We are just back from our last trip to NYC and Vermont traveling by car. It is time to share my top 24 tips on how to survive long travel distances with your beloved little-big ones. Most of them are approved with little and big J. Some I remember from when I was a child and others I found by sneaking around at the world wide web. Except for number one it is not a ranking, just an enumeration. Let me know which ones became your favorites!
- STAY CALM! Really, what ever happens try to stay calm. The calmer you are the most probably the kiddos will do so too!
- BRING AN I-PAD/SMARTPHONE/PORTABLE DVD PLAYER no matter which mode of transportation you choose. 60-90 minutes quiet time guaranteed!
- IF EVER YOU CAN: START AFTER A MEAL AND/OR SHORT BEFORE NAP TIME! Depending on your children it can bring up to 90 minutes of silence!
- MAKE A SPECIAL EVENT OUT OF IT! Means involve them with packing and planning. Make them responsible for their toys, create a story, make plans of what to do etc.
- PREPARE A LITTLE SURPRISE BAG. Maybe some crayons, a mini book, cards … Something small which makes them happy and keeps them busy.
- BRING THEIR FAVORITE FOOD AND DRINKS! If you are flying remember drinks are only allowed for the once under the age of two or in bottles/glasses with a maximum capacity of 100ml/each. Also remember crossing boarder restrictions if you are driving!
- AN ALL TIME CLASSIC: NEVER FORGET THE FAVORITE TOYS AND PETS!
- LET THEM BE YOUR TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER! It depends on their age, but it is fun, especially when you watch the pics after.
Travel by CAR – Tips
- SINGING/ listening to music – get louder when they start screaming/crying, mostly it calms them down again.
- BE THEIR ENTERTAINER – just approved: as long as you don`t drive, make grimaces, create songs or texts, clap your hands, hide and seek (with hands, scarfs etc.).
- GUESS WHO IS DRIVING – great for bigger ones: look at the car the car in front – brand, colour & drive style – now guess what a kind of person is driving. Pass by if possible. Who is right gets a point. Count points and maybe the winner gets a price!
- LICENSE PLATE CALCULATING – kids have to calculate the cross total. If they are the same age as competition, or in a certain amount of time. Let them earn points and win a price (could also be the one who can chose the bed first etc.) (Number 3 and 4 I found on the German Blog of Tim)
- CHANGE SEATS – one of our last jokers sometimes is: One of us moves to the back!
- SWITCH ON THE LIGHT – especially in winter it gets dark pretty early, little J starts complaining in the dark! Switching on the light in the back is a problem solver!
- EXTENDED STOPS – plan to have extended stops! Besides the fast pee-stops you should calculate 1-2 stops of ca, 45min to let them run!!!
Travel by PLANE or TRAIN – Tips
- NIGHT-FLIGHTS OR NIGHT-RIDES are great, if possible!
- CHECK IN AS LATE AS POSSIBLE to avoid boring waiting time!
- LET THEM RUN/CRAWL AROUND if the conditions allow you.
- BRING EARPLUGS FOR SEAT NEIGHBOURS – never did it, but heard those who did had great experiences with it!
- GIVE THEM THE WINDOW SEAT!
- CLOUD COUNTING is a nice game up in the air.
- EAR PRESSURE SOLUTION – Babies – breast or bottle feeding. Toddlers – try to practice how to yawn, it is more effective than chewing!
- MAKE A SEAT RESERVATION in advance.
My last tip: KEEP ON SMILING!
What ever happens keep your smile. A smile is always disarming. Those who wanna complain will do so anyway, ignore them! Kids aren’t machines, we can’t control them by pressing buttons. We have to deal with what’s coming up – no choice. Keep in mind: you are on your way to vacation or on your way back from great ones! Let me know about what became your favorite tip or send me your ultimate one!