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Child-friendly tips for your first family road trip

With spring and summer weather on the horizon, you may be getting ready to plan an exciting vacation with your family. However, hitting the road with small children can be a challenge, especially if you're planning a lengthy trip. Here are a few child-friendly vacation tips to help you manage the open road.

Plan around nap times
Sitting for long periods of time can begin to wear anyone down, especially small children who aren't used to traveling. To help make the experience less tiresome for your kids, plan your trip around their nap or down times. Starting out in the early morning or before an afternoon nap will let them snooze for the first couple of hours.

Be ready to stop frequently
While you might want to get to your destination as quickly as possible, traveling with little ones means you need to be prepared to stop on a regular basis. Pulling over for a quick snack or bathroom break every so often will allow everybody to stretch their legs, enjoy some fresh air and prepare for another couple of hours in the car.

Make the trip fun
There's only so much local FM radio you can take before you need another distraction during your road trip. Make sure to pack plenty of games, coloring books and audiobooks to vary your children's entertainment. Tablet computers can also let the kids enjoy a movie in the back seat.