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Traveling With Children - Are We There Yet? - A Travel Guide for Parents

Family vacations can be one of the best ways to make memories that will last you and your kids a lifetime. But no matter how long you are staying at your chosen destination, when traveling with children the longest part of the trip can be your journey there. Long rides in a car or airplane can seem endless for young kids who can not wait to get to their vacation destination. It can also seem endless for parents who have to listen to choruses of the infamous line, "Are we there yet?" However, by keeping in mind a few kid friendly travel tips, parents can make the travel time fly by for their kids and themselves.

For kids, going away on a family vacation can be the highlight of their summer. No wonder they can be restless when the moment finally arrives and they are on their way to the beach, theme park, or other destination. It is a given that children will be excited about getting to their vacation spot but parents can make the trip seem shorter by preparing a variety of games and activities to keep their children occupied and keep their minds off of the journey.

For long car rides during your family vacation, there are a number of games that can make the time fly by when traveling with children. Children typically get tired of playing the same games they play day after day, so why not spice things up by offering them games that are made for long car trips. One of these games involves finding the letters of the alphabet on road signs. For example, if you pass by a sign that reads "Albert's Chicken Restaurant" the letters A, B, and C are found. When you pass by the next sign, look for D. If there are two kids in the backseat make it a competition by only allowing them to use signs on their side of the road.

Another car game for long trips on Interstate highways is the license plate game, where your children try to find cars with license plates from different states - see if they can find all fifty!

When kids get restless on car rides it can wear on a parent's patience. But when young children get restless on airplane rides, it can irritate an entire jet full of passengers. For every parent planning to fly with young children, particularly infants and toddlers, it is their worst nightmare to be the person walking up and down the plane aisle with a screaming baby. Flying on a large airliner for the first time can be intimidating for young children. And for babies who do not understand what is happening, the sensations of taking off and landing can cause distress. Like car rides, keeping kids entertained on airplanes is key. Activities on planes are somewhat easier since the ride is generally smoother and kids have the use of the pop-down trays to use as a table top for activities such as drawing or coloring.

Perhaps one of the most sensible but often overlooked tips is to provide your kids with a few new activities rather than bringing toys or games they have played with or used countless times already. Purchase a few new books, coloring books, or travel games. The novelty of the new items will keep kids occupied longer than their old toys will. When traveling with children too young to keep occupied with toys, your best bet is to keep them comfortable. Make sure your baby does not take a nap right before the flight; this will liken the chance that he or she will sleep during the plane ride. Small babies should be given bottles while the plane is taking off. Feeding them during take-off usually prevents your baby's ears from popping. It is best to avoid your baby's ears popping as this will cause the baby discomfort and an unfamiliar feeling.

Parents will find that the key to traveling with children is to always have something ready to counter an, "Are we there yet?" It is the best bet to avoid arguments on long family car trips. A game, puzzle, coloring activity or book will provide a good chunk of time where parents can sit back, relax and enjoy the family vacation.