Photo: Traveling with Children
- If you and your family are among the 39 million Americans expected to travel more than 50 miles from home this 4th of July holiday weekend, your biggest challenge will be to make the trip fun for the youngsters and less stressful for you.
The three-day weekend kicks off the busy summer travel season, and summer vacations are an annual rite of passage for many families. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 39 million of us will travel an average of 573 miles by car, plane, train or boat before heading back to work next Tuesday.
“When taking your young children to that special place for an experience you’ve always wanted to share with them or somewhere they’ve been bugging you to go, a few minutes of thought and preparation can keep your dream vacation from turning into a meltdown,” says family travel expert Kim Orlando, founder of TravelingMom.com, an online magazine for moms who travel.
She recommends these top tips to help ease stress for on-the-go parents and kids alike this weekend:
Be a parent first and a traveler second. A hug, smile and TLC go a long way.
Plan your journey. Map out your routes ahead of time and take them with you.
Take favorite toys. Expand playtime and make rest stops frequent and fun.
Eat healthy. Pack nutritious snacks and an extra bottle of water. Avoid sugary snacks & drinks.
Take the essentials. You’ll need lots of tissues, wet wipes and a bag for trash.
Take familiar objects. Pack a pillow, doll, blankie, stuffed animal and/or a special photo.