Seven Easy Ways to Make a Vacation with the Kids Less Stressful

Long car trips with the kids can be torture. The arguing and complaining can take a toll on any parent’s sanity, but traveling with the kiddos doesn’t have to be a nightmare. With a bit of planning, you can keep your kids happy and entertained on long car trips. And you’ll find yourself happier, too! Read on for some tips on how to keep the kids quiet and content.

Early Morning or Late at Night

Your long trip might be more successful if you hit the road while the kids are still asleep. Pack them in the car in the middle of the night and begin your drive. If you’re an early bird, get the kids into the SUV before dawn. Your children will snooze the miles away, and you’ll avoid traffic jams if you’re on the road while the rest of the would-be travelers are still fast asleep.

Movies on the Go

When you’re going on a long car trip, pack some family-friendly DVDs and use a portable DVD player to show them to the kids in the back seat. Even better, choose some movies the kids have never seen before. A vacation is also a good time to invest in a portable streaming device so you can watch movies and TV shows on a full-sized television (via a WiFi connection) once you reach your destination. It will help keep the kids from getting bored, especially when the weather isn’t cooperating and you’re stuck in a hotel room. When scouting out devices, a simple streaming device comparison can help you determine the best choice.

Healthy Snacks

The last thing you want to do on your car trip is to eat a lot of greasy or sugary foods. Plan ahead by packing healthy meals and snacks your kids can munch in the car. Smart choices are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, crackers and veggies with hummus, granola bars, fresh fruit, and sandwich wraps. Don’t forget to bring plenty of bottled water so your kids can sip on it instead of sugary juices and sodas.

Fun and Games

Keeping the kids busy during a long car trip is the key to keeping them happy. It also prevents you from going crazy. One good idea is to bring along some travel games. You can also download games to a mobile device and let the kids play some age-appropriate video games.

Don’t Forget the Music

Download your kids’ favorite songs to an iPod or bring a bunch of CDs so the kids can listen to music. Everyone in the car can take turns being the DJ, choosing a song for the rest of the group to listen to.

Listen to Audio Books

The local library or Audible has books you can listen to on a long car trip with the kids. Listen to popular best sellers or classic children’s literature, such as Charlotte’s Web or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Audible requires a subscription, but you can get audiobooks for free at your local public library. Use a library card to easily check out books on CD or download them to your mobile device.

Release Some Energy

Kids need to release their energy, so take time to let them enjoy some physical activity. Travel and Leisure suggests you stop at national parks or playgrounds. Pack athletic equipment, like soccer balls, Frisbees and similar items, so kids can exercise and burn some calories.

Additional Resources

Looking for more information to help you plan a stress-free vacay with the kids? Visit websites such as the Family Travel Forum or Ytravel. They’ll provide you with informative articles that show you how to plan and prepare for vacations with your children.

Going on vacation with your children should be fun. When you plan engaging activities for them and provide healthy, car-friendly meals, you can concentrate on bonding with your little ones instead of listening to them argue in the backseat.