host of other things…
- Be prepared for the children to get sick especially if you are traveling in the winter. I always travel with a selection of my tried and true favorite remedies. Since Su has asthma I’ll be taking a regular inhaler and a back-up on our next trip.
- Make time in your plans for regular bathroom and running around breaks. We usually stop three or four times on an eight hour trip. Everyone arrives in a better mood.
- Think about sleeping arrangements and make sure you have prepared the children as much as possible for sleeping in a strange place. Take the baby’s port-a-crib and everyone’s special blankets. Let the baby sleep in the crib for a week or so before traveling. When F was 2 and Su was 14 months we drove from Virginia to west Texas then to Manitoba, Canada and home again. Before we left I made the children special sleeping mats. They practiced sleeping on them and used them during the trip, a bed that traveled with them but wasn’t bulky made a huge difference.
- Have special foods and activities that are only available on long car trips. This helps the children look forward to sitting in the car for several hours at a stretch.
- Above all enjoy the experience. You will never have the opportunity to repeat exactly this trip again so enjoy it, even if you did forget something vital!
Here’s a free down-loadable packing checklist.? Let me know if you’d like me to add anything to it…. Vacation Checklist (1014 downloads)