Usually we like to leave before the crack of dawn to ensure maximum amount of sleepy time. Kids still in their pjs, little traffic on the road, plenty of coffee for us grown-ups. Our latest travel didn't allow for such, though, since our oldest had preschool on the day of travel. That's when the plans come in handy.
First up, the Easy Lunch Boxes. I can't help it... I love them!
The peas and strawberries are frozen, but by the time we wanted to eat they were defrosted and ready to go... plus, you can get organic produce SO much cheaper by buying it frozen! If you want to keep your yogurt cold, add some of that frozen fruit to it... someone taught me that great tip and it works like a charm. And don't let the pinch of powdered sugar fool you even though it makes my kids feel like they're getting something quite special. That is one packed muffin... I experimented with spelt flour, applesauce, sweet potato puree, and raisins. Mmm... recipe to come!
The other thing we sometimes do is "Treat Hour." I take along a little dry erase strip or small chalkboard. At the beginning of each hour the kids get three stars or smiley faces or whatever we want to draw. At the end of the hour if they have at least one "thing" left, then they get a treat out of the bag. Here are some examples from our latest travel:
The trip is normally between six and seven hours, but I keep the entire box of lollipops in there just in case it takes longer. Between, I don't know, poops or spit ups or feeding or potty stops or... you get the picture of why we might need a back up to the back up plan. :) The other things include dollar store items like mini eye-spy books, activity pads in their favorite character, snack bags, candy rings, and a coupon for a smoothie stop. I try to pick out of the ordinary things that can keep them occupied for a good chunk of the hour ahead. The less kids are bored, the better!
We also like to keep a ready supply of other entertainment... music, Bible stories and other books on tape or CD (hitting up the library before hand is great for new titles), etc. Water bottles, favorite blankets and stuffed animals, and a few books per child are other things we make the most of (preferably titles they haven't read in a while or a couple of new books from the library).
Any successful traveling tips you use? We'd love to hear about them!