Do you have a trip coming up? Are you worried about traveling with kids?
If so, you’re certainly not the first parent to worry about what to do with their kids on a trip, and you’re definitely not going to be the last. And while traveling with kids can be stressful, there are plenty of ways to alleviate your anxiety—and theirs.
Here are some tips for traveling with kids that will keep everyone cool, calm, and collected.
Include Kids in the Plans
It’s easy to forget that (some) kids like to have a plan. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment: it must be terribly disorienting to be taken from location to location without any discussion about where you’re going or why. One minute, you’re in a familiar car, and the next, you’re on a bus you’ve never seen before.
Many parents find that if they talk to their kids about what to expect ahead of time, the journey goes more smoothly. Feel free to check out our website ahead of time and take the virtual tour of one of our coaches, so they know what to expect. You can also tell them how the amenities offered will help them stay entertained—i.e. C&J has free wifi on their coaches, so you can play on your tablet!
Bring Surprise Activities
A brilliant parent hack is to keep special toys or travel activities a secret until it’s time to travel. Some parents do this when they go out to dinner, as well. Keeping different items reserved for special occasions makes the toys feel like novelty items. The kids won’t be bored with playing with the toys because they haven’t seen them for a while.
Before you travel, check out the dollar sections of stores. Sometimes they have easy travel activities, including those coloring books with magic markers that only draw on the special paper in the notebook.
Plan Around Naptime
If your kids are young enough to nap (or maybe fall asleep more easily in a vehicle), you may want to consider planning your C&J bus trip around their regular nap time. Once they get in and settled, they can play with a toy for a bit, and before you know it, they’ll be lulled into a peaceful slumber.
Snacks, Snacks, and More Snacks
If parents know one thing about keeping their kids happy while traveling, it’s to always have snacks handy. You can’t blame the kids, really—even adults get cranky when they’re hungry. Anything that the kids can eat on their own is best, so try little items they can hold (Goldfish, granola bars), pureed food pouches, or cut-up fruits and veggies.
And let’s be honest—you’re going to want some snacks, too. Might as well bring enough for everyone!
A snack’s added bonus is that it may help control any pressure changes little ears experience. Swallowing can help their ears pop, making their journey (and yours) far more pleasant. This is probably less of a problem on a C&J bus, but if any part of your plans includes air travel, you’ll be prepared.
Bring Extra Clothes in Your Personal Bag
Even the most coordinated of us spills, so we can assume our little ones will spill something at some point. Who wants to sit in wet clothing? Not your toddler. Make sure you put a change of clothes in your personal carry-on item—that way, you have it with you if you need it rather than under the coach with the rest of the suitcases.
Of course, the smallest little ones might not be potty trained yet and are more likely to need that change of clothes.
And while we’re on the topic—don’t forget a plastic bag (or three) to put the wet clothes in!
Don’t Forget the Comfort Items
Whether it’s a ratty old blanket, a stuffed animal, or a pacifier, triple-check that you have the item that your tiny human finds comfort in. It will come in handy if they’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, and they can cuddle up with it during naptime.
Ready to Book Your Trip?
If you already know your travel schedule, you can reserve your seats at any time. We offer guaranteed seating, so you never have to worry about finding enough room for your whole family on one coach. And if something changes, you can transfer your tickets to a different coach free of charge—it’s easy, but even easier with a free C&J account. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact us or check out our FAQs.