Why Is Travel Good for Kids?

Traveling after children will never be the same as traveling before children. My previous vacations of cocktails and little black dresses turned into days filled with diapers and sippy cups.  It can be a bit hard adjusting to this change, but after it definitely gets better as my kids get older, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Do you like traveling with your kids? My husband and I have been away for one weekend by ourselves, but other than that, all of our vacations have included our children.  No matter how crasy it can get, it truly wouldn't feel the same without them.

Family travel enables you to make memories that will last a lifetime. When I was younger, my parents took my sisters and I on long car rides all over the Eastern U.S. We went to more museums, exhibits, festivals, and different cities than I can count. I really think it helped me have an appreciation for art and culture.  Even though I may not remember every little detail of each adventure we went on, these memories are part of who I am today.

Why is Travel Good For Kids?

I believe that travel is so important for children's development. When you're traveling as a family, you learn things that you couldn't learn from a book. You get to use all of your senses to explore a new environment. Kids learn about different ways of life, grow their communication skills, and experience things they never even dreamed about.  Plus, getting to see things from your children's perspective, for the first time, is a priceless experience.

In the past, I've written a bunch of articles about family travel and I wanted to share some of them with you.

1) Traveling with Kids? Use Blogs to Plan your Getaway

2) Tips for Family Travel on a Budget

3) Basic Tips for Traveling With Kids

4) 17 Travel Tips For Long Car Rides With Kids

5) Disney with Kids: Tips from some of the Best Disney Blogs

6) 10 Disney Tips on Everything from Toy Story Mania, Epcot, PhotoPass & More!

Why do YOU think travel is good for kids? Where is the coolest place you have taken your kids?  Do you have any favorite memories from your childhood?

Leave me a comment and let me know.

10 Spring Break Survival Tips


Are your kids home for Spring Break? Here are a few simple tips to help ensure a happy and fun week: 

1) Avoid the crowds - If you're planning field trips, "plan them for later in the afternoon when attractions are less likely to be crowded" says Jennifer of Jersey Family Fun.

2) Just Relax - Jessica, of DelcopaMoms says "I don't know about everyone else's families but mine runs from soccer to t-ball to gymnastics and back again. One week this spring, the kids don't have activities, we're vegging out! We have one planned activity the entire week. I also plan to hang, watch tv, probably do a TON of coloring but we're relaxing!"

Going to Longwood Gardens With Kids

I want to introduce you to my new local love: Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square, PA.  It's a magical place you can go again and again, and have a different experience each time. That's what I love so much about local parks, gardens and arboretums. They are constantly transforming from season to season, and there are always new surprises with each visit.

My family first visited Longwood Gardens during Christmas time about 5 years ago when we had family visiting from out-of-town.  People flock to Longwood each year around the holidays because of the spectacular holiday lights, flowers, trees and decorations throughout the grounds.  More than 16,000 plants, over 500,000 Christmas lights, and over 1,600 starry ornaments are used for this year's display.  It really is a feast for the eyes.

Even though we went to Longwood years ago, our recent trip was our first trip there as a family with both the kids. When we pulled up to the entrance and saw some of the lit trees, my kids were already excited. I knew that if they were that excited about the entrance, they were going to be completely mesmerized once we got inside - and they were!

We started our visit by walking around outside.  The kids loved the outdoor Garden Railway, and then we moved onto the Conservatory.  They really were in awe when they saw the towering trees, lights and ornaments hanging from the ceiling.

Just as the kids were getting worn out, we wandered into the Children's Garden and they were instantly filled with energy again. It was like a switch flipped, and suddenly they were ready to go!  It was almost impossible to keep up with them in there.  They quickly went from one area to another, exploring every little corner.  Even adults, without kids, were wandering this garden with curious smiles on their faces. 

At the dragon's mouth, there were paint-brushes to paint the walls with water, which my kids loved! There was a little spiral staircase, a wall of water, a flower maze, water fountains and other details to get lost in. This was definitely a highlight of our visit.

Our recent visit to Longwood Gardens is a night I will never forget. My family is really looking forward to going back again very soon, and I can't wait to bring my parents along with us. If you're planning on going too, here are a few tips:

1) Plan your visit. Times tickets are required during the busy holiday season.  Timed tickets sell out quickly, so purchase early online to avoid disappointment.

2) Time your visit to avoid the rush! Arrive by 2pm and avoid the evening rush. If you're a member, you can enjoy Member nights on Mondays which are much less busy.  If you're not a member, try to go Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday when crowds are typically much smaller than on peak days. 

3) Bring your stroller. My kids are 4 & 6, so we don't generally use a stroller anymore, however, we did enjoy having our sit n'stand stoller with us during our evening at Longwood Gardens. My kids had already had a long day at school and I knew we were going to be doing a lot of walking, so it was nice to give the kids the option of resting as we were trekking around the grounds.

4) Bundle Up.  It was really cold the night we went, so I was happy that we brough our hats, gloves and warm winter coats.

5) Enjoy lunch or dinner there. They have lots of indoor seating, a nice variety of food, and I think their food is fabulous!

6) Support the local merchants in downtown Kennet Square, PA. There's a great mix of unique shops, a winery and some fantastic restaurants, such as La Verona.

If you have any questions about Longwood Gardens with kids, leave me a comment or visit the Longwood Garden website.

*Please see my full disclosure here.

17 Travel Tips For Long Car Rides With Kids

Everyone is packing up and heading out! 

Since so many families are leaving for their summer vacations right now, I decided to gather some of the best tips for long car rides and put it all in one post.

 I have to admit that, I think the DVD players kept my kids quieter than anything during our 8+ hour long journey to Cape Cod, but, many of these other tips were life-savers too. For example, don't underestimate the power of a quick stop at a rest area.  Having a potty break, walking around for 10 minutes and eating a popsicle made a world of difference when my 4 year old was getting extremely fed up of being in the car during our drive home.

I asked some moms for their top tips for traveling with kids in the car, and this is what they had to say:

 1) Make a Roadtrip Countdown - Jessica got crafty and "wrote a city name or border that we would pass every two hours or so. On the back of the paper, I wrote a task. They included things like special treat, read a book out loud, special present (I bought some dollar store items) draw a picture, play a game, etc. As we passed the city, we ripped the tag off and completed the 'assignment'! This was a huge hit and the hours flew by." Click here for free Printables for Road Trips

2) "Rent Redbox Movies and Return Them In Other States Along Your Route. You can use the free Redbox app to find kiosks near wherever you may be"  says Heidi of Free Fun In Austin. This is much cheaper than buying new DVDs and since it's so affordable, you can really stock up!

3) Play Games - Joey, from, reminded me of all the fun car games you can play with kids. The license plate game is a classic.  You can also count things on the side of the road (like animals or objects), make Road Bingo cards, and play I-Spy. 

4) Expect Delays - As soon as you become a parent, you learn that everything takes longer with kids.  "Just Just know that 7 hour trip will become 10. Consider when you leave and factor in traffic," Chrissie from London Mod Girl.

5) "Load up your ipad or Leap Pad with apps and videos they've never seen before." - Lisa from

6) Books on tape are ideal for preschoolers and Early Elementary age kids.  Susan reminded me that I can borrow audio CD's from my local library. Susan said that when she went on vacation "Sometimes the kids were so engaged they refused to get out of the car." A few titles to check out include: Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, The Freddy series, and The Castle In The Attic, Winnie the Pooh with Stephen Fry, and Skippy Jon. Here is a great resource to find audio books for kids. 

7) "Take breaks every 1.5-2 hours depending on how long they can last. Let them stretch, have a snack, potty" - Brandi of One Great Mom. 

8) "Make up a "fun bag" for each way (down and back) with items like coloring books, small toys, new books, magnet boards, model magic, etc. I also got them a small lap desk. They love it. Last time back they barely watched any movies!" - Heather of Diapered Knights

9) Make a Sandpaper & Felt Travel Board - Melinda from Look What Mom Found told me about this sensory activity from Gummy Lump which you can make with this Sandpaper Felt Board Tutorial. 

10) Have lots of fun snacks that they never get at home. "Single-size cereals were their favorites" - Alissa of Fun Finds For Families

11) Get Creative - It's amazing how a few simple Wiki Stix or pipe cleaners can really entertain a kid. Have a contest to see who could create the coolest thing.
12) Leave super early, like 4am. Put the kids in the car (in their pjs) and they'll typically sleep for the first few hours and be groggy for a while when they first wake up. Then with breakfast and a DVD it's usually not too painful. - Sarah of Finnegan & The Hughes

Or, if you're not a morning person...

13) "Drive 1/2 the way late at night stop at a hotel" - Sherri of

14) Before you go, download online kid's books to your Kindle or IPad. Here's a great post about finding online books for kids.
15) "Stopping for a play break is essential. Kids need time to run around a bit. Try finding out
where a playground is on your way to stop at for a 15 minute play break." - Diane   
16) Don't be afraid to abandon all rules - Heidi says "We did Texas to Canada and back this summer and I abandoned all rules/ It was a DS + movies +iPod + iPad + snacks children's paradise. All electronics all the time. Everyone was happy for all 50+ hours (because I usually don't let them have that much screen time, and we wouldn't let them play at all while we were in Canada).

17) Please, Relax. It is a vacation after all!- "It's always much easier than I anticipate it being. I think the anxiety beforehand is the worst part!" - Bestie, of

If you have specific questions about a certain area, just ask. I find that the best tips come from my friends, family and other parents who have already ventured to my destination. They are your best source of information!  There are also tons of local blogs from moms that are full of tips as well as helpful travel sites such as

What is your best tip for long car rides with kids?