||The most challenging thing is traveling with 4-6 year old children. They don't sleep as long as toddlers and cannot entertain themselves as well as older kids do. When you're preparing to travel with your preschooler or kindergartner, make sure to pack snacks and things that could help you get your child busy. Get him a backpack to fill with his favorite toys, books etc. Also let him put a couple snacks of his choice into his backpack, as well as his water bottle if you are going by car. By this age kids can usually eat (any food as long as they are not allergic to it) everything as long as they don't have allergies to it. So you can pack some sandwiches, bags of different crackers, apple slices, baby carrots, etc. (also look at suggestions for 2-3 year olds). If your child likes chocolate, pack a few candies in your purse in case he falls into a bad mood, because you won't have the time or strength to deal with your child's bad behavior while traveling. Kids don't associate what they do on a trip with their regular life, as travel is something out of the ordinary for them, as well as a huge stress, so don't be too harsh on them. But chances are that, to your great surprise, your child will behave very well during your trip since everything is new and interesting to him.
Even if you don't normally eat at fast food places you can make an exception for a trip. At the airport it can occupy your child for some time: you can suggest that he look for a place where he'd like to eat, and let him choose the food. For a long trip on a plane you can pack:
A few books to read to your child or for him to read himself if he wants to.
A couple of new toys. For boys, a Matchbox pop-up or a small LEGO are good ideas. For girls you can pick up a small craft toy (for making a bead bracelet or necklace). Our kids love the "Rush Hour" (see the link on left) game/puzzle. They can play with it for hours, since there are 30 or 40 different combinations/puzzles to solve. It's fun, educational, lightweight, and compact - perfect for a trip.
If your child likes coloring, get a new coloring book or two.
Depending on your kid, you can take an activity book, but they never interest my child. On the other hand, he loves playing checkers, so we have a travel size kit.
When traveling by car your child can play with small toys but he can't read, draw, or play with LEGOs, etc. At this age, if your trip is very long, you can play a DVD for some time. I think CDs are better but it's up to you. It's a great idea to play a couple games with your child focused on looking for things outside the window. I Spy is always a good choice, as well as games where your child has to count all the cars he sees of a certain color, all the trucks, etc. Also be sure to talk to your kid a lot. Make a lot of stops. Explore your route before the trip to see if there are some places of interest on your way and you can look at some new interesting places instead of just making routine rest stops.
And don't forget your necessities: water, antibacterial wipes, a first aid kit, a change of clothes for the child.
Children older than 6 are much easier to travel with, as they are able to easily entertain themselves. Let them pack any toys or books that they want to bring, but also bring along something new to surprise them with during the course of your trip. And, as always, remember to bring along some snacks.
Have a nice trip!