I’m a big fan of traveling with my children. Thing is, at their ages, I believe it’s best to keep our travels within the United States. I can imagine all that would have to be done to travel to another country at this point. However, just traveling within the states isn’t completely free of problems. We have all heard the infamous, “are we there yet?”

Traveling around the country doesn’t have to be a huge challenge, though. By planning in advance, you can reduce the amount of stress and make your travel something you enjoy rather than dread. Granted, my children are pretty good about traveling, but there are a few tactics we use to help us all enjoy our time on the road.

Below are some tips we can offer you to help your family travels be enjoyable:

1. Plan your travels around your children’s routines. We typically eat lunch right at noon. With that in mind, we start our travels at a time that makes it convenient to stop at noon for lunch. Luckily, once lunch is done, the kids typically fall asleep, making it easier to travel the next hundred miles.

2. Bring lots of entertaining music. Disney is big with our children, so we make sure to have plenty of Disney theme to music on hand when we travel. Sometimes we take a CD player, but more often we download the music and play it through the Bluetooth on the car.

3. Allow the children to bring cozy items. One of the easiest times to travel long distances is when the children are relaxing or, even more preferable, sleeping. I found that bringing items they like to snuggle with increases the chances of them sleeping while we travel. Blankets, stuffed animals, and pillows are great contenders.

4. Use technology to your advantage. We try not to use too many electronics in our family, but sometimes, especially on the long trips, they come in handy. The children each have their own tablet with games to keep them entertained on such trips. Many times, these are a godsend.

5. Entertain your children the old-school way. A simple game of I spy can help your family enjoy many miles. Think of the games you played as a child in the car and introduce them to your children.

Our family loves to travel, so we use the tips above to make our time in the car fun and productive. Give these ideas a try on your next trip.