The Best Ways to Travel the United States with Kids in Tow

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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 ranges.

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.

Free Museums 

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 water.

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.

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