Are We There Yet? Travel Tips for Saving Parents’ Sanity
If you are a parent, you know one of the biggest challenges when traveling with kids is keeping them content and happy! From the airport to the plane to the rental car to the restaurant, here are four items sure to help save parents’ sanity when traveling this summer.
#1 Comfort is Key: Airplanes and cars can get cold and uncomfortable for adults and children alike. Bringing a “Comfy Critter” along will help not only you, but all the other passengers in the plane and car too. Comfy Critters are adorable stuffed animals that double as pillows and blankets, so you don’t have to wait for the flight attendant to keep kids comfortable. This three-in-one item is also something that brings the familiarity of home to a place that may be foreign to kids. Comfy Critters retail for only $19.99 and come in a variety of different animals and styles, so there’s one sure to fit any little personality.
#2 Good Old-Fashioned Fun: Sure, electronic devices like iPads, iPods, Gameboys, and iPhones can help keep youngsters entertained with movies and games, but what about when you have to turn them off in the plane, or kids get bored and want something else to occupy their time? How about some good old-fashioned fun that doesn’t require a charger or noise? Wikki Stix are bendable, twistable, stackable, and all-around fun, compact toys that some airlines even used to pass out to entertain kids! A pack retails for as little as $7.50, and provides hours of educational entertainment.
#3 The Family that Plays Together Stays Together: Some of the best memories kids will have with their parents happen in an airplane or car! A little undivided attention from Mom or Dad can go a long way, and we all know that kids LOVE to play games. Games like “I Spy,” the “license-plate game,” “virtual hide and seek” or “make your own map” are all great games that can be played in a car or airplane. Kids will go “wild” for the Classic Card Game Set – Go Fish, Animal Rummy, and Old Maid Playing Cards with whimsical, colorful animal illustrations. The set includes one game each of Old Maid, Go Fish and Animal Rummy. Each of the three jumbo-sized, durable card decks features wipe-clean surfaces, a cardboard storage box, and detailed playing instructions.
#4 Snack Time / Edible Entertainment: The key to anyone’s heart is through the stomach, right? Plus, there’s nothing that makes kids or grown-ups grumpier than being hungry! Believe it or not, there are snacks every parent can easily create that not only taste good, but are fun to play with too. By simply placing fruit loops on a string of yarn and making a necklace out of them, you’ve created “edible entertainment.” Or pick your kids’ favorite snack, like Betty Lou’s Peanut-Butter Balls, and play food detective. Let them try to guess some of the ingredients in this protein-packed peanut-butter snack that’s delicious and nutritious!
Keeping kids comfortable, well-rested, well-fed, and entertained are the keys to success on any family trip. Making the most of your time in the car, plane, or hotel will create cherished memories. These are memories that will last a lifetime, and half of the fun of family travel is in the journey, and not just the destination!
Lacy Gambee is an avid traveler, a former television news producer, a publicist, and busy mother of two. After years of working in the television news industry, she made the switch to public relations and loves writing about topics relating to family, travel, and food.