Road Trips With Kids: How to Survive
Whether you and your family are planning to drive cross-country to visit family, or taking a 3-day weekend to the beach, traveling by car with children can turn into either a fun family adventure, or a nightmare.
If you are planning to take a jaunt by car with the kids in tow, your trip will be much easier, and more enjoyable, if you do some planning beforehand. Here, you will find some ideas to help you make your time in the car a fun part of the trip.
Young children can get extremely bored when stuck in a car with nothing to do. To avoid the inevitable “Are we there yet?” routine, plan some fun activities to keep them occupied as you drive. An interesting idea is to pack a backpack, or fun container with things to keep the kids entertained. You can include items such as travel games, crayons and coloring books, a new book to read, or other things they enjoy.
Kids riding in cars usually get hungry and thirsty. Be sure to include snacks and drinks on your list of road trip necessities. Good ideas for snacks might include: juice packs, or bottled water, string cheese, fruit, beef jerky and veggies. Try to choose foods that don’t contain sugar, and don’t make a mess.
When kids are riding for a length of time in a car, they are bound to get sleepy. You can help ease your children into a long nap by bringing some comfort items from home. Some ideas might be a favorite blanket, or stuffed animal, an Ipod for listening to soothing music, a small pillow or any other favorite items from home.
The whole family can enjoy a good audio book. Just pop it in the CD player, and you have a few hours of entertainment that can be enjoyed whenever boredom sets in. Some great choices that kids and adults alike will enjoy are: Harry Potter Books, classics such as Black Beauty, Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys, even Bible stories. Listening to an interesting story will make the time fly.
Kids are famous for getting the wiggles when they are cooped up in a car for long periods. You can avoid unhappy campers by stopping every so often to let them get out and stretch their legs, or use the restroom. Take advantage of rest stops along the highway. There are usually grassy areas to take a short walk, or picnic tables for an easy lunch. You can even add some jumping jacks, or other exercise to ready them for the next leg of the journey!
Traveling with kids can be fun and stress-free if you plan ahead. Just put yourself in their shoes, and think of things that will ease their discomfort and boredom. Try to keep them busy, offer them frequent changes of activity, and keep them well-fed and hydrated. The whole family will appreciate your efforts, and everyone will look forward to the next road trip!