Traveling with your kids: Are we there yet?

  • Don't forget sunscreen and sunglasses. Take along enough for everyone in the car. Consider sun shades for the rear side windows. The sun can be brutal, and sun in the eyes (or a sunburn) is enough to make anyone grouchy!
  • Music soothes the soul. Bring along a good selection of your kids' favorite tapes -- some upbeat, and some that are great for helping them to drift off to sleep.
  • Take turns driving. Why don't you drive for a while and let your partner help to entertain the kids? Switching roles can break up the monotony for children and adults alike.
  • Switch seats. If your older kids are fighting or are just sick off 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 also appreciate some mommy or daddy company every now and then. You can take turns sitting in the back, cuddling with them in their car seat.
  • Bring your own potty on a long trip. Kids may be reluctant to use some of the bathrooms you find on the road (just like us) 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 Walkman, with your own (relaxing) music can be a sanity saver. Also bring a good book, your favorite snacks and drink, and maybe some ear plugs (for a little peace and quiet).
  • 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, such as Sea Bands.
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