Traveling Made Easy PDF Print E-mail
Family Travels

Traveling Made Easy

(May 2000, p. 19)  

With a little forethought and preparation, traveling can be most enjoyable and interesting even while driving over long distances. Begin by making out your list of desired destinations and mapping out your journey. 

If you are a AAA member, your American Automobile Association’s agent can map out the best route on a TripTik and give you wonderful Tour Books that list descriptive information about points of   interest, AAA approved lodgings and restaurants (with ratings and prices), temperature charts, facts about each area, and historical information. They also offer Travellers Cheques without the service fee.

Read up on where you are going, prioritize your list of desired destinations, and calculate driving times and expenses to determine your schedule. Then begin to plan out your vacation making efficient use of your time when traveling between locations, allowing plenty of time for enjoying points of interest.  

After your plan is in place, check  temperature charts for appropriate attire. Then make a list or use the following checklist for packing, sorting items accordingly so they can be easily retrieved.  

If space permits, pack in stackable Rubbermaid or Sterilite containers labeled on two sides so contents can be easily identified. One container can be packed with toys, another for paper goods and food, others for bedding and toiletries, one for important items, and an empty one for dirty clothes. Everyone’s clothes can be divided up among containers with each adult and older child’s clothes coupled with a younger child’s clothes. The elder will be responsible for dressing the younger. A cooler would contain the foods that needed to be kept on ice. If traveling in a van, keep water cooler, styrofoam cups, toy container and “important items” container up front.  

Purchase some new books, crossword puzzles, word searches, activity books, and travel games and toys and have them wrapped in the toy container. These will add delight and interest to old favorites like Legos. Also, purchase a road atlas so the children can follow your course, calculate driving distances and time schedules, and learn about their new surroundings. Pack a sketch pad and colored pencils for sketching scenery.  

Give each child a small notebook to journal all they see and do. Take along large envelopes marked with each child’s name for their collections of brochures, postcards, and memorable information.  

Check out audiotapes or CDs from the library—music, stories, and old time radio shows. Purchase the materials to learn a new skill like knitting or embroidery. Be sure to select several great books to read out loud to everyone while driving.  

To be more economical with your time and money, keep milk, fruit juices, cheese, meats, and fruit on ice in a cooler so you can eat cereal, fruit, and bagels for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. Select pretty roadside parks for picnics and exercise. A game of tag or catch before lunch works out a lot of pent up energy.  

On the way, read out loud about each destination you visit. Take plenty of pictures, collect all available information, and soak in your new surroundings. Then when you get home, have scrapbooks waiting for each child to record their memorable vacation.

Travel Checklist


Cheeses Cream cheese Fresh fruit Fruit juice Lunch meats Milk Sausages Veggies 

Paper Goods/Food

 Antibacterial lotion Bagels Bread Briquettes Bubblegum  Cereal Chips Condiments Cookies Crackers Granola bars Knife Lighter fluid Matches Nuts Paper plates/bowls Paper towels Plastic picnic tablecloth Plastic utensils Raisins/Dried fruit Sunflower seeds Toilet tissue Tongs Wipes 


Alarm clock Band-Aids Benadryl itch cream Benadryl liquid (prevents allergic reaction to sting) Hair supplies Hydrogen peroxide Lotion Makeup Neosporin Pepper mace Razor Shampoo Shaving cream Skin So Soft Soap Suntan lotion Toothpaste/brushes Towels Travel Lysol Tums Tylenol Washcloths 


Action figurines Activity books Atlas Audiotapes/CDs Books Colored pencils Coloring books Construction paper Crossword puzzles Electronic Wheel of Fortune Etch-a-Sketch Glue stick Go Fish/Crazy Eights Hidden picture books Large envelopes for brochures Lauri foam lacing beads Legos Magazines Magna Doodle Magnetic board & shapes Maze books Notebooks Pencils/pens Playing cards Sand toys Scissors Sewing Sketch pads Skip Bo/Uno Travel games Velcro mitts and ball Word search books 

Important Items

Camera Change Film Flashlight Health and insurance cards Medicines Money belt Reading glasses Tour books Travelers checks TripTik Video camera 

Dirty Clothes

Liquid laundry detergent Traveling iron 


Blankets Pillows 



Antifreeze Electrical tape Fan belt Fix a flat kit Jumper cables Pliers Quart of oil Rope Wrench  Water cooler Styrofoam cups