A week into our Lincoln Highway road trip, I was struck by two comments. One of our Philadelphia hosts complimented 13-year-old Alex on being such a good traveler; later, I heard my son telling a friend that he was having a good time traveling with his mom. Somehow, I had done something right, but it hadn’t come easily or naturally. That’s one of the things I love about The Travel Mamas’ Guide by Colleen Lanin–she doesn’t sugarcoat what it’s like to vacation with kids.
Right from the introduction she warns parents that travelling with children may be marked by “interrupted sleep, noisy meals, and constant potty breaks” but it may also be your chance to be a part of your child’s “pure joy in the journey.”
While Lanin offers a realistic take on family travel, she also provides a slew of tips and expert advice to minimize the hassles and maximize the fun. For example, she suggests using snacks as a travel diversion; starting with healthy snacks and reserving “forbidden snacks” such as M&M Minis for motivational purposes.
Road Trip Music
One of my favorite sections of the guide focuses on tips for road trips with kids. Lanin covers road trip eats, car games, and the soundtrack for the road. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of reading with kids on road trips through shared audiobooks, but Lanin recruits several family travel experts to come up with even more ideas:
- Rainer Jenss of National Geographic Intelligent Travel recommends the children’s CD No! by They Might Be Giants as fun for both kids and adults.
- Keryn Means of WalkingOn Travel likes that Muppets music brings back fun memories when she shares it with her son.
- Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George is a hit with Travel Mamas‘ Colleen Lanin’s entire family.
- Have Baby Will Travel‘s Corinne McDermott relies on kid-friendly adult music from Bob Marley, the Beatles, and ABBA.
Which reminds me of one our best-loved audio CDs for the road trips: Jerry Garcia and David Grisam’s Not for Kids Only! Wouldn’t mind listening to that again (although now that I’m traveling with teens, I’m lucky if I get to choose any of the soundtrack!)
Family Travel Tips
Lanin offers guidance on the whole gamut of family travel, including many chapters I wish I had read when my kids were little. A few noteworthy topics include: surviving a vist to family and friends; diapering and potty training issues; childcare options and making room for romance; and post-trip expectations and advice. Even though I’ve been traveling with my children for seventeen years, I still picked up a few helpful tips.
I highly recommend The Travel Mamas’ Guide to new parents nervous about their first family vacation, and even experienced travelers searching for ways to make traveling with children less stressful.
The Travel Mamas’ Guide Virtual Book Tour. This guest blog post is part of The Travel Mamas’ Guide virtual book tour. Check out the last tour post at Walking On Travels featuring a guest post about Family-friendly San Diego by Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama. The tour continues tomorrow on Ciao Bambino. You can also follow the fun using the #TravelMamasTour hashtag on Twitter or by subscribing to this Pinterest board. Grab your own copy of The Travel Mamas’ Guide on Amazon.com.
Sandra Foyt | Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on GetawayMavens.com, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at SandraFoyt.com, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @SandraFoyt.