Family road trip tips
Let’s see some tips on how to avoid the inevitable “Are we there yet?” from the back seat. Before you hit the road with your children, consider the following tips in order to keep everyone (including you) happy!
- Drive at night…or be an early bird
Driving at night will definitely help, especially if your kids are younger. This will give you a more peaceful experience. Keeping babies and/or toddlers occupied is never easy, plus sleeping children mean that the couple can have uninterrupted conversations, which are rare in a daily basis so they are much appreciated. On the other hand there are parents that swear by the early morning wake-up call. For longer road trips (more than 10 hours), is easiest to leave in the middle of the night though.
- Take care of the driver
While happy kids are the top priority, a safe driver is very important. You need to make sure the driver is well rested and alert. If needed the driver shall pull aside and sleep for 10-15 minutes, giving him/her a boost of energy.
- Not always necessary to have somebody on the passenger seat
While having your partner in the passenger seat is nice for company, it might be better if there is an adult in the back for at least part of the trip. This will make playing games or keeping the children occupied a lot easier.
- Remember the off digital era and be more crafty
Movies and travel apps are amazing, but this is the perfect opportunity to introduce to your kids more imaginative ways to entertain themselves. Craft supplies are super easy to pack and can keep kids occupied for hours. Fill the back seats with paper, crayons, beading and pipe cleaner sculptures and you will see how easy it is too keep them busy and quiet.
- Spend quality time with your kids
Children crave their parents’ constant attention, so being stuck in a car for several hours is a good opportunity to give them this attention. Telling your kid about where you’re going or asking about what they liked and didn’t on your way back, letting them ask questions or express what’s on their mind can be a good way for more bonding and can also be very entertaining.
- Pack healthy, but not messy, snacks
Try to avoid fast food choices and go for healthier homemade food. Boil eggs, slice apples, bake bread, pack raw almonds, cashews, walnuts and dried fruits like cranberries, goji berries etc the night before the trip so you can have quick bit at any time during your trip so that you can avoid crashing, yours or your kids’, from eating poorly.
- Make a plan with your stops in advance
Don’t leave your rest stops to chance. Do a little research and find interesting places to stop for breaks, like historic sites, museums, picturesque towns and also places where you can eat local delicacies. The most important thing to keep in mind is that by keeping them active outside the car, it is more probable to be sleeping inside the car.
- “Are we there yet?”
“Distraction” is the word you are looking for! So finding road games in order to play inside the car is one of the best recommended tip for road trips with children. So, the next time you get the “Are we there yet?” question, you just have to give them the map and ask them to figure out how much longer you will be on the road.
- Be ready for any emergency situation
We’re not just talking about an emergency stash of candies for a sugar crash. Make sure you have an emergency kit stocked with extra food, water and blankets, especially during winter travel. You can freeze juice boxes so that you can keep other snacks cool before becoming a refreshing treat. Emergency numbers are also key. Always know in advance the emergency number of the areas that you are going to visit or pass through just in case.
- Spoil your children a little bit
Since you will be asking for your children to make an effort to endure the trip and be patient you have to reward them. So give your children a few treats that they do not normally get. For example lunch at a fast-food, or a snack they are craving for. Also you can buy them one or two toys that they have been wanting for a long time.
The game is: after one to two hours without complaining you can enjoy a toy or a snack or a stop at a fast food to enjoy a “forbidden” meal.
These tips will help you have a smooth and enjoyable road trip. So next time you’re taking a road trip with your children, it can be one to look forward to, not one to fear of.