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Travel: How to Keep the Kids Happy on a Family Trip

traveltips for traveling with children

Traveling with kids can sometimes make family road trips a bit tough. The kids are constantly fighting, complaining, and bothering Mom and Dad. It gets to the point where you threaten to pull the car over if they don’t stop messing around. But it doesn't have to be this way. Here are seven ways to keep your kids well behaved on a family trip.

7 Tips to Keep Your Children Happy While Traveling

Portable DVD Player

Let Them Watch Movies

With a built-in or portable DVD player, your kids can watch their favorite movies during the trip. This will keep them occupied for several hours. Headsets will prevent you from having to listen to the same movie if you don’t want to. You can even give each kid his own portable player so they can each watch their own movie, and prevent fights over what to watch next.

Pre-load the Phones and Tablets

If you have smartphones or tablets, set them up before you leave. There are so many fun and even educational apps available; load the devices with games, movies, books, and apps. This can keep your child occupied for hours, and should help prevent any complaining or fighting. Remember to bring a headset or two so he can listen to the audio without bothering others in the car.

Pack the Games

If you’re not too keen on or want to limit time on electronic devices during the trip, come up with games everyone can play together to pass the time. You can pack a bag with portable travel games, coloring books, puzzle books, crayons, and playing cards.

Bring Favorite Items

If your child has a favorite blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal, take it along in the car so she has it with her at all times. These comfort items can help decrease anxiety will make the ride smoother. She'll feel more at ease about being in the car and being away from home. She may even fall asleep for a few hours.

Play Road Trip Games

What better time to play “I spy” than on a road trip? Some other road-trip games you may want to try are listing the different types of cars you see, finding license plates from all 50 states, punch buggy, the alphabet game, and twenty questions.

Pack a Cooler

Games are not the only thing that will keep kids occupied on a road trip. To keep them calm and quiet, be sure to pack their favorite snacks and drinks. When they become hungry or thirsty, you’ll be ready for them.

Put Them in Charge

Make your children instrumental in getting to your destination by allowing them to play navigator. Give them a map with your destination on it, and let them mark off the miles and stops as you go. They’ll enjoy helping you get to where you have to go, and have some fun learning geography along the way. Giving each child an assignment will help break up the time and can even help teach them responsibility.

Whether you choose electronic gadgets, games, or stories, finding ways to keep your children entertained on a road trip is instrumental in making sure you arrive with no incidents. These seven ideas will help make the trip calmer and easier. For more ideas, check to see if your local car dealer, like Sport Durst Mazda, has any road trip activity books for the kids.

 What do you like to do on family trips to keep you kids entertained? 

Amanda is a freelance writer whom enjoys playing and coaching volleyball. She loves her friends and family including her dog, Charlie; as well as traveling all around the world.

Image via Flickr by kiwanja, Image via Flickr by denebinside, Image via Flickr by Chris Devers

Featured image: Flickr

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