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Stress Free Traveling With Your Family This Christmas

## Updated November 20, 2016 ##

Holiday Road Trips with Children

Traveling to visit family by car when you have children can make a two hour drive feel like three days unless you carefully plan ways to entertain your kids. Sure you can pack their video games or portable DVD players, but the holidays are a time for families to spend together, and when you are all in a car for a couple hours together, it is a great time to put all the electronics away and really enjoy each other’s company, with conversation, some good old fashioned road trip games and since it’s the holidays, don’t forget about singing Christmas Carols. It doesn’t matter if no one in the family can carry a tune, the fun is that you are doing an activity together.

A lot of teens today don’t really “talk” with their parents anymore. Everything is one word answers; “how was school?” “Fine.” “Did you have fun at the party?” “yea.” Then off they go to sports practice, their friend’s house, play video games or do homework. A holiday road trip, they have nowhere else to go, so it’s a great time to draw them into conversation. Don’t ask questions that can be answered with one word, ask things that encourage them to tell you about their life. At the same time, it is a great opportunity for you to share some of your favorite Christmas memories with them.

With younger children, you can play some great games on the road that also educational. License plate bingo, trying to find license plates from as many different states as you can or depending on the children’s ages, once you find a license plate from a particular state, you can talk about that state’s capital, state flower, where it might be located on a map, etc. This can be done either with the children being allowed to use electronics, or with mom or dad looking the info up on their phone.

Then there is always the ever popular twenty questions. This is a great game for everyone in the family and so easy even for the younger children to play. Many standard board games are also available in travel size and depending on the age of your children, these can keep them busy, or maybe even teach them so useful skills if they play games like Battleship or Chess and checkers.

My personal favorite is for everyone to sing Christmas Carols. There are so many ways you can do this. If you plan ahead, you can do it Karaoke Style and everybody sings by themselves, or you can all sing together. It can also be a lot of fun to see how many different songs everyone can remember, or make up new words to old favorites like “Jingle Bells.”

Another important thing to keep in mind when traveling with children. If the trip is longer than two hours, plan on stopping for breaks along the way. It doesn’t just benefit the children, giving them an opportunity at a rest area to expend some unspent energy, it is also a great chance for Mom and Dad to stretch their legs and relax for a few minutes.

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