We love to visit and interact with are kids as much as possible along the way. We make up songs together, play "I Spy" and other games. However, at times mom and dad want to visit and the kids want to relax, so we take along some things to make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.
Older kids are better at reading or keeping themselves occupied, however some good music CDs are sure to be appreciated. Most of the things that we will mention here are geared toward the younger kids, but older kids will enjoy some of these things too. Be sure and take along some small toys, games, coloring books, reading books, story and music CDs, and a football or frisbee to toss around when you stop to stretch your legs.
Be sure to have a portable CD player with headphones to take along. Kids will enjoy listening to stories or music and have a ball doing it. FamilyBooksandCDs.com is a great place for getting children's story CDs. Each of their story CDs contains six short stories and some great music. They have Bible Stories, Classic Stories, and Stories about Famous Americans. What we really like is that you can download companion coloring books that go along with each story. This way you can print off new coloring books for each trip that you take, and your kids can color pictures while listening to some of their favorite stories. FamilyBooksandCDs.com also offers free coloring pages and mazes on their web site that are great when traveling with kids. These will entertain children both young and old.
For long trips, portable DVD players or video players are wonderful. If you really need to cover some miles and its going to be 2-3 hours till your next stop, then the kids will love to watch one of their favorite movies. These work well for entertaining the kids, the time will go by fast, and mom and dad can talk up front, while the movie is playing. We've got a long cable with dual headsets that works very well for our two kids. They can be comfortable in the back and control the volume of the movie, while my wife and I have a normal conversation up front. This way we don't have to talk extra loud to compete with the movie.
Another thing to consider is taking along an inexpensive digital camera for the kids, or maybe getting them inexpensive disposable cameras for the trip. Kids love snapping off pictures, along the way, and you'll be amazed at some of the neat shots that they may capture.
Last but not least, be sure you pack some pillows and light blankets so the kids can get comfortable. Snap-on reading lights are great in case the kids want to do some reading after it gets dark. Also, don't forget to pack a small cooler with bottled water, juice, and soft drinks, and take along some of your favorite snacks. This will minimize the number of stops and everyone will be more comfortable along the way.
Family vacations and traveling with kids can be great fun. Most of all just be safe. Have fun and don't stress yourself out. Remember, you are creating family memories that will last a life time. Have a great trip!
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Family vacations can be one of the most exciting times of the year. You've planned and anticipated your trip for weeks or months, and finally the kids are off for the summer, and mom and dad are on vacation. Its a time to unwind, relax and do some fun and exciting things together. Traveling with kids can be a great deal of fun or it can try your patience depending on how well you have prepared for your trip. Children live in the present, and are not very good at waiting for long periods or sitting quietly, so make sure that you go on your trip adequately prepared.
It may be a road trip to visit the grandparents or relatives, visiting a theme park, visiting a national park or monument, or touring the United States. Whatever your vacation plans happen to be, if you are traveling over 100 miles with kids, you'll want to take along some things to help keep them occupied and entertained.