If you’re heading out on the open road, ask each family member to contribute to a family music playlist before you leave. That way, everyone can look forward to his or her favorite jams coming on throughout the trip, and there’s no bickering about what station to choose.
When traveling with kids, it’s a good idea to plan for everything. You never know when you'll find a good place to stop, so it’s best to be armed with standard first-aid items like bandages, motion-sickness medicine and antiseptic wipes.
Of course, you want to make the trip as fun as possible, but why not throw in a bit of learning while you're at it? Supply the kids with maps, and make a game out of keeping track of where you are during the trip. A geography lesson and an amusing distraction will make the time fly!
With some of the stresses that come along with family travel, it’s best to make sure everyone is as relaxed as possible. Dress comfortably for your car ride or flight, and, if you have the room, bring along blankets and pillows, too.
After a long day of traveling, you want a hotel that feels like home — but better. Pick an option that offers a wide variety of amenities to make both parents and kids happy. Look for a place that offers spacious two-room suites, and ditch the continental and opt for complimentary made-to-order breakfasts — both of which are standard offerings at family-friendly Embassy Suites Hotels. The hotel chain even has a two-hour evening reception with complimentary drinks and snacks* where the whole family can wind down.
If it’s a long journey to your destination, naps are essential. Designate a “quiet time” during the trip that will recharge everyone’s battery for a more enjoyable experience.
Note: This tip doesn't apply to the driver, but it does still stand once you’ve reached your destination. It doesn’t hurt to build in some kind of nap break every afternoon.
For road warriors, conduct some research about the designated route and see if there are any fun pit stops along the way. Making family memories by experiencing local eateries, shops and museums can serve as an entertaining breather. Use an app like Roadtrippers to find all the must-see spots along the way.
Give kids a notebook and camera and have them capture unique moments and highlights of the trip, such as cool landscapes or “Welcome to…” signs as you cross state borders. When you return home, print out the pictures and cut out notebook commentary with fun scissors to create a scrapbook. Not only will they have a great time completing the project, but you’ll love revisiting these milestones with them well after the trip has ended.
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