Holiday vacations with children are wonderful memory-makers. Some thoughtful planning will make them — and you — happy campers (so to speak).
• Help kids pack their very own backpack full of favorite books/magazines, toys, snacks, activity or coloring books, hand-held games, a change of clothing, and other comfort items.
• Bring some surprise items as well. Gift wrap some dollar store trinkets and hand them out at predetermined intervals, such as when you enter a new state or every two hours. A disposable camera will delight a preschooler. A frisbee or jump rope will inject some exercise into roadside stops.
• A small travel journal or notebook can bring hours of entertainment and education for kids of all ages. Include a new package of colored pencils or gel pens, stickers, and other fun items.
• Don’t depend upon the airlines for food service. Pack your own to ward off major melt-downs. Granola bars, mini carrots, juice boxes, bagels, dried fruit, apples, and goldfish crackers are great for the whole family.
• Books on tape or CD can provide quiet time. Rent them at your local library before you go. Consider bringing a portable DVD player for long trips.
• Bone up on some travel games if you’re traveling by car. There are tons of inspirational ideas on the internet. Just search for “travel games.” Remember how much fun the license plate game was when you were a child? It’s still fun today!
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