Many families take the opportunity to travel during the summer months when children are out of school. Planning the trip and looking forward to the fun things that will take place once you arrive is always fun, but many times the journey to the location can be daunting. The old saying, “Getting there is half the fun”, has somewhat fallen to the wayside, but having fun on the road should be making a comeback.
Whether you are traveling alone, with a partner, or with children of the four or two legged variety, traveling takes some forethought. Sure, many destinations offer stores where forgotten items can be picked up quickly, but who wants to spend their vacation in a chain store looking for underwear and deodorant? Simply take some time to really think about the items going into the suitcase and double check that hygiene items, underwear, socks, and plenty of outfit choices have made it into the bag.
If children are in tow, a little extra thought aside from clothes, shoes, and a toothbrush is necessary. Children are experts at making messes. They require many more outfit changes than adults do. They also require entertainment. This is the part where traveling with children can turn south. My own mother dealt with the “are we there yet?”, “I need to use the bathroom”, and the infamous “she’s touching me,” which was in reference to my sister. Poor mama. It takes patience to travel with children and a little creativity.
Coloring books for older children, a road trip playlist, and family friendly books are some examples of fun car activities. My husband has mentioned that some of his fondest childhood memories are road trips he and his parents would take where his mother would read books aloud. Unlike books on tape, mamas do a good job of changing voices to sound like the characters and take breaks more easily to answer questions or re-read missed sentences. Car karaoke is another fun activity if you’re on the road and can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike.
If you are traveling with a baby, expect to make more pit stops along the way than you would otherwise, according to “The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Kids” on Parents.com. Diaper changes and fits to get out of the car will impede the journey somewhat, so it is recommended that extra time be allotted for travel in the case of traveling with a baby or toddler. The article also recommends that a parent sit in the backseat with the little one to play patty cake and allow the child to see facial expressions.
The minute the house door is locked, and the key is put into the ignition of the vehicle, vacation begins. If packing is done with some order, activities are planned for the passengers, and extra time is allotted for travel in the case of little ones, then the journey really should be half the fun.