Taking your own car to travel for the holidays is a great way to avoid the hassles at the airport. It can also be less expensive as many flights are more expensive during holiday travel times due the demand passengers have. Traveling with children though can be difficult if you aren’t prepared.
It is important to be realistic about the expectations you have for children during holiday travel. You can’t expect them to sit quickly for 10 or 20 hours or drive time without activities. Make sure you plan your trip so you can stop every three or four hours at a rest area or even a park along the way to allow them to run around for a while.
There are plenty of age appropriate games that can be played in the car during travel for the holidays. Car Bingo features game cards that have different pictures on them including railroad tracks, cows, and different road signs. Even children that aren’t old enough to read are able to take part in this type of car game.
Since there will likely be people from other states traveling as well over the holidays, make a game to identify cars from as many states as possible. Have a list with you and then mark them off as you identify them. Try to take along small toys or treats you can give your children as s surprise throughout the trip.
There are plenty of CD’s out there these days with fun songs for children to listen to and to sing along with. For extremely long road trips over the holidays you might want to purchase a system with monitors so the children can watch movies as they travel. This can be a lifesaver, especially when there is only one adult traveling in the vehicle.
Traveling with your children during the holidays offers the perfect chance for everyone to visit and get to know each other better. Play a game where one person asks a question and then each person in the car gets the chance to answer. The questions can be simple such as what is your favorite color or more in depth such as what is your best memory. In addition to helping to pass the time you will learn a great deal about your children and they will learn more about you as a person instead of just as their parent.
Nothing is going to create problems in the car faster than not having enough room for the children and for all the times you need to take with you. Consider buying a container that will ride on the top of the vehicle so you don’t need to place luggage inside of the vehicle with them. It may be a good idea to consider renting a larger car or a mini van when you travel for the holidays to ensure everyone will have sufficient room to ride comfortably. Never have more people in the vehicle than you have seat belts for, even if you are traveling in states that don’t require them.
Children will likely sleep during the road trip so make sure you bring along pillows and blankets. Their favorite stuffed animals along with cups for drinks and delicious snacks will help ensure the ride is fun for everyone as you travel for the holidays. It is a good idea to have extra supplies in case you get caught up in a road closure or traffic jam. You should carry a cell phone will you as well in case you need to assist someone.
You need to plan for delays and expect the trip to take you longer than normal when you travel during the holidays. The additional traffic on the roads as well as people at the restaurants where you stop for food along the way are going to result in more time being spent that usual. Don’t attempt to speed while traveling with children in the car during the holidays. You want to get there safely and if it takes longer to ensure that happens then spend that time bonding with your children along the way.