Traveling with small children can be a hassle, especially when you know you have two little ones who refuse to sit still. Managing snacks, entertainment, and nap time can be quite the challenge when you know you have a long trip ahead. Thankfully, there are a few strategies that will help ease the challenge for the short (or long!) road ahead.
Plan your Snack and Meals Ahead of Time.
Remembering to pack snacks and meals not only saves you money, but also helps keep snacking healthier compared to opting for the fast food alternative. A few healthy snacks that are also lightweight to pack are granola bars, string cheese, fresh fruit and the kids’ favorite – applesauce. If you have a long trip you might want to avoid packing foods that turn brown or can crumble such as bananas, avocados, and crackers. Stick to snacks that can be thrown in a bag and can be treated as rewards such and edamame, dried fruits, or even cubed tofu! All of these are healthy options and can stand at room temperature.
Entertainment for Traveling
Traveling with young children can be a task, but if planned accordingly, it can be a much smoother ride. If traveling by car, bringing small, cheap toys such as stickers, dolls and trinkets can help. Make sure that you bring it along in a travel bag or box to help keep things tidy. For kids older than the toddler stage, you can create a map of your trip and have them check off the locations you pass and even reward them when you reach a checkpoint with a snack, toy or special activity. Bringing your child’s favorite CD and having a sing off in the car can help time go by quicker in a fun way.
Planning Nap & Bed Time
Whether traveling by car, train, or plane, planning when to sleep can become a real challenge as most younger children need their down time. Making sure you stick to normal nap time schedules and planning your day around them can help avoid the sleepy-time crankies. Try bringing nap time products that help children feel like home such as their favorite toy or blanket. Traveling by night can help children as their bodies are normally getting ready to go to bed. This can also help as you will not have to manage a squirmy little one during a long flight or a crying child in the back seat.
Author: Stephany Mijanos, CSULA intern