Travel tips for Chicago families hitting the road this holiday

Christmas is all about family but that often means travel. We’re fortunate enough to not have to travel across the country to be with our relatives but we do have to spend a few hours in the car.

Holiday travel is already difficult but with kids it can be downright brutal. We don’t have DVD players or video games in the car so being prepared helps us to make our road trips tolerable and sometimes even fun!

We always make sure we have the essentials – diapers, wipes, change of clothes for the younger kids, sippy cups or water bottles, snacks and lots of activities to keep the kids busy. Here are some of the ideas that work well for our kids:

Books: Even if the kids are too young to read, picture books or lift-the-flap books are perfect for entertaining them.

Crayons, coloring books and blank paper: This stuff alone generally keeps my kids busy for hours.

Travel games: Depending on their age, kids can play games like the license plate game (try to find license plates from as many states as possible), the alphabet game (find letters in the alphabet on signs or cars) or I Spy.

Navigation: Create a map for the kids to follow. Older children can follow along by identifying streets. For younger children, you can include landmarks they can find on the map.

I-Spy books or I-Spy bottles: I made my own I-Spy bottles with the kids. We had fun making them and they like playing with them in the car.

Busy books: You can make your own or buy some really fun ones on that allow kids to do fun activities like lace up shoes, create scenes with Velcro pieces or play magnetic games.

What tips or tricks do you have to make holiday travel with kids easier?

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