|A time machine would make road trips easier|
The idea of taking a long car trip with young kids might make some parents nervous. I was lucky because my daughter has always tolerated long road trips well. While this could be partly because of her temperament, I do think some of the things we did when she was very small helped her be a good traveler.
My first tip would be to start early. My daughter went on her first road trip when she was very small. Our closest family lives several hours away, so we started with that short trip. But when she was eight months old, we made the big trip up to Michigan, which was a 13 hour trip. I was a little worried but my daughter did great. I think those earlier, shorter trips really helped.
Another tip is to make lots of stops. We tend to travel in the summer, so my husband bought a cooler that was powered through the cigarette lighter outlet in our car. So we could stop at rest stops instead of fast food places. We were able to have a decent meal of sandwiches as well as giving my daughter a change to run around and play out of the car for a little while. When we travel in the winter, we try to find restaurants that have play areas to let her play a bit during the trip.
And finally, toys and books are necessary for long car trips. My daughter has a great ability for keeping herself amused when we take road trips, but I always pack her a bag with extra toys and books. I try and get her something new for the really long trips to help keep her occupied. With all of these tips, we have been able to take many stress-free road trips with my three year old daughter.
Do you have any good road trip tips when traveling with kids?