If you will be traveling with children, take activities (and snacks) for them with you.
Even if they typically entertain themselves by playing games on your phone, it is nice to be able to pull out something for them to do when they get a bit restless. If you are going for a visit to someone’s house who does not have children the same age as yours, take a few activities with you. It will make your visit so much more enjoyable for you (and for the person you are visiting!)
If you really want to encourage good visiting and traveling behavior in your children, you could even save some of their favorite activities and only let them have them when they go with you somewhere.
Make sure the things you take with you are not messy. For example, even if your children love to play with playdoh, you don’t want them leaving little playdoh crumbs in someone else’s house!
Some examples of good traveling activities are: an etch-a-sketch, bendable wires, a special traveling stuffed animal buddy, or a hand puppet. You get the idea.
Try not to bring things with too many parts that could get lost. If your children are older, maybe a book of crossword puzzles or word finds would be a good choice. Also, it is not necessary to bring lots of choices. Two or three choices are really enough.
The traveling activity bag is also a good place to spring fun surprises on your kids! Sometimes you might put something new in there for them to do, and that keeps it fun. The first time you get a compliment on your well-behaved children, you will be glad you tried out the traveling activity bag!
It is also a good idea to carry water and snacks for your children. Like the activities, it is important to have snacks that are not messy. If you decide to bring little crackers (like those Goldfish crackers), don’t give them too many at once. If your children tend to crumble crackers into the carpet after slobbering on them and then grind them in for good measure, leave the crackers at home! You could think about fruit roll-ups or something like that just for traveling. As with the activities, save a favorite snack just for traveling
Special snacks and activities just for traveling may cut down on whining as well. Happy trails!