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Holidays and the Kids: Take the Road Less Stressed

Traveling with kids for the holidays via babble.comTraveling for the holidays? Many of us are, and often it’s the added stress of taking the kids that puts a damper on the trip there.

What can you do with flying, or long car rides? Are there simple, inexpensive ways out there to make things easier?

From dealing with packing, time changes, food and potty breaks, to napping whatever way you choose to travel can leave you with a headache before you even begin. But it can also be a time to make some really special memories if you take care of some of the stress beforehand.

Here are some ways to make things a little smoother for everyone:

  1. Pack a large and small bag. Small should include anything you need in a day snacks, games, water, loveys, etc. Put it up front where it can easily be reached when you stop or on the go.
  2. Put diapers and food in separate bags. We put wipes, cream, and diapers in one Ziploc with us up front or in the seat holder. Another Ziploc holds bibs, utensils, wipes, and a sippy cup. Easy to find and grab when you get to a rest area or somewhere to eat.
  3. Buy a few new items for the road. Not anything fancy, but some dollar section items at Target, coloring books, a new set of crayons, a small stuffed animal. Avoid anything with noise unless you’d like to hear it on repeat for hours. Hand the toys out every so often.
  4. Comfortable clothes go a long way. No one like to have their jeans digging into them for hours or a scratchy tag on their shirt. Put on items that are older and can get a bit messy if needed, save the new clothes Grandma sent just for the trip until just before her house.
  5. Plan time for stops in your trip. Your friends live 5 hours away? Make it 7. You may be there a bit early but chances are with potty breaks and snack breaks and the “oops we forgot” breaks as well as letting the kids stretch, it’s going to be a longer drive than just the two of you would take.
  6. Take the potty with you. We just did this with our almost 3 year old. We took her frog potty in the back of the car, so when she needed to go and there was nothing around for miles, we found a rest stop (or exit and pulled off) and she went. Then it all went outside. No judging.

Make sure to set plenty of time to pack, and have a checklist you start a few days before of items you use so often they could be easily overlooked in “Of course I’ll remember to pack…”

Most of all, remember that getting there really can be half the fun, so take some time to try to enjoy the drive, the mess, and the little ones in the back.

“A big thanks to Citi for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.”

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Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter and the loss of her twin boys on the aptly named Hormonal ImbalancesSmaller glimpses into her day are on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

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