In our first year of marriage, we were blessed to be able to travel quite a bit. Our camping trips were always an adventure (taking an 8 mile hike that we thought was only going to be 4 miles, jumping over a snake, & freezing to smithereens, to name a few). We traveled to New York and Japan twice (northern island in the snow & Okinawa in the summer). Those were special days… Now traveling has taken on an entirely different meaning.
We’ve tried camping with our older two, which is why we only camp in the backyard now. When it takes a day to load up the van, three hours to set up camp, and then you’re unexpectantly rained upon (I should say, stormed upon) at 2 am, you immediately decide that the backyard is a perfect campground for the future. Traveling with children can be quite challenging! But it can also be a lot of fun if you plan well and let go of expectations.
This is an area that I am always looking for new ideas and strategies to make traveling easier and more enjoyable for the whole family. A few ideas that I have gleaned from other mothers include:
o Lists, lots of lists!! (If I don’t write it down to pack, then chances are, I’ll probably forget it.)
o Plenty to do for the kids (books, clipboards with “The License Plate” game, Adventures in Odyssey & other books on tape, Leapsters)
o DVD player (Can I hear an Amen?!) We try to go for at least an hour into our trips before we allow a movie, but honestly, having a DVD player has saved our sanity more than once on road trips.
o Snacks & drinks (I would much rather have snacks on hand than have to stop and pick up something. We love crackers from Trader Joes, raisins, apples, grapes, etc. We mainly stick with water in the car, but will splurge on juice boxes here and there.)
o Sing! (Even on Wednesday nights on our way home from church, singing has been a lifesaver when little ones start to whine and need to be distracted from their own exhaustion.)
There are so many wonderful ideas out there, so please share any that have been helpful to you as a mom or something that you remember as a child while traveling.