Time for a Family Road Trip!

Time for a Family Road Trip! 

Deciding on a family road trip can be a daunting challenge, not to mention an exercise in patience. However if you prepare ahead of time, the trip can be one of the most memorable experiences of your family’s life.

Here are some quick and easy tips for making your family road trip a fun and safe one.



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Checklist

First, prepare a checklist of items you will need. This will include first aid kit, food, snacks, drinks, and lots of toys, coloring books, paper and crayons, a portable DVD player so your kids can watch their favorite movies; and a cooler. A good idea is to ask the kids what games they would like to take, within limits of course.

Ensure that the snacks are healthy in nature. Too many sugar snacks can have the kids bouncing off the car seats. Remember, this is a relaxing family vacation and you want to avoid the kids getting bored or repeatedly asking you when you are going to arrive.

Do Some Research!

Check online to print out games for the road that you and the kids can play along the way. There are an assortment of puzzles and riddles as well.

In addition, if you have very young children you will need to take the diaper bag and wipes for the occasional spills, blankets and pillows if applicable and a favorite item or stuffed animal for the young ones is a good idea as well.

Second

Decide on the destination and then contact AAA for a trip ticket. Ask for the scenic route, one that is much more calming and pleasing to the eye, especially the driver!

Third

As you check out the planned route you may want to check online to find gas stations along the way that offer the cheapest gas. Also if there are any points of interest along the route mark them on the map and plan to stop at these sites.

Fourth

While on the road ensure that you make pit stops regularly. This will allow the kids to run around and let off some steam, while allowing the adults to stretch and re-energize. Bring along a football or soccer ball so that the entire family can have some fun while exercising at the same time.

Finally

It is very important that safety concerns are met. This includes having the car checked at your local mechanic or gas station. Ensure that the oil and filter are changed; the tires are well inflated (don’t forget the spare tire, too); the windshield wipers are replaced (if needed); and the car is in great condition before you head of

You never know, what you may need.

In addition, you may want to place the following items in your trunk: a lawn chair, extra blanket, emergency road kit, umbrellas, water, flashlight and batteries, a battery-powered radio, and windshield wiper cleaner. In the glove compartment include a first aid kit and cell phone charger. Keep all medications in a Ziploc bag in the glove compartment as well.

Another good idea is to take a list of telephone numbers including the hotel or motel where you are staying as well as those of family and friends you may need to contact.

If you enjoy scrapbooking, this road trip may be a perfect opportunity to add new treasures to the book. As you make stops at some scenic sites, ask the kids to find an item they would like to include in the scrapbook. Or if the kids point out something along the way that they find fascinating, take a picture of it to include in the scrapbook as well.

Engage the kids in the decision making, age appropriate, and allow them to decide what they would like to bring. Have them pack their clothes (check the suitcases afterwards) so they feel part of the overall experience. Planning ahead of time for a family road trip will save you time, stress, and money. And the kids will enjoy this adventure, too!

 

 

Disney World

Top 5 Kid Friendly US Destinations

Top 5 Kid Friendly US Destinations

Although there are a multitude of destinations considered kid friendly, here are the top 5 you may want to consider on your next family vacation.

Disney World
Disney World

1. Disney World is very Kids Friendly

This ultimate family vacation has been the source of great joy for adults and kids alike. Whether you stay several miles from the theme park or enjoy the onsite amenities, this vacation affords you an endless array of activities designed for the entire family. From Epcot Center to Sea World; from Disney Village to Universal Studios; Water parks to Wildlife parks; no time is wasted at this world-famous resort.

Moreover, many online travel sites are offering special packages to Disney World as well as Southwest Airlines and others. In addition, you can save quite a bit of money by selecting hotels that offer free stays for children, as well as free meals for the little ones. This is one destination where you can easily book a trip based on your budget and stick to it.

Sylvan Dale Guest House
Sylvan Dale Guest House

2. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch.

From Alaska to Wyoming, there are a multitude of dude ranches perfect for a family vacation. But, one of the most notable is the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Colorado, approximately 20 miles from Rock Mountain National Park. Here, your family can engage in an array of activities including: horseback riding, hayrides, nature walks, and a host of amenities provided by the ranch.

This dude ranch is perfect for families who love the outdoors as well as enjoy visiting such historic sites as Fort Collins, Old West Museums, and Cheyenne (where you can buy tickets to the world’s largest rodeo held from July 17 to the 26th).

3. Hawaii.

While Oahu has always been a popular destination, it is Maui that attracts family vacationers more than any of its islands. The reason is that it offers a wide variety of activities such as whale watching (seasonal); Lahaina, a famous whaling village; and Maui Ocean Center, home to the largest aquarium in Hawaii.

Your family can also take a ride on the Sugar Cane Train, circa 1890; visit Oheo Gulch to marvel at the spectacular waterfalls; spend a day at Iao Valley and view the Iao Needle; or visit the black-sand beaches at Waianapanapa in East Maui.

For fabulous weather, magnificent sunsets, and beautiful beaches; Maui is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy spending quality family time.

4. New York.

Probably the most exciting vacation spot for families is New York. The “Big Apple” has something for everyone; from Broadway to Rockefeller Center, you will never run out of things to do here. Among the many sites to visit is Radio City Music Hall where you can take in a show; Madison Square Garden; the Empire State Building; the Village; 42nd Street, the Theatre District; museums; shopping, fabulous cuisine; the list is endless.

Spend a day walking along Fifth Avenue and stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; take a tour of NBC Studios; spend an afternoon in Central Park and visit the zoo there; go to the South Street Seaport or take in a matinee performance on a Wednesday afternoon.

Whether you stay uptown or downtown, you will always be in close proximity to the many historic sites and sounds that comprise Manhattan. Moreover, your kids will enjoy all this city has to offer.

Las Vegas
Las Vegas

5. Las Vegas.

The city that never sleeps offers a wide range of attractions for kids. This is why it is among the top family destinations in the US today. Moreover, it is an affordable vacation because the hotel packages and meals will fit any budget.

Among the many attractions offered for families include: M&M’s World, the Lion Habitat at MGM, Adventure Canyon, Game Works (a video game-playing wonderland), Sports Park, Circus Circus rides; Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage hotel; Shark Reef; New York, New York’s roller coaster; Madame Tussaud’s; Lake Mead; Children’s Museum (the largest of its kind); and Adventuresdome, the largest theme park in the U.S.

Many of these attractions are free and are well worth visiting. Don’t forget the Flamingo Habitat at the Flamingo hotel or the spectacular water fountain show across the way at Caesars Palace.

For great fun and awesome rides and venues, Las Vegas is a wonderful choice for your next family vacation.

How to handle your kids on Trips

Keeping Kids Busy on a Trip

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Going on vacation is an exciting thing for the whole family. What is not always fun, however, is the journey. When you are on your way and everyone is having difficulty being patient, it can seem like everyone has trouble waiting to get there. How can you keep your kids busy on a trip, no matter whether it is by vehicle, train, airplane or any other form?

 Interactive Games

Always have ideas of games on hand that you can all play together. Some easy picks are games such as “eye spy” and scavenger hunts, where each person has a sheet of items they can check off as they find them during the trip.

You can also play games such as one where you take turns listing items to take on vacation that begin with the letters of the alphabet, in order. To take it up a notch, turn it into a memory game where each person has to remember every item listed before theirs, as well as making up a new one for their letter.

Travel Journal

If your children are old enough to write, give them each a travel journal. Each child can write about their own vacation highlights. Younger children can draw pictures for their entries instead of using words.

Creative Supplies

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Bring along the basics such as coloring books, crayons, paper and pens. Your child or children will have plenty of time to create and imagine, and this will give them an outlet. To encourage your children to use these supplies, consider buying a new special set of markers, or anything especially fun for each child.

Game Consoles

Game consoles have gotten a bad reputation, but long trips are one instance where they can be useful. Buy each child a new game that will keep him (or her) occupied for the long trip. Give him time limits, and enforce mandatory breaks in order to give his eyes a rest.

Music and Movie Player

Having a device to listen to music on is a great idea for all ages. Before you leave, fill the device with music of each child’s choice. If you are going on an airplane, your child’s own headphones can often be used to watch videos on board the aircraft when the airline has them available, instead of renting or buying a pair from the airline.

Digital Camera

If your child has a digital camera, encourage him to take photos while traveling. If he does not have one, consider buying him one, or lending him yours. A digital camera will ensure that he can take as many photos as his heart desires without having to worry about running out of film. Make sure that batteries are freshly charged, or take extras if the camera uses disposable ones.

Snacks

Snacks are a must-have on any trip. The traveling time will always be more enjoyable with something to munch on. Bring items that store well even without refrigeration. Items such as veggies and hummus, dried fruit, granola bars, nuts and cheese sticks are fun and work well.

Traveling can be boring, or great fun. It all depends on how well-prepared you are for it. When you are traveling with kids, there are many ways to make it more exciting for them. Put these tips to use and enjoy your travels while watching your children enjoy theirs as well.