As as a single mom, traveling on road trips is never easy since the onus is on me to carry all the stuff, keep my child entertained, avoid meltdowns, all the while trying to keep cool and maintain my sanity.
Whether you are traveling alone or with your partner/spouse, here are four tips that will keep your child occupied on a long trip so you can hopefully avoid having to hear the dreaded “I’m bored.”
1. Portable DVD Player – Families with cars now have DVDs as an option (isn’t life grand?) but hey we can’t all have new cars. Bring along a DVD player for long trips. If you have an older car, there are accessories that attach to the back of the front seat so the kids don’t have to hold the dvd in their lap. This has been a lifesaver on long flights even when we fly on an airline like Jet Blue which has kids channels. Even my daughter gets bored watching cartoons on a long flight.
2. Nintendo DSor Leapfrog products – When my daughter was younger, the Leapfrog was a sanity saver for me and now that she is older, the Nintendo DS is now the life saver. If you travel a lot, it’s a nice surprise for your child, if you buy a new cartridge for the trip that way they have a new game which is sure to keep them even more occupied than usual.
3. Games, Books, Sketch Pads, Coloring Books – We have a whole host of games, books and sketchpads that I bring along. Since my daughter is a great reader and speller, Mad Libs has been a fun game to add to our tool kit of tricks. She is now into reading Junie B so we bring that along plus her sketchpad so she can capture the trip.
4. iPod Touch/iPad – There is nothing to say except if you have one, this is sure to keep your kids occupied for part or even the entire trip. The problem is you may have to wrestle it away from your kids so you can get some work done or enjoy the apps for yourself.
And one for good measure, don’t forget to bring lots of snacks, especially if you are flying. The last thing you want to be is stuck on a plane or the tarmac with no food.