Family vacations can build memories that will last a lifetime but it’s easy for them to become a source of stress for parents. My advice? Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead. I’m talking more than just your travel reservations– plan for the challenges that inevitably come when traveling with kids. Here are some tricks to have up your sleeve so that you can spend you vacation enjoying instead of stressing:
1. Make travel time fun time. Those long car rides or plane rides can be tough on kids. My mom was incredible about preparing for trips. One of my favorite things that my mom did for me as a child was providing us with fun travel kits. She would put them in backpacks that hung on the seat in front of us for easy access. Mom filled them with coloring supplies, an exciting new toy (that we didn’t receive until the trip began), snacks, books, and other handheld activities (you could try a magnetic doll set or a Lego box–see below for instructions). You could also include a tablet with games and videos downloaded on it.
Making a magnetic doll set is easy. Take a traditional paper doll and adhere it to the inside of a tin box. Cut the tabs off of the paper doll clothes, apply magnetic canvas to the back with adhesive and …Voilà–you have a much more “road trip friendly” (not to mention sturdy) version of paper dolls.
To make the Lego box all you need to do is take a small Lego base plate and adhere it to the inside of the lid of a plastic pencil box (be sure the box has a flat top). Fill the box with a small Lego set and you have an easy way to play with Lego’s when you’re away from home!
Another favorite part of my childhood trips was listening to audio books. It’s amazing how fast the time goes by when you’re engaged in a story and waiting to see what happens next! Here’s an awesome list of audio books.
2. Never let the kids (or yourself) get too hungry. I don’t know about you but my kids and I are much happier people with food in our bellies. Avoid unnecessary drama by always having snacks on hand and not waiting too long in between meals. I also try to make sure my snacks have some staying power–foods with protein seem to hold us over much better than sweets.
3. Don’t let missing school add to the stress. Sometimes having the kids miss school is unavoidable. Here are some great tips for staying on top of things while you’re away.
4. Bring a childproofing kit for your hotel room. If you have young babies or toddlers in your family this will make your life a lot easier. Try packing things such as door knob covers, latches, a night-light and outlet covers.
5. Always have a change of clothes on hand for young kiddos. Make sure you don’t leave your hotel room without this! Nothing will eat up your day like having to go all the way back to your hotel just to change their clothes.
For more travel tips be sure to check out Scholastic’s Can’t Wait for School Break
collection! They have everything from fun ways to announce that you are taking a trip, to making your family vacation both a fun and
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Disney. The opinions and text are all mine.