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Useful Tips on Traveling with Children and Teens Ready to take that trip to the beach, music festival, or some amazing getaway with only a twelve hour escape route holding you back? Ready to hop in the car and drive? Now? It always seems easy enough, but for those with darling offspring, any road trip usually denotes initial delays and frequent breaking along the way, adding hours of traveling time.

The two best solutions are: 1. Take a plane. Fares, however, continue rising in correlation with oil prices, meaning that booking a flight even a month in advance may prove a bit pricey. Then there’s option 2. Hone in on your night owl abilities. Pack a nice dinner and take off a few hours before the kids’ bedtime. Hang grocery bags from head rests and/or place a small trash can in the isle way of a larger vehicle. This will cut down on the amount of cleanup needed after the culmination of the vacation. Keep crackers, fruit, and other snacks available, but don’t forget the hand wipes! And if night driving is in the future, be sure to catch up on sleep beforehand and stock up on caffeinated beverages. Even if you need a rest, you’ll make better time than driving during daylight hours.

Multi-day drive? Take it easy, plan a few key stops along the way. Look out for state park signs, local museums, or interesting landmarks. Take along the tent and save on hotel fees. There’s nothing better than waking to the birds and strolling through the woods before another day on the road. The fresh air and exercise, short lived as it may be, will revive the senses and offer some relief to car cramps.

Driving during daylight hours is often unavoidable and after a while the “penny for a red car” game taxes the wallet. For those who believe in video games, this may not create any obstacles. However, if the video games tire the young eyes and books only promote car sickness, there should be other alternatives close at hand. Try travel bingo; often toy stores have travel bingo games for your children, whereby they spot something like a cow or a railroad sign out the window, and mark it on the bingo sheet. The first one to get a bingo, wins! Eliminate crayons, markers, and any type of putty! These items forebode rough times for the upholstery. Magnetic board games, puppets, and geographic trivia may occupy most ages, but for those too old or too young to find pleasure in such activities, car pastimes demand creativity. Younger children, when awake, should have a constant supply of bright, but at least partially-silent, toys. Keep the young one from over stimulation by stowing most of the toys up front and rationing them. Redistribute toys as necessary at every stop. With the best of luck, this may do the trick. If the road trip is relatively short, tiring the child out beforehand should prove useful.

For the young adults in the car, board games and colorful toys are so last decade. Encourage conversation, tidy crafts—knitting, sketching, making origami’s, etc.— or even provide a travel journal or a digital camera for outdoor shots. For those entering high school or college, keeping up on writing techniques is a necessity, and writing for fun is the simplest catalyst. Books on tape may also be a good investment. There are innumerable possibilities. It’s your vacation—enjoy every moment.

Pamela Bonus is the owner of GuestQuest, a luxury travel magazine based in Cleveland, Ohio, that is your vacation guide for all of your lodging needs. With the traveler guide, you may choose a number of luxury hotels and motels, resorts and other accommodations from many states for your family.


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