My dad and my sister live 5 hours away from me - in opposite directions - so we travel quite a bit during the year. Here are a few ideas to help keep you a little bit sane during the trip!
ON THE ROAD - traveling by car. Here are a few tips that work:
- pack snacks - tons, more than you'd think they'd want. and water bottles!
- have toys within your reach so you can pass things back to them.
- pack snugly things like blankets, stuffed animal to make them feel more comfortable strapped in the seat, and hopefully so they'll nap.
- noise maker or music to help them sleep.
- extra clothes, handy, not packed in the trunk of the bag - this is important for if you travel at night and need to stay in a hotel and don't want to bring in all the huge bags, as well as for diaper or pottying blow outs that you need to change quickly.
- headphones for any iPads or Leap Frog games.
- wipes container or plastic bags with crayons in them and coloring books
- sticker books or magnet books
- trash bag up front - or else your car becomes the trash can!
- wipes handy - even if you don't have diaper children, wipes are helpful to eat lunch, after visiting a rest stop bathroom, etc.
- pack the kids' potty if you have potty training kiddos! sometimes there are not rest stops when you need them.
- slip on shoes - something easy they can take off and on in the car and when getting out to eat or stop at a bathroom.
- comfy clothing, mostly for a comfortable ride, but also so it's easy to pull down and up when going potty quickly or when getting into a change of clothes for bed time.
- pack toys that they don't often play with- something unique that will hold their attention longer.
- Traveling during nap time.
- a Kindle or other book pad so kids can listen to stories. My kids LOVE this!
It's helpful to take stops and run around, we play games like racing to one side of a lot from another. My kids love this and it helps get their legs stretched out as well as deals with pent up energy.
Whatever works for you- sometimes timing is everything... which varies for kids.