Family vacations are supposed to be fun, but many times parents dread them because they feel out of their comfort zone when their children misbehave; they know their discipline options are limited and having to apply consequences in public is for some, quite embarrassing.

When at home, parents feel very comfortable giving time-outs, however, when they are in a vehicle, or on an airplane they feel trapped. "How do I give a time-out in a car?" parents ask. Here are some great tips on how to apply time-outs on vacation, as well as which activities and games are best suited for travelling with kids. Use these tips and everyone, including you, will enjoy your family vacation.

1) If you have provided 2 warnings and a misbehaviour continues, pull the car off to the side of the road and either sit in silence for the time-out or exit the car, lock it (just remember to take the keys with you!) and wait outside the vehicle until the time-out is over (One minute for every age of the child). This strategy is quite effective and has a definite impact on kids.

2) Be proactive. Have a list of games ready to play such as car bingo. You can download these off the internet or easily create your own.

3) Keep one child in the front and one in the back to prevent sibling arguments.

4) Bring along a portable DVD player as well as movies for the children to watch.

5) Leave early! It might be difficult leaving at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning, but having your children sleep away a large part of the ride is worth it!

6) Tell your children (ages 6 and up) that they'll receive $1.00 for every _____ they see. They will stay quiet yet entertained as they watch for the chosen animal or object.

7) Have Sing-Along CDs in the car. Younger children love listening to their favourite songs while singing along with mom and dad. Why not make up actions for each song too?

8) Bring along portable arts and crafts cases. You can find fold-up art centers at any children's toy or craft store.

9) Bring along books with CDs. It's quite enjoyable to listen to stories on CD while following along in a book. These can be found in any bookstore.

10) Buy some new toys or activities and introduce a new one every couple of hours - depending on how long the trip is. It's difficult to hold off giving everything at once, but to keep your child content, only bring out one item every so often.

Being planned and prepared is the best way to make the travel time of any vacation more enjoyable for everyone.

Author's Bio: 

Erin Kurt, parenting & life coach to working mothers, and founder of ErinParenting, is also the author of Juggling Family Life and creator of The Life Balance Formula and the How to Get Your Child to Listen program.