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First of all you need to know your child, his/her habits, and any special needs they may have. Your first priority should be to make sure that you have these special needs and to keep them where they will be readily available. Having done this the following guide will help you to make the trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

The number one problem that parents become frustrated over is bathroom stops. Young children are not able to hold their urine or bowel movements as long as adults are, nor do they realize the need beforehand. When they do realize the need you will not be able to keep them waiting very long and you may not be close to a rest area. You need to be prepared for this. You can purchase a small portable toilet; they’re not very expensive and can save you a lot of aggravation. If necessary you can pull off to the side of the road and allow your child to relieve him/herself. Along with this portable toilet make sure that you always carry with one roll of tissue paper. There is no guarantee that the facilities at the rest areas will have tissue paper.

No one knows your child better than you. If he/she is used to having certain foods to munch on throughout the day, carry a small cooler and fill it with sandwiches, drinks, fruits, and any other food that your child normally eats.

Does your child get tummy aches, headaches, or nausea often during long drives? Be prepared for such cases by bringing along those remedies that usually relieve your child’s symptoms.

Another big issue with kids and long trips is boredom. Children get bored very easily during long rides and you really can’t blame them. You can bring some travel size games, a few toys, and some reading material that your child enjoys. If your child is too young to read, bring some picture books.

One thing that you can do to make it a fun trip is to buy a map that covers your entire trip. Mark your travel route before hand and any particular sites that will be on your route. Give this map to your child and have him/her be on the lookout for these places. You can turn this into a game your child will know how close to your destination you are without having to ask you constantly. This will be an educational experience and something fun for your child. Now you can ask him/her how close you are to your destination. You can also use this time to get your child involved in conversation, this is a good chance to catch up on things. Discuss their interests, what’s going on at school, baseball practice, dance class, etc.

Do not depend on finding supplies that you may need at rest area stops. At times you may find Tylenol, aspirin, reading material or other necessities, but don’t count on it. Besides, rest areas are usually set apart by many miles and your child’s need may not be one that can wait for until you reach the next rest area. We all have needs that must be met in order for us to be in a good mood and sociable. Kids aren’t any different. If you do not want to be aggravated by the usual problems then take the time to prepare for your child’s needs before leaving on your trip. Taking your child’s need into consideration will make this a pleasant trip, at the very least you will be avoiding most of the situation that can make you wish you had stayed home.