Summer is in full swing and I am already dreaming about vacation with my family. Family trips are the perfect opportunity to relax, have fun, and make memories that will last a lifetime together. Whether you are headed to tropical paradise or road tripping to a national park, there is one part of vacation that makes many parents stressed and worried. GETTING THERE!
Long road trips and airplane flights with your children may seem daunting but it doesn't have to be! Check out some of our favorite hacks for fun and stress-free travel days with your Whiz Kids and get ready to enjoy your family vacation!
1) Prepare your kids for travel days before the trip begins.
Sit down with your family before the big day and let them know what to expect. Get out a map and show your kids where you will be traveling and what land you will cover to get there. Explain how long you will be travelling and what is expected in the car, airport, and airplane.
(My family had a bathroom break rule for the road trips. When you first realize you have to go, tell the driver "1". This tells the parents it's time to start planning a rest stop. Tell the driver "2" if you start feeling urgent so they can move up the timeline for stopping if you need it. Use "3" in emergencies! It's time to pull over because I have to go NOW!)
Letting your children help with planning your trip will help reduce their travel anxiety and empower them! Work together to pick fun stops that everyone will enjoy or let our kids pick the next snack. Give your kids a checklist of things to expect or a schedule for the day so they can follow along and you don't have to hear "are we there yet?" every 20 minutes. Enjoy the ride with On-the-go Bingo and get rewarded for keeping your eyes on the road. When your kids feel confident and prepared they will have more fun and be better behaved.
2) Plan Active Breaks
Layovers and pit stops offer your family great opportunities to stretch out and get out some of their pent up energy. Go on an airport scavenger hunt, have a quick obstacle race, or set up an activity challenge for the kids (hop on one foot, do jumping jacks, FREEZE).
Yoga breaks are another great way to stretch out and get your blood pumping wherever you go! Pack some Yoga Dice in your bag, strike a pose, and you will all feel stretched, relaxed, and ready to finish your traveling!
3) Stay Busy On-the-go
The number 1 question on every parents mind before a long trip is "What can I pack to keep my kids entertained on the road?" Whether you are driving 2 hours or flying for 20 hours, having the right toys, games, and crafts can make all the difference.
What makes the perfect travel toy? When travelling, you want to bring toys and activities that are easy to pack, don't take much room to use, and are easy to clean up. Make sure you bring unplugged and battery free options for play; batteries often die on the road and you will need screen-free options! Whiz Kids is FULL of fun travel activity ideas but below are my absolute favorite for every age group:
OombeeCube by Fat Brain Toys
Sketch Pals by Boogie Board
Plus Plus Travel Case by Plus Plus
Kids (8+)Shashibo by Fun in Motion
Scratch and Sticker Journal by Ann Williams
IQ Puzzles by Smart Games
4) Break up your trip with fun surprises!Don't reveal all of your secrets at the beginning of the trip! When your children get restless, it helps to have something new to get excited about and explore. Keep a few small presents, snacks, and activities hidden until you need them most. For extra fun, gift wrap the surprises! This makes the surprises even more fun and gives them a bonus activity, UNWRAPPING! Surprises don't have to be big presents. A new fidget, some stickers, or fun figurines make great surprise gifts that will spark your children's imagination and keep them entertained and happy!
5) JUST DO IT!
Take a deep breath and go for it! When we spend too much time worrying about all that can go wrong, we forget to enjoy this special time with family. A couple of bumps along the way will just become hilarious memories in the future. The more you travel together, the easier it will be. No matter how old your children, get on the road and start exploring! Enjoy the ride!