Okay you are about to embark on the great adventure, a trip to see somewhere new and exciting-just as soon as you get there. Meanwhile you are going to be spending a lot of time in cramped quarters with the kids and it would behoove you to keep the kids happy during the long trip.

This applies whether you are about to get on a long air flight or taking a road trip across the country because nothing can be harder than trying to keep the peace in an aggravatingly cramped situation.

Most children have their own space that they like to occupy without being touched or annoyed by their siblings. You all remember that childish ‘I’m not touching you,” game your little brother or sister irritated you with by holding a finger just close enough to your person to upset you but not quite touching you. Well, it’s still popular. If you are on a long flight think about breaking up the kids by sitting in the middle and having each sit on either side of you. If in the car put one in the front passenger seat and one in the backseat. Or you can rent a larger vehicle such as a van that will allow quite a bit more space to the kids.

In a way kids experience a Pavlov response as soon as you hit the highway by feeling the urge to go to the bathroom while at the same time realizing that they are very hungry. I blame it on the prevalence of fast food signs by the roadsides. Deal with the potty issue by checking that everyone and I mean everyone has gone to the restroom before getting into the car. This also serves for those on air flights. You don’t want a kid to have to go potty during take off. As for food take snacks that you know the kids will like on the plane and in the car. You should also take more than you estimate you’ll need, because the estimate will never be enough.

You can try to take advantage of the kids sleep schedules to make the most time on your travels. Kids often go to bed much earlier than their parents, so you can actually start your trip towards evening and let the kids fall asleep in the back. Be sure to make it as comfortable as possible to properly induce sleep. Take blankets and pillows and pack a small pen light or two for the ones who do manage to stay up to use for reading. Similarly you can pick air flights that are scheduled for later in the evening so that the kids will hopefully sleep through most of the flight.

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