A hint of an adventurous streak. When children begin to exude a sense of excitement with the mere mention of “travel,” they’re probably ready to take longer trips . See if they feel comfortable being away from home or being at someone else’s house for long periods. For example, gauge how long they last until they start asking for their favorite teddy bear that is waiting at home.
How to make it easy
Relate distance in ways your children can understand. Say that the car or plane ride will be a little longer than going to Grandma’s house, for example. Or say that the trip is going to take as long as 10 of their favorite cartoon shows.
Get your kid excited about traveling by showing maps, photos of the people and the location, plus pictures of the plane (interior, exterior, in flight) you’ll be hopping on if you’re flying.
Bring your kids’ security blanket or favorite stuffed toy. This way, the long ride will feel less overwhelming for the child. Jenny Santos, mother of 2-year-old Sasha, warns, “You may feel tempted to wash the security blanket or stuffed toy first—don’t! I realized too late that more than anything, it is the smell of her favorite pillow that Sasha found reassuring.”
To combat boredom during road trips, engage everyone in countdown songs like “5 Little Monkeys” or “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” Bring kiddie movies, shows, and music if you have a portable player. Also, point out interesting things to your child along the way—like old houses on stilts, interesting cloud formations, etc.