Summer is the perfect time to take a family vacation, but sometimes traveling with little ones can more exhausting than relaxing. Whether you're heading over to the beach, or spending time at a theme park, keep your kiddos happy and well-behaved with these best summer traveling tips with kids.
Take Kid-Friendly Pit Stops
If you're planning on spending a lot of time in the car during your vacation, make sure to schedule a few kid-friendly pit stops along the way. On long car rides, children will often have a lot of built-up energy. Although you may already plan on stopping for meals, also look for unique or fun pit stops that will allow the whole family to stretch their legs. If you have trouble finding unusual stops along your route, hanging out at the play zone inside a fast-food restaurant for a few minutes should do the trick.
Let Your Children Take the Lead
Although you might want to make use of all your Fast Passes at a theme park, or see every significant landmark at a historic destination, hurrying children along just makes everyone stressed out and flustered. If you can, try to let your child's pace dictate the speed of your day. Even if you don't end up seeing everything you wanted to on the trip, your children will be less likely to burn out and throw tantrums.
Stock up on Snacks
A hungry child is a grumpy child. Whether you're in the car, at a park, in the woods, or on the beach, always bring plenty of snacks for your kiddos. Try to avoid snacks that contain a lot of sugar and food coloring, which some research suggests might cause children to become hyperactive, emotional, and frustrated. Stick with healthy and sustaining snack options, like cheese sticks, fruit, whole grain crackers, granola bars, and organic jerky sticks.
Put Together Car Activities
Before you leave on your vacation, stock the car with lots and lots of activities for the car. Hang an organizer on the back of the driver and passenger seats that you can fill with items like Play-Doh, a drawing pad and colored pencils, small animal figures, child-sized binoculars, and a small puzzle. Some organizers even come with a fold down tray that acts like a table for each child. Pick out a stack of books from your local library that your children can look through or read along the way -- just make sure you bring them back home again!