Trips With Children: How To Not Lose Your Mind

by erin on June 7, 2010

Simply the thought of having to make a long car ride with a child is enough to give you gray hairs. Plane tickets can put a big dent on your travel budget, so a car trip often proves to be a cheaper option. Since the economy isn’t in the best state, many people are doing their best to save money. However, this shouldn’t keep you from a much needed vacation. Canada and Mexico are only a car trip away, making a whole different sort of world very accessible for you and your family to explore. Ever since the passport card came out, families have been able to travel for much cheaper.

My absolute favorite thing to do on car trips when I was younger were coloring books and craft sets. I remember specifically owning a Barbie coloring book, one with animals, and a huge baggie full of markers and crayons. With these supply in hand, I would spend hours coloring pictures for everyone in the car. Besides these coloring books, I absolutely loved these big felt pieces in all sorts of shapes that had holes in them along the edges. With a shoe lace or a string, it made the perfect little girl sewing set. My brother loved the jumbo building blocks, which could be put together in all sorts of shapes.

On road trips, my mom would bring along “worksheets” that had easy puzzles and games on them. She would give me one to complete, and when I finished, I’d hand it back to her to “grade.” I would get so unbelievably excited when she would hand one back with an A plus on it, and it honestly instilled in me a love of learning. When I got a little older, she would give me books with easy addition and reading in them, and this way I learned some easy lessons in a very fun way. So really, these trips are awesome learning opportunities for your children.

Technology has a huge potential to keep your children busy and entertained. One of the best things I’ve seen is the Leapfrog Leapsters, which is basically a hand-held electronic device that plays fun and educational video games. Another good idea, although it’s not quite as technologically advanced, is recording your child’s very own audio books. Using a tape recorder, record yourself reading some of your child’s books, and let your child listen to them. You can even change the names of the characters to let your child play his or her favorite part in the story!

Getting a passport card is so easy. You can either go to your local passport agency or even apply online. Because they are less expensive than passports, your family can explore so many places around the United States without having to worry about your budget. These cards allow you to travel by land or sea to many places nearby, allowing for a fun adventure without the exorbitant costs.

You don’t need to break a sweat when you are thinking of taking a vacation with the kids. No matter what you decide to do, from fiesta-ing in Mexico to exploring some of Canada’s beautiful landmarks, you will be providing your kids with some great memories. All you need to do to obtain passport card for you and your family is either go online or to your USA passport office. I have some great memories from traveling with my family, and a family vacation can provide your kids with some awesome memories of their own.

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