My Best Ever Traveling Tip for Families

by GfG on November 15, 2012 · 2 comments

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Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house you go?

Road trips can be such fun!

Or not.

With holidays coming up, that often means long blocks of time spent in the car.  With our recent move, we’ve spent longer days in the suburban than we ever have previously.

Thankfully, I’ve come up with a tactic that makes our time more pleasurable for everyone.  Especially me.

Each child has a special bag that I pack with snacks.

That bag has individual goodies.  If the food isn’t individually wrapped, then I put it in a Ziploc bag.

After we are on the road, I set my phone timer (we usually do 1-1.5 hours).  When the timer goes off, everyone can pick a snack.

This is soooo much easier than me picking one snack at a time, passing the container around, and some people not liking/wanting that snack, spilling as we pass it between the three rows and eight people.

Nope.  None of that.

Everyone chooses what they are in the mood for at that time.

An added benefit is that the snack items are surprises until they get to open them for the first time (which is usually at first timer beep).   They are allowed to trade among themselves.  They are not allowed to give without trading because I like everyone to have the same number of items.  Well… except me…. I have my own little gig going on.  It’s a mommy perk.

Shopping for and packing these bags is not all that much work.    For boxes of chips or such, I just divide the box into the appropriate number of Ziploc bags. I make sure I choose items they like and some I hope they like.  I keep hoping they’ll eat the raisins, but Paul Louis is the only one who does.

Another aspect of this snack plan is rewarding desired behavior.  I have a colored clothes pin for each child clipped on a visor (it was hard to get them to stay, actually, so a different location may be better) and when they are chastised more than a couple of times for misbehaving, I take their clip down.  Only children whose clips are on the visor when the beeper alerts, gets the snack.

Clips can go back up, though, for kindness and obedience.

Here’s the thing.  I never had to use them.  I thought I would, but I didn’t.  My kids travel really well and we just don’t have much misbehaving in the car.  Until after the 12 hour mark.

And, honestly, at that point… we just all need to get out of the car.

So… there ya go.  My favorite family traveling tip ever: pack individual snack bags and set a timer.

Over the river, through the woods, wherever you go… will go smoother.

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