While your children might well be thrilled at the idea of a day long road trip to visit Grandma or arrive at your vacation destination, you’re no doubt agonizing over activities to keep them occupied and not killing one another. “Are we there yet” is a song that you’re not quite ready to hear for hours on end.
Follow some of these tips to make your trip not only memorable in a positive way, but fun for everyone in the car. Engage your kids in an age appropriate fashion on what they would like to bring in the car to entertain themselves for the trip. Maybe it’s the new set of awesome headphones they got for Christmas, videos or, wait for it – books! From coloring books to chapter books, a car trip is a great time to promote reading. Endless hours of video consumption will make for seriously cranky kids upon arrival. Timing. If your schedule permits and you have flexibility on your arrival time, consider leaving later at night.
The kids can leave their pajamas on and literally move from the bed to the car. This will most likely buy you five or six hours of quiet time. Traffic will be lighter and you’ll be able to switch drivers allowing one parent to sleep while the other drives. Don’t forget to keep it safe! Games. Check out websites prior to your trip and print off fresh word search sheets, pictures to color and age appropriate trivial pursuit games. Have the children navigate with either the gps or paper maps. They’ll be more engaged in the trip if they understand the route and direction. (Don’t mention that it’s a great learning experience, that could be a total buzz kill.) Take a deep breath and follow the tips above and surely you’ll be on your way to a very enjoyable trip. This is also a great time to reconnect at a family and have those long conversations that so often are interrupted given our busy lives. Happy travels!