Thursday, December 8, 2011

How To Travel With No TV

I grew up with very limited TV.  We didn't have a TV until I was six.  Then we could only watch 1 hour a day.  I didn't want to be this strict with Arabella because I believe the more you restrict, the more they want it.  I am a perfect example because when I went to friends houses, I only wanted to watch TV. 

I do think my limited TV at home helped me be very creative.  SO (oh, being a parent and finding a balance is SO hard!) I try not to make a big deal about the TV but I try to limit it in a very discrete way.  I also try to watch more educational shows.  Arabella can speak some Spanish now because of Dora and another Spanish DVD.
All of that being said, I don't want Arabella to miss out on experiences because she is watching TV.  When we are traveling on short trips (2-3 hours), I point out fun things along the way to show her what is going on outside the car.  We look for cows or horses.  Or if there isn't a lot to look at, I bring books.  I also bring a bag full of toys and bring a new one out about every 20 minutes to keep her entertained.

All of these pics are from Arabella's train ride to Savannah.  It is about a 5 hour car ride from my house and I knew that would be rough.  I checked into the train and it is very affordable (in some cases cheaper than gas).  There isn't a station in my hometown so we had to drive to Jacksonville.  This was perfect.  Two hour car ride and then get on a train.  Arabella was SOOOO excited.  It turned out to be a GREAT way to travel with a child.  It is very easy to get on and off.  The conductors are very helpful.  The seats are very roomy.  And you can go to the dinning car for a change.  The sound and movement is very soothing for them also.  She had a blast!

We also NEVER allow a TV or electronic device if we go to dinner.  I think this is very important.  Psychologist are very concerned that children now a days aren't developing social skills the way they should with all of the electronic device distractions.  What a better way to socialize then over dinner.  If you try to suffice them by putting a ipad in their hands- yes they are quiet but they aren't socializing.

We also try to keep the snacks mostly protein so she has a nice and steady mood.  Nothing is worse then a child in a car on a sugar rush. 

Hope this helps. : )



  1. Any suggestions for a 15 month old on a 20 hour car ride. We will be breaking it up over three days, but our little one likes to move and as designed the car seat doesn't allow for much. We are coming to the States over Christmas and could pickup a few helpful and interactive toys if you have some suggestions. -Christine

  2. Hi Christine, For one I would try to find some state and national parks along the way. They usually have great playgrounds and are beautiful. This way he can get tuckered out. I don't have any specific toys in mind but I recently got a book with stickers so you can interact with the story. She also likes little toy people so we can pretend to play with them. Also some good kid music cds are good. We have a kid spanish one that we learn. Hope this helps. Good luck! Tara