|When you get tired of Phoenix or Tucson take a trip. Don't be afraid to travel just because you have a small child. Most kids, even the youngest, love to travel. For kids, travel can be even more educational than a book. They learn how to handle new situations, and interact with new people. They learn patience; sometimes it takes a long time to get to somewhere really exciting or interesting. They find new interests. Travel is one of the things that parents should do to help their kids grow into well-rounded adults with perspective that extends beyond their own backyard. At home, we live a fairly routine life and it's very easy for kids to get isolated. Travel exposes them to new experiences and teaches them about the world we live in.
Trips with little children can be packed with complaints and tears, which can lead to bad tempers all around. Of course everything depends on the personalities of the children, their ages, the length of the trip and many other factors. But with just a little bit of preparation, it is easy to make the time spent traveling fun and interesting for kids, and their parents.
Our family (two parents and two kids) often travels and enjoys it very much. Living in Tucson, AZ, you often want to get away from the oppressive heat in the summertime, as well as to get your feel of snow and winter sports during the winter.
Our shortest trips include drives to the farm or to Phoenix, both of which take around a 1.5 hours. Other frequent retreats for us include San Diego and northern Arizona, which take 4-6 hours by car. We've also taken longer, 2-3 days car trips, flights around the country, and yearly trips to Europe. Over the years, we've picked up many tricks for making these trips easier both for us and our children. We've picked some things up from magazines and the Internet, while others have been discovered through personal experience. Of course many useful things can also be found in the tales of other parents. Below you will find our
Tips for Enjoyable Travel with Kids
DVD players (as well as handheld video games) have really made travel easier for parents. However, even they are not a complete solution to the problem of entertaining kids during extended trips. It is not advisable for kids of any age to watch more than two or three hours of TV per day, and this is especially true for very young children. Of course you can make an exception in this regard for teenagers, but if you're going to be on the road for all day, TV and video games cannot be your only fallback. Moreover, some parents may have a negative view on using TV and video games as a measure of entertaining their kids. For example, our family owns neither a portable DVD-player, nor a Game Boy, because our oldest child has very poor eyesight, and the small screen of a player or Game Boy is in no way eye-friendly.
So what else is there for parents to do to make a trip not just tolerable but fun and interesting? Food and toys brought from home. It's also not a bad idea to research places where you can make stops (while traveling by car) or the airport where you will have to spend a few hours during a transfer. Usually, such information can be found online. Almost every large airport has at least one playground, toy store, or ice cream shop. Family bathrooms also make life much easier. If you're traveling by car in a hot climate (like here in Arizona), then a simple stop at a rest area won't save you, as your child won't be able to deal with the summer heat. In that case, indoor playgrounds like those in McDonald's can be a great help.
To avoid any questions during baggage checks at the airport, place all liquids in a quart-size zipper bag. Each passenger can bring aboard one such bag, but remember to put all creams and liquids that you'll be bringing aboard in this bag.
When preparing for a trip a lot depends on the age of your children:
1. Traveling with kids younger than one year old.
2. Traveling with 2-3 year olds
3. Traveling with 4-6 year old children