Friday, August 10, 2007

6 Simple Tips for Traveling with Kids

 Well, the travel season is upon us. For the early part of the summer our family can't get away as Prince Charming's obligations to our church are too numerous (end of year programs, VBS, camp...). But now we are ready to roll!

The only place I really want to go is to visit my sister, Lulu. And of course, it is more frugal when you can stay with family. Because of that generosity we can get away for an actual week of vacation, which we have rarely had in our marriage. It's almost enough time to relax. Kidding.

But we have new issues now, that we didn't have in the early years of our marriage. Namely: Polly, Tigger, & Sweet Pea. Not that I'd routinely call my children issues, you understand. Still, they tend to complicate even a short trip and our trip next week is not short. What to do?

- Plan to stop for bathroom breaks, often. This is because one of our daughters (cough Tigger cough) is just about to be finally potty trained after much weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

- Plan to stop to nurse Sweet Pea. Just yesterday evening Sweet Pea, who has been trying to get her hands on all food, had her first taste of baby cereal. I wanted to hold her off longer, but even at only five months old she already knows what she wants and she wants food! I'm still nursing her (what feels like constantly!) but we're adding cereal to her daily repertoire now.

- Plan to stop for meals and snacks. And here's where the frugality really comes in. Prince Charming and I talked about it and decided we'd rather not eat fast food on the way to Aunt Lulu's. So yesterday I went grocery shopping and bought things for a quick breakfast (we plan to leave very early) picnic lunch and some special snacks. I dislike feeding children a bunch of junk food but for this trip I bought a few things they don't usually get to eat: Jell-o in individual cups (who knows why but that makes it more special), packaged trail mix (the fruit kind not nuts, because I don't want any choking girls), and (this is the real treat) Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream pies. When we are forced to stop at a gas station these are the treats my little sweet-toothed girls are drawn to: Little Debbie snack cakes. It's for a special occasion, it cost less than "convenience" store prices, and it insures a few minutes of happiness on an otherwise tedious trip.

Our other trip tips?

- Lots of books on tape / cd. We check these out at our library. We also bring along a few children's books on tape.

- Lots of music, especially things we like to sing along with. Polly will sing anyway so we might as well join in.

- Activity bag for the girls. This usually holds Twistables crayons (how did we get by without these!), coloring pages, blank paper, magnet dolls, small "Doodle Pro" (a magnet drawing thing), stickers, books to "read" and a small toy or two. If you have small children like I do the bag should never, ever, under any circumstances contain markers, play-dough, silly putty, or beads. I speak from experience.

Find lots of great frugal tips at Biblical Womanhood. See you soon, Lulu!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I especially like this throwback post because you were on your way to visit me :)

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