Traveling with Young Children

Use these tips to keep your next trip with the kids running smoothly.

• Let your child help pack a small backpack of entertaining items. Dig up some of those old toys he hasn't touched in a few months. Rediscovering an old toy can be quite entertaining.

• Don't forget to pack plenty (and even for you if you can fit them into your carry-on!) You just never know when a delay or lost luggage will cause you to need them.

• Office supplies around the house make great attention getters. Sticky posting notes can become story boards while fluorescent highlighters add fun to coloring, index cards can become personally designed trading cards. Use the designed index cards for a game of Memory. White labels make great "create your own sticker projects" for any long ride.

• Preschoolers will enjoy documenting their trip with a disposable camera. It not only keeps them alert to their next photo opportunity but also will serves as a memory keepsake later.

• Prior to your trip, print coloring pages off the Internet. There are several sites with great printable activities and color pages. Among our favorites are and

• Sometimes even the longest car rides can't be solved with an on-board VCR, but a visit to your local video rental store might help. Select tapes that are seasonal and not viewed often by your child. You'll be amazed that even a small child will enjoy "It's a Wonderful Life," and it might even catch your attention. Old home movies work well too. Children love to watch themselves.

• Record yourself reading your child's favorite books. You can pop a cassette into the car's tape player and your child's imagination will be enhanced by visualizing the pictures as they hear the story. And the best part -- you won't have to yell to the backseat to tell the story.

• Pack snacks your child would normally not enjoy at home. Make your selections crumb-free such as juice-made gummy bears and dried fruits.

Also see: Traveling with an infant