Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Few of my Favorite Tips for Traveling with kids

We just got back from our lil family vacation to the beach.  We went to Destin and it was just beautiful.  I really hate to think what it will be like when the oil will hit these gorgeous white beaches.

We only travel a few times a year in the car with the kids (usually to visit our families).  They aren't the hardiest of travelers.  We learned the very hard way that our oldest gets car sick very easily.  And Kalla gets a bit uncomfortable too back in the third row.  So we always have to start off with some Dramamine (of which is either a swallowing or chewing pill...both of which Z can't stand, but is getting more tolerant as he gets older).  

But to keep from the never ending 'when do we get there??' I keep a few tricks up my sleeve.  And yes we watch a few videos here and there which is a giant help.  

But this time around I gave them all a little notebook to keep.  Then every half hour if there was NOT any fighting, whining, complaining, crying or 'when are we there's' they got a sticker.  And believe it or not, just marking the half hour seems to make the trip go quick.  But of course there are rewards.  This time was for every 5 stickers they received a silly band.

I brought a couple of packages of silly bandz.  When they received one, they played with them, wore them and stuck them on the windows.  lol  Not sure if this fad has reached your area or not, but those who have know all about them if you have kids in elementary school.  They hit hard here in northern AL last year.

Now this method of marking the 30 mins and rewards works really well for my four.  Z even says it helps it go faster.  Another way I've done this before was I made key chains for the kids using a key ring and plastic string and various pony beads.  I tied a long string to the key ring and added their names and tied a knot to hold it on.  Every 30 mins I gave them a fun pony bead to add if they earned it.  For every 5 beads I let them have a dum dum sucker.  That one I used on a 11 hour trip and it worked like magic!  ;)

Something else I like to do to make road trips special is I make a special trail mix snack.  Simply just some dry snacks mixed together in their own little bowls.  This time I used pretzel goldfish, cheerios, unsalted cashews, mini marshmallows and M&Ms.

As far as actually being on vacation away from all their precious toys and not wanting to pack any of them I just brought a few things for them all to share that all would enjoy.
This moon sand really saved us during down times (when the little kids were napping) and impatient mornings...they wake at 6am every morning so by 7am they wanted to go swimming!  So during those times we played moon sand and blew bubbles off the balcony.  :)

But then I was scolded when they ran out of white paper quickly with the small stash we brought for the car.  So one of the grocery trips we picked up a ream of copy paper and they were happy as clams making all kinds of fun beach scenes.

Anyway, thought I would share some things that worked for us.  Anybody else have some road trips lined up this summer??  For us the rest of the summer will be people coming to us, so that was it for us for a while! know I have a share just a few of the 265 pics I took in 3  :)


Sarah {The Student Knitter} said...

i have no ideas but WOW - those pictures are gorgeous!

Deanna said...

Thanks Sarah! :)

Crystal Corona said...

Tony and I are done road tripping I think. Maybe one trip back down to Austin for my birthday weekend. It was good to see your Irene in Iowa! that was one heck of a road trip. 2 weeks to Iowa and Wisconsin then back to Texas again. The kids are getting soo big I wonder when I will get to see you all again.

Unknown said...

My family just came back from a trip to the Oregon coast (a little more gray and cold than your beach trip I think!).
My 5 and 3 year old love to follow along on their own map during a road trip. I usually draw a simple map on cardstock for them and whenever we get to the next city I tell them and they can use a crayon to draw our route. This helps them see how far we've come and how much longer they can expect.
I do love your reward stickers every 1/2 hour! I'll try that too next time too. Thanks!

Deanna said...

Thanks for your tip Cynthi!


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