Traveling with kids during the holidays
By Aimee Markwardt
It’s winter break. But if you’re a parent, it can feel far from a break at all. Especially if you’re hitting the roads for the holidays.
Between “I’m not touching yous” and “Are we there yets,” cramming your little ones into an enclosed space like a car or airplane may land everyone on Santa’s naughty list.
Don’t let the journey ruin the destination. Here are our lucky four things to pack to help keep your kiddos happy while traveling:
1. At least one audiobook, if not 10. Save money by renting from the library, although libraries tend to have a limited number of books (or this time of year, likely they’re all rented out by planaholic parents). If your 3-year-old’s favorite Berenstain Bears audiobook is unavailable, try Audible.com, which has more than 100,000 titles — and don’t forget to use coupons to save at Audible.com. You can’t beat this deal from Audible.com for a $7.49 audiobook for your iPod or smartphone, plus $6 cash back.
Need helping picking out a book? Travel Savvy Mom has a great list of children book suggestions organized by age.
2. A coloring book and markers. But not just any markers. Oh no. You learn this the hard way after you pull over at a rest stop and realize your munchkin has redecorated the back of your headrest with black Sharpies. And the front of her face. If only god invented magical markers that would only color on the designated paper. Wait, he did?
The Crayola Color Wonder Travel Tote ($12.34) comes with a rainbow of colored markers that only show up on the wondrous Wonder Paper.
3. A portable DVD player. If you’re one of those parents who swore you were never going to stick your kid in front of a movie on the airplane and instead you were going to give them only organically carved, free-trade, tactile enhancing wooden blocks to explore with, you have never flown with a 2-year-old, alone, for more than three hours. A portable DVD player one-ups an iPad with a Netflix app because it doesn’t need wifi or 4G to work, and you don’t have to rely on whatever movies Netflix decides to make available for your kids.
Looking for a killer deal? This Sony 9-inch portable DVD player is available on Amazon.com right now with free one-day shipping.
4. A travel kit. Don’t know what to pack? Let familytravelkits.com pack for you, with a variety of entertainment packages organized by age and by mode of transportation. Let’s be clear here: This is not a baggie with five junky toys from the Dollar Store. These are hardcore bundles of answered parental prayers bursting with everything — from snacks to safety products to activities. Even toilet covers and hand sanitizers.
As this family-owned business says, “Traveling with children can be pleasant with proper planning and resources.”
Bonus tip: Don’t forget to keep your kids comfy and safe. Jetwithkids.com offers a helpful guide on how to keep your little ones comfortable while traveling, because no matter how many stacks of paper you pack, it won’t matter if your kid doesn’t feel well.