Planes, Trains, Automobiles, & How to Keep Your Sanity
Going on a trip can be an adventure. Going on a trip with a young child in tow can be a “trip,” in more than one way! The best way to ensure successful and smooth sailing is to prepare and have a few “tricks up your sleeve” to keep your little one happy.
When packing for a trip, you don't have to bring everything, but you do have to bring some things. Below are some tips to keep in mind:
- Bring the favorites. If your child is attached to a favorite toy, be prepared to bring it along. This toy may be the “saving grace,” providing both comfort and an avenue for engagement during a road trip.
- Bring something new. It doesn't have to be brand new. In fact, it may already be a toy that was “tested and approved” by your child that they simply haven't seen in a few weeks. Plan to bring a few toys that provide new discoveries. Depending on your child's age, these items may include: a soft doll or animal (think small), items such as a toy car, magnetic storyboards, or basic art supplies (again, depending on your child's age and development).
- Kid-friendly snacks. Think whole grain crackers, cheese, fruits such as bananas or apples, and a drink.
- Bring the things that “soothe the soul.” This is not the time to give up the pacifier, or blanket, or any other “lovie.” Instead, embrace them and use them as a support for travels which may leave your child uneasy, unsure, and out of their usual routine.
- Finally, bring some form of entertainment. This doesn't mean you need to plug in a DVD player, but do think about equipping yourself with some sing-a-long CDs, books, or even picture cards that will provide your child with a source of interaction and entertainment.
- And, finally, don't forget to pack your flexibility, sense of humor and adventure! Anytime you are traveling with a child, you never know what adventures await you. Embrace them and enjoy the ride!