AnnabelReadsonPlane.jpgThe holidays are rapidly approaching! For most of us, this means lots of family—either traveling or hosting. If it's the former, travel time can be incredibly stressful, especially for those with early learners. I polled a number of veteran traveler co-workers, friends, and family to find their best secrets and tips for traveling with (and entertaining!) early learners.

  • Rob always makes sure that he is able to create a WiFi hotspot from his phone in the car for his son, Kaleb (5). Kaleb is able to play games on his tablet, and also have FaceTime during long car trips. For long distances, Rob recommends leaving towards the evening if you think you can drive through the night, and setting the kids up with a portable DVD player until they fall asleep. He says, "Ideally though, it's best to fly!"  

  • Brittany, mother of Jackson (3) and Isobel (4), says plan to leave 2-3 hours early—"or a day! Everything takes longer than you think it will, and it seems like everyone forgets something during the flurry of activity." She also suggests setting up firm bathroom breaks—for instance, every hour and a half (depending on age), to have some semblance of structure in the car. She also suggests avoiding gas station bathrooms if possible. Twenty-four-hour restaurants, Walmart, or Target usually have spacious and clean facilities.

  • Erin, mother of Annabel (2), Jackson (5), and Noah (7), swears by having the kids pack their own individual book bags. She has them choose their own snacks like fruit snacks or animal crackers, sippy cup/water bottle/juice bottle, one toy or stuffed animal, a tablet/iPad/computer/phone if each child has one, and finally their choice in change of clothes.

  • Mira, mother of Evy (2) and Alexander (8), says, "BRING A CAR SEAT FOR THE PLANE." She says it is something that your young one will be familiar with, you won't have to worry about it getting lost if you checked it, and it's safer for the plane. Also, make sure to give the kids juice, gum, or candy if appropriate to ease with ears popping during take-off.

  • If you're driving, Kelley, mother of Andrew (4) and Aaron (4), suggests bringing a first-aid kit and "a gallon of hand sanitizer." Also, make sure to have plenty of garbage bags for the car!

Do you have any early learner traveler tips for the holidays? Let us know in the comments—and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

For more early learning tips, please download our free ebook, 10 Reasons Why Kindergarten is Too Late. 

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Topics: Child care

Claudia Auger

Written by Claudia Auger

A volunteer for Child Care of Southwest Florida

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