By TMoM Team Member Dennette Bailey

The anticipation of uninhibited travel options has journeying to some of our favorite vacation and day trips more likely. With a couple of years with so many travel restrictions, our travel preparedness is rusty. If we travel with children for any part of our day trip or vacation, the actual time traveling can be a bit daunting. This is due to long lines and children asking “Are we there yet”? We can ease our travel experiences if we consider these 7 unconventional tips.

1. Utilize Prayer or Affirmations- We plan day trips and vacations with the intention of having a good time. However,  delayed flights and frustrated children happen. It is important to set the intention before the trip begins. Begin the trip with a prayer or a family affirmation such as: we will enjoy this trip, return safely and all will go well.

2. Alternatives to Technology- Phones and portable Wi-Fi devices are usually a sure way to keep both children and adults busy when a wait presents itself on a trip. However, sometimes technology is not an option, and this is when the trip can really start to go downhill. Be prepared in case there is no technology with some age-appropriate flashcards, card games, or a writing doodle. The writing doodles are convenient because they come in various sizes and children can write without the use of an actual pen or pencil. These writing doodles make no mess and have a lever that allows the child to erase and write or draw to their hearts content. Moreover, they require no Wi-Fi at all.

3. Make Safety a Priority- Make sure those traveling with you, but especially your children, know how to reach you. Also, they need to know how to reach a family member not in the travel party if separated from you. If your children are young, consider putting contact information in your child’s pockets or shoes. This is in case you find yourself separated from them. Additionally, consider dressing your child in a loud color or having them travel with something in a loud color. This way you can spot them in a crowd if you need to.

4. Books on Tape- If you have a Kindle or Sirius subscription this is a good opportunity to utilize books or podcasts to introduce creative themes to your children. This is great for things they normally don’t see or hear. Again, be prepared for a technology glitch and consider going to the library and getting books on CD and a portable CD player. In turn, you can listen to books on the car ride or on the run.

5. Make up your Own Games- When my children were young, I would make up my own version of games they were familiar with. For example, I would create my own topic questions on index cards for the Jeopardy game that we could play in the car. The topics were things I wanted the children to learn. As well as topics that encouraged us to get to know one another. I remember one topic in the jeopardy game I created called- mom’s favorite things. On that trip we found out my oldest daughter knew much more about what I liked than my husband. I was glad I included that topic because I’m not sure how long it would have taken my husband to find out I do not like cheese!

6. Try Some Healthy Snacks- This might be a good time to motivate the participants of your trip to try some healthy snacks. I do not suggest that all of your snacks are new and healthy if you want to avoid “hangry” travelers. However, I have found that my family was always willing to try the homemade granola with no sugar or the peanut butter cookies made with carrots during these trips.Due to the fact that they were hungry and already taking risks like riding rollercoasters.

7. Leave the House Clean- Someone once told me that they loved taking vacations because the hotels were always clean. Plus, they always had anxiety about returning home. Due to their own home was messy because of preparing for the trip. Consider hiring someone to clean your home before you leave on your vacation. Many people suffer the blues upon returning from vacationing. Alas, this may be simply because they have returned to an untidy home.

These are 7 unconventional ways to prepare for a day trip or vacation but they are sure to make your trip more enjoyable and your return home more relaxing. You can return relaxed knowing you know your family or fellow travelers better. Plus, you have a clean bed to get into after the long drive or plane ride.

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