Hittin’ the road
Car trips may be less daunting than air travel but can require more stamina, especially on long journeys. Dorothy Jordon, publisher of the Family Travel Times newsletter, offers these tips when traveling by car with children:
- Make sure the children are comfortable — that they can see out of the windows, are shielded from the sun and have pillows for naps. Put games and toys within their reach.
- Plan to arrive at your destination by early evening. Children tend to get hungry and cranky by 5 p.m., and hotels and motels begin to fill up.
- Plan to stop at least every two hours, and never travel more than six to eight hours a day. Build in time for stops to burn off energy, as well as for detours to visit street fairs or playgrounds —anything to break up the trip.
- Never sit in traffic — pull over and throw a ball around, jump-rope or have a picnic.
- The only safe way to breastfeed on the road is to pull over at a rest stop. Or you can express milk ahead of time and have bottles ready for whenever your little one gets hungry. Be sure to keep your child in a car seat; don’t take her out unless you have pulled over and stopped.
The bottom line: If traveling is something you want to share with your kids, it’s never too early to start. As Detchemendy says, “My children may not remember the traveling we did when they were young, but I’m convinced it made an impression on their souls.”