Tuesday Tips: Traveling with Children

Since we’ve been traveling, I thought I’d pass on a few tips for traveling with children.

When my husband was in graduate school, we would drive back to New York to visit family once or twice a year. With babies. With toddlers. With school children.

My very favorite discovery was simple and brilliant. To keep my youngest occupied on long car trips when he was about two, we gave him a brand new box of tissues. Yes, it’s a bit wasteful, but at a dollar a box, and HOURS of quiet as he pulled up one tissue after another, it was worth it. It was especially entertaining to see the look on the face of the Canadian border guards as he looked at the blizzard of tissues in the back seat. Hee hee.

Boxes of tissues are only entertaining for so long. When my boys got a little older, I would find small toys around the house (little-used) or at the dollar store and wrap them up, along with small packages of snacks (pretzels, teddy grahams, even candy). Every hour or so, I would dole out something new to keep them occupied.

We sometimes played the alphabet game, looking for letters of the alphabet on license plates or on signs. We looked for different state license plates. We looked for animals. We looked for route numbers.

Right now, we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the Legos Creator sets. They’re small enough to bring along places, and the boys can make three different things out of each kit.

Now when we’re taking long car rides, I get books on CD from the library. We’ve enjoyed listening to HOLES by Louis Sachar, ROOM ONE by Andrew Clements, and THE PENDERWICKS by Jeanne Birdsall.

Also, I bring a lot of food. When there’s food in their mouths, there are no complaints.


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