Ever since my kids were tots we darted around the country by taking one road trip and then another. We would pack the car, grab the tots and go. In this article, I’ll share my tips that helped make traveling with preschoolers easy. Traveling with preschoolers was hard at first. When we used these tips it made travel more enjoyable for everyone.
Depart before dawn.
Leaving before the sun comes up helps make traveling with preschoolers easy. The kids were less likely to wake up cranky and traveled better than when we left later in the day. It also gives Mom and Dad a chance to catch up before the kids need attention.
Clothes make a difference.
Leaving early was simplified by putting kids to bed in soft clothes they could wear the next day. In the early morning all you need to do is scoop the kids up, latch the car seat and go.
Start packing early.
Traveling with preschoolers easy if you have what you need. Start putting things by the front door a couple of days before the trip. Make a list of anything that has to be added at the last minute. Pack the car the day before the trip. A quick double check will tell you if you’ve forgotten anything.
Comfort items are a must.
Put a tote bag on your child’s bed the night before you leave. Put at least one comfort item in it. If your preschooler sleeps with a special comfort item leave it alone. Put it in the bag in the morning. It’s easy to pick up the bag when you carry your child to the car.
We primarily think of air conditioning in the hot weather months but it may be necessary to use it during the spring and fall. Cool air helps prevent back seat car sickness and reduces temper flares. Keeping the car cool is a tip that makes traveling with preschoolers easy.
Let them run.
Traveling with preschoolers is easiest if you don’t let the kids get too cranky before pulling off the interstate. Find the nearest rest area when they start getting fussy. Let them run and play until they get tired.
My family found that bringing bubbles helped encourage them to be active. They were easy to pack and easy to clean up if spilled. Best of all, the kids had a great time blowing them and chasing them down.
Bring their favorite snacks.
These are just as soothing as comfort items. Put them in small containers that the kids can handle.
Travel mirrors are wonderful.
It’s easy to travel with preschoolers if you don’t have to turn around every other minute to check on them. A well placed mirror works wonders. A quick glance will tell you if they are asleep or if they can’t reach something.
You must have car activities if you want traveling with preschoolers to be easy. It’s just as important to bring the right activities. Crayons and markers are popular but we found them to be difficult for the kids to manipulate in the car. Stuffed animals, dolls, cars and trucks were the best items for our kids.
Take care of yourself.
A vacation with kids can take a lot out of you. Adults who take care of their needs can better take care of the kids. There will be stress filled moments on the trip. One of the things that you can do to make traveling with preschoolers easy is to take care of yourself too.