Wheel Fun

Traveling the interstate highways with a carload of kids might sound like a one-way trip to parental insanity. For all the educational opportunities involved in experiencing new places and seeing new things, the key to traveling successfully with kids could lie in your ability to distract and entertain.

Here are some helpful suggestions for reaching your destination:

Pack soft. Toting soft-sided luggage makes it easier to squeeze more into a small car. When packing your car, keep items you might need near the top of the trunk. If stopping for the night, pack a small, separate bag with a change of clothes, swimsuits, pajamas, and toiletries so you won't need to unpack everything.

Consider a turtle-top car carrier. For long car trips, this frees up space in the car and trunk, making for a more comfortable ride for all.

Stop for a breaks every two hours. Keep your eyes open for a park, a playground, or restaurants offering a play space for kids. Everyone sits easier after they've stretched their legs.

Get comfy. Allow the kids to kick off their shoes. Bring pillows and blankets. To make a multi-purpose pillow, stuff your beach towel in a pillowcase.

Don't forget sunscreen and sunglasses. Take along enough for everyone in the car. Consider sun shades for the rear side windows.

Music soothes the soul.
Bring along a good selection of your kids' favorite tapes — some upbeat, and some that's good for helping them to drift off to sleep.

Take turns driving. Switching driving roles can break up the monotony for children and adults alike.

Switch seats. If older kids are fighting or are just sick of each other, take turns allowing each one to sit up front. This is not safe if your children are younger than 13. If you have a baby or a young child, they might also appreciate a parent's company every now and then.

Pack a portable toilet. Kids might be reluctant to use some of the bathrooms you find on the road and are happy to have their own potty handy. It can also be invaluable when there is no bathroom nearby. Carry in a plastic bag, and bring along toilet paper and wet wipes for clean up.

Don't forget your own "toys." A good book, your favorite snacks and drink, and maybe some ear plugs.

Kids get carsick? Pack some gingersnap cookies — the kind made with real ginger. They can help to prevent motion sickness and nausea. You can also try acupressure wrist bands available at most pharmacies.

Don't leave home without wet wipes. Even if your kids aren't in diapers, wet wipes are great for cleaning up messes along the way. Your little ones might even enjoy playing cleanup with them.

Bring along a road map for each child. Together, before the trip, trace your route with a highlighter. Then you can turn the tables, asking them, “Are we there yet?”

Source: parentsplace.com