No four words carry as much cringe-worthy effect or fear than that haunting refrain. If you have kids, travel with kids or were a kid, you know this to be true.
With Thanksgiving and Holiday travel around the corner the thoughts of an excruciatingly long car ride with the kids are enough to put the brakes on many a family gathering ….that or its alternative of offering to host all 35 of your spouse’s extended family. But there are ways to make the road most traveled less frazzled.
1. Pack lots’o Snacks – prepare lots of small-portioned snacks including mini sandwiches and meals. Bring a variety of snacks remember and just keep the portions small, more of a hand-full size. Avoid anything that is messy, sticky, dippy and always pack the baby wipes.
2. The Value of a Dollar – There are ample choices at the dollar store or grocery clearance table. You’ll get your money’s worth from these magnetic board games or scratch-a-picture colouring pages.
4. Music Soothes the Savage Beast – Tune the radio to the local classical station and have the kids close their eyes, listen for a minute and then start narrating their version of the ‘story’ in the music - however brief it may be, it may be enough to give you all a bit of quiet time.
5. Something Boxed, Something New – Consider buying a small toy, especially if dealing with infants and toddlers, for rail and air travel. One for each leg of the ride should be enough. These toys needn’t be fancy or expensive, just small, colourful and new. If you keep them in the package the unwrapping part for a small child will be sport in and of itself.
6. Breaking Bad – be realistic with how long children, and some adults, can actually sit down for. Plan breaks ahead of time if possible and if you are not keen on fast-food joints with play-zones, there are ample parkettes and parks close to many highway exit to picnic at.
For more information on this or other travel tips, tricks and deals, especially for families with more than two kids, you can check out Rania’s WEplusTHREE…
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