It’s that time of year to gear up for a road trip! But if the thought of fussy kids in the car has you less than enthused to take them along, try these great tips to keep them happy as you hit the pavement.
Tell them the schedule
If kids know what’s ahead, they are more likely to be content on the drive. Tell them the plan and the schedule and allow them to add input, as well. Let them know when you will start, when the trip is planned to be completed, and any stops you will make along the way. You can also plan out activities in the car. Remember, it’s sometimes easier for kids to know a schedule by activities and markers than by the actual time on the clock.
Bring along a lot of toys
You don’t want to be bored on the trip, and neither do your kids. Worst, yet, you don’t want them to be bored on the trip! Bring along a lot of toys to keep them occupied, and make sure you have batteries ready for electronics. If your kids get easily bored with a single toy, ask them to bring ones they can share and swap.
Plan to play a game every other hour you’ll be in the car. You can give out awards, treats, or even let the winner choose where you eat next. This will promote family bonding, keep everyone occupied, and makes sure the kids (and mom and dad) aren’t getting too grumpy on the long drive. If you have a smartphone, you can even download apps that will help you play a multitude of road trip games, and some are even free, so you can get good entertainment at no extra cost.
Take a lot of breaks
It may not get you there faster, but it will get you there happier. Take frequent breaks so that you and the kids can get out of the car, stretch your legs, and breathe in some fresh air. If you plan to stop every hour, you may add about two hours to your drive time, but you will arrive at your destination happier and more energized than if you just toughed it out and drove straight through.
Don’t forget the food!
Have you ever been in the car and gotten really hungry? It’s a miserable feeling that can lead to grumpy moods, so don’t forget the snacks and drinks. You want to keep everyone well fed and hydrated so that each person is in good spirits as you go along.
Don’t skip stops
You may think you can stick it out, but the stops aren’t just for you. Think about everyone in the car and how each person handles traveling differently. Give them the breaks they need, don’t rush your trip, and definitely do not forget to stop where someone wanted to go. This will eliminate whining and fighting, and it will keep everyone happy as the trip goes along