Thursday, December 1, 2011

Traveling with Children? Stop by the Library (website) First

Whether by plane, train, or automobile we all know that traveling with our offspring is a whole other ballgame:  The pounds and pounds of extra clothes and toys, the bulky sippy cups and no-spill bowls, the strollers, boosters, carseats, portable high chairs, cribs, and more.  And then there is the fatigue, the boredom, the crankiness that comes from being slightly dehydrated, over dressed, cramped up, and completely out of the usual routine that you are constantly managing and trying to keep from exploding.  Sigh.

Common sense and all of your parent friends will tell you that distractions are key.  But how much more stuff can you possibly pack--especially if you're flying.  

Audiobooks are alot more travel friendly than print: no car sickness, hands free, and pre-readers can enjoy a favorite story while you catch up on some of your own reading.  Whether you download them to an mp3, or pick up a device like a PlayAway audiobooks are small and light and won't add to the tonnage that you are already humping around. 

Audios can be expensive, so be sure to check out your local public library's selection and visit the website, too.  Most large library systems are offering more and more downloadable books for all ages and interests.  Your library may offer ebooks for children, too.  If you're bringing your laptop--and you're comfortable letting your child use it--a library card may be enough to access dozens of electronic books that play like movies.  Of course, there are plenty of movies that you can bring along to play in planes, cars, and beyond...but the old-fashioned girl that I am, I refuse to tell my children that movies and TV can be watched anywhere but the living room on Friday nights.

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