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How can you make traveling with young kids easier on them?

I have a 3 year old son and a daughter that will be 1 before we take the trip. We have never spent more than a couple of hours in the car and we will be taking a 5 hour car trip in June. My son flew with us to Germany an 8 hour flight and a 10 hour return flight. He did rather well and didn't sleep at all. We have never travelled any distance with our daughter.

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amber.guest

Asked by amber.guest at 8:15 AM on Feb. 22, 2011 in Travel

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I think I would bring movies for the car. That way they can watch something and then maybe fall asleep. Also I would leave around a time that either they are getting ready for bed or nap time. If you can get them to sleep through part of it, that always worked for us. Make sure you have drinks, snacks, books and toys.

    When my kids were this little we would also sing songs.

    Good Luck!
    cornflakegirl3

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 8:17 AM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • do u have dvd players? 5 hours is not that bad. by the time you take a potty break or 2, give them a snack, you will be there!
    LuvMyMedic3ID

    Answer by LuvMyMedic3ID at 8:18 AM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • take games, plenty of books and things they enjoy doing I usually let my boys chose a game they want to play a few books and some snacks that they enjoy also something for them to drink.
    Christmaslver68

    Answer by Christmaslver68 at 8:31 AM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • I have portable DVD players for mine to use, we also bring crayons & coloring books and some of their favorite toys, plus we stop every 2 hours to let them stretch!
    momto4girzls

    Answer by momto4girzls at 8:36 AM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • A lot of people I know drive through the night so the little ones sleep. Although the parents arrive tired, you aren't dealing with agitated children that need to be amused through the journey. If you have to drive during the day, take breaks every 2 hours or so (and make them good ones with lots of running around). Bring activities for the little ones and blankets or sun shades in case the sun is coming right into the vehicle. There's nothing worse than being caught in the sun in a car.

    Good luck and have a great time!
    Nonoluna

    Answer by Nonoluna at 8:37 AM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • I agree with the previous answers. My daughter-in-law travels with two small children, 3 and 18 mos., all the time. She keeps a checklist of things she will bring to entertain them whether they are traveling by car or plane. If you have a DVD in your car, movies are a good idea. Snacks and drinks are a must. Books to read to them, their favorite toys, and small games are also very useful.
    rosiemendo

    Answer by rosiemendo at 8:41 AM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • All are great ideas thanks. Neither of the kids watch tv for longer than 5 minutes. The oldest is 3 and isn't a very good reader yet but he is trying. He will occasionally sit still for a few minutes to listen to a story. Going to take toys, snacks and water with us. We are planning to stop about half way and grab lunch and I was thinking about planning our lunch near a park so that everyone can get out and run around.
    amber.guest

    Comment by amber.guest (original poster) at 8:41 AM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • Your idea about stopping midway should help a lot.. That is exactly what we used to do when we traveled to our inlaws (about 6 hours) when the kids were young. I also bought a few little things at the dollar store and gave them to the kids, as a surprise, after the break. And then had a couple stashed away for the trip home. GL
    elizabr

    Answer by elizabr at 8:47 AM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • i would definitely plan more than one stop if it's a long drive. like others have suggested, plan to leave about an hour before nap time. that way once the novelty of being in the car has worn off (15 mins or so), they will start sleeping and hopefully give you a couple of hours of straight driving. then stop, stretch, snack before you get back on the road. singing songs and pointing out to things (exhausting but effective) can keep them entertained as can frequent snacks. raisins are great because they take about 15 mins to get through a small box by the time the LO is done digging through them all.

    i would caution about giving them too many books/dvds. etc to focus on because my pediatrician warned me that it may spoil their eyes. so for short amount of times only.

    I have other tips as well as great products to keep kids entertained in the car on my site momaboard.com.

    good luck!

    Kaamna

    Answer by Kaamna at 1:10 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • Thanks everyone.
    amber.guest

    Comment by amber.guest (original poster) at 7:34 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

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