Arguably, the best part of the holiday season is getting to spend times with family and friends. Doing so often requires travelling. Hopefully you’ve already reviewed our Thanksgiving Travel Tips. Here are some tips for travelling with kids for Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, or anytime really!
Have all important documents easily available
Make sure all of your auto insurance and health insurance policies are up-to-date and you have copies of each easily available. The last thing you want to figure out is that there was a lapse in your insurance if you get stopped out of state. Fines for not being properly insured in other states can cost upwards of $1,000 and to top it off, your car could be impounded.
Pack some compact activities
Maybe your child has an iPad or smartphone that they can keep their eyes glued to the entire road trip. But even if they do, be prepared for them to get bored and want something else to do.
Some of our favorite road trips games with kids are:
- I Spy Bottle – Put a bunch of little objects in a bottle and see if the kids can find everything. They’ll have to shake and turn the bottle to reveal all the goodies inside. Added bonus: If you only use objects (rather than half filled with rice or some other filler), you can let them open the bottle once they find everything and play with the little objects.
- Guess What’s Inside – Using an empty tissue box, put some random little objects inside and see if your kids can figure out the contents of the box without pulling anything out. Variations include wrapping each item in tissue paper – makes it harder for the older ones and the very little ones will find it amusing.
- Catalog shopping – Whether or not your family partakes in Christmas, you can find catalogs full of toys this time of year. Let your kids create their wish lists. You’d be surprised how long they can stare at pages and pages of toys!
- Art projects – Let the creative juices flow by bringing along a roll of aluminum foil, some pipe cleaners, and masking tape. Of course, if the kids are really little you might want to skip this because you can poke an eye with the pipe cleaners and the foil, but they can enjoy the masking tape.
- Travelling Toy Tins – Whatever your child is into, with a little bit of creativity you can create an entertainment package in a box.
- License plate bingo – Scholastic.com has a printable sheet to play bingo with the state license plates.
Plot out some Fun
Kids in confined areas often don’t do well for long periods of time. Take a look at the map and see if you can find some interesting places to stop when you think you’ll need to refuel the car or yourselves. You can run through a drive through, bring a picnic lunch, or if you have a camp stove the possibilities are vast, then head to a park to let the kids let off some steam. If you have your heart set on a specific meal from a specific stop along the way, see if you can order your food ahead of time and then head out to a park or other interesting local so the kids can “stretch their legs.”