Our Family enjoys traveling whether it’s flying across the country or camping in our RV we enjoy the adventure. So, over the years of our travels I have learned what the “Must Takes” for a family traveling with children are.
A- Attitude is everything……
Good attitude, don’t sweat the small stuff.
B- Baby Stuff
-baby wipes/wet ones even if you don’t have a baby- wipes down everything, hands, feet, toilet seats, etc.
– Music, make sure you have portable CD players with fresh batteries and a stockpile of their favorite CDs for the trip and/or something for “white noise”.
-favorite pillow and blanket.
-denture cleanser tablets; for cleaning pacifiers, baby spoons, sippy cup lids, and anything else that is hard to sterilize on the road, just fill a glass with warm water, drop in the item, and pop in a tablet.
– Snacks; LOTS and LOTS finger food, fruit or nuts, avoid sugary/sticky snacks.
Activities With Batteries
-Books on CD -With the huge market of kid books out there, there is a tremendous number available on audio disc. These stories last for hours and will keep your child entranced for some time.
-DVD’s, rent movies from library or exchange/borrow from friends.
-Portable game devices (don’t forget charger).
-IPOD- free audio stories for children from Storynory.
-MP3 Players you can download books to these along with music.
Activities Without Batteries- the kind that use their imagination.
-I Spy with My Eye.
-License plate games, like counting to see how many different states you can find, or try to make a sentence with the letters in a passing cars license plate.
– Puzzle Books but have big enough print to be able to read easily in a moving car. Try to avoid reading books, unless on a plane, the small print with the moving car could equal a sick child.
– Word Search puzzles www.Puzzle-maker.com.
-Road games got to www.momsminivan.com/printables.html.
– Make up your own road scavenger hunt game. Write out a numbered list of 20 things that you’ll likely see on your route. Include vehicles (truck, minivan, motorcycle, police car), animals (cow, dog, horse, bird), and buildings and other roadside items (barn, stop sign, church, fence, bridge). Photocopy the page for every child, and hand each a crayon. The first kid to spot all the items on the list wins. For kids too young to read, use pictures instead of words.
– Pipe Cleaners—making necklaces, swords, bracelets, towers—anything.
-Colorforms play sets with reusable vinyl stickers can occupied kids for HOURS. These sets are very portable and they would be great for car trips, too.
-Stopwatch, Jump ropes, sidewalk chalk (for playing hopscotch and four-square). inflatable ball, etc.-encourage kids to burn off some of their excess energy at highway stops.
-An inexpensive metal cookie sheet makes the best lap table for a child during car trips. It can be a food tray or a writing desk (the raised edges keep crayons from rolling off). It can be a clipboard with the addition of a clip-style fridge magnet. It’s an instant play table for all sorts of magnetic toys, simple letters and numbers, farm animal magnets, magnet books, Magnet Wheelies kits, magnet dress up toys, and Magnetix.
-Journal/camera, let little ones chronicle the journey from her point of view! Have her take pictures of stops you make along the way. The pictures will make great keepsakes and create another busy-bee project for later: A scrapbook If you don’t trust your kids with your expensive digital camera, consider buying a disposable camera for each child at the start of your trip.
– Postcard/Picture TIP: Postcard twist- Hazel Mail, converts your vacation photo into a postcard and send it anywhere in the world for $1.50.
D- Drug store stuff
-Tylenol (or whatever you prefer) so that you don’t have to worry about tracking down a drug store in a strange neighborhood at 11 P.M.
-Motion sickness medications.
-Benadryl some parents swear by it and some parents detest it, but Benadryl can go a long way. Especially with long flights, giving you child something to help them sleep can make everyone a lot happier.
-Laundry detergent in Ziploc bag or save your sample sizes for travel also don’t forget stain sticks to remove stains.
-Travel size toiletries.
– Collapsible Hamper; use it for dirty clothes. If you have to do laundry while you’re on vacation, you’ll have something to carry it in. If not, it will keep the floor less cluttered and make packing for home easier.
– Ear plugs for you.
-Take Ziploc bags for making daily snack bags, dirty clothes, liquid items etc.
From the 24/7 MOMS Live MOMversation on 6/23/09