When you’re traveling through the United States with kids in the back of the car, it can be a more
temperamental venture. Toilet breaks and time to stretch your legs all need to factored in when you
have energetic children to bear in mind. While some parents may have the money to afford
portable DVD players or iPads to keep their little ones entertained, not everybody is loaded with
gadgets to break up the long journeys. With this in mind, what are the best ways to travel around
the United States with small children?
Use Hotels Sparingly
While hotels might have been the ultimate comfort in your time as a singleton, when you’re
traveling with children it’s a whole different kettle of fish. Strict breakfast times and limited space
means that you are truly living in each other’s pockets for an extortionate price. If you are going to
stay within close proximity to each other, you may as well travel with fewer limitations. Self-catering
or traveling in an RV would see you saving money in the long-run, and you won’t be restricted by
check-out times (for the RV at least) or regimented breakfast hours.
If you’re looking to save a little bit of money, hunt around on AirBnB or look for a used RV for sale.
The investment you make may well be worth it if you’re looking to travel around the United States
on major road trips.
Make Use of Parks
If you are going on city breaks with your children, then parks will be your savior in terms of space
and activities. There’s usually a play park to make use of, and of course, plenty of green areas to
sit down and take a break. A city park can be used to have a picnic and eat your lunch; which is
also a money-saving measure. If you’re visiting Chicago, Millennium Park has a number of
attractions up its sleeve. The Cloud Gate sculpture is not only a dizzying and captivating art
installation piece in its own right, but it’s also great fun for kids who want to watch their reflection
shift and change in its mirrored surface. Otherwise, parks are just a great place to catch a breath of
fresh air and take a moment away from the busy crowds of a city.
As well as city parks there are also plenty of state parks to choose from. National parks are a
perfect way to show your children the wide array of wildlife in the United States, and some even
have specific tours just for this – while also keeping the little ones at a safe distance from bigger
animals. National parks also expose your children the true majesty of the natural world, with parkssuch as Yosemite being abundant with large sequoias, waterfalls, and staggering mountain
Indulge in the Odd Commercial Attraction
There’s no shame in treating your children to some of the United States’ biggest commercial
attractions. While a day spent learning about the founding fathers of the United States is important
for their school essays in later life, it might not be the peak of entertainment for a small infant.
Visiting Universal Studios and Walt Disney World are the perfect attractions to treat your children
to a good old-fashioned fun day out. It will ignite their imagination in completely different ways and
so it’s always worth your time to indulge them for at least part of the vacation. If you’re in a state
such as Florida, you will truly be spoiled for choice when it comes to attractions like this. If you’re
keen to go back to high-brow activities as soon as possible, then the Kennedy Space Center in
Cape Canaveral is always worth a shot.
Of course, cities such as New York will have some pricey experiences, but you will always be able
to find a free museum to walk around. Opting for a cost-free attraction can take the pressure off
your day somewhat, especially if you have temperamental children. Having to leave an exhibition
that you paid for because of a tantrum or the need for a lie-down can be frustrating, particularly if
you’re in an expensive city. Raleigh in North Carolina is said to be abundant with free museums
and experiences – and not to mention some exquisite culinary opportunities.
Hit the Beach
There are very few children who don’t love a trip to the beach, and the United States has some of
the best in the world. Florida and Hawaii rank incredibly high in terms of popularity with families,
thanks to their shallow and clear waters. Beaches provide an opportunity to escape the crowds
(provided you choose a more secluded bay and not Miami Beach, for example) and a chance to
truly relax. It’s also an opportunity to collect sea shells; particularly in the southern states where
some particularly vibrant and pretty shells wash up on the shoreline. If you’re planning on
swimming or spending long stretches of time by the sea, pack sun cream, towels, and plenty of
Pack a First Aid and Emergency Kit
Wherever you go in the United States, make sure that you and your family are completely prepared
for every eventuality. Instead of making last-minute sprints to the drug store, pack a first aid kit
that’s full of band aids, antiseptic wipes, pain killers, and antihistamines. Should anyone have an
accident or an allergic reaction while traveling, you will be fully prepared to deal with the situation.
You may also want to provide your children with a card or necklace that has your cell phone
number on, just in case of an emergency.
Traveling in and around the United States not only benefits your children by broadening their
horizons, but it also reminds you of the great natural wonders and historical monuments that we
have here in our own country. It can even help you to avoid traveling by airplane which, as anyone
with children will know, is anything but a vacation.