Anyone who has young kids in their household knows that traveling can be quite the challenge. A two hour car ride on the way to a relative’s house can seem like forever with unruly children in the car screaming, kicking, and complaining. With the holidays rapidly approaching, traveling with the entire family is bound to happen. Yet, there are things we can do to avoid such a disastrous car ride. With a bit of advice, that trip to grandma’s house can be quite enjoyable!
Have you ever been in a car with a hungry child? Then you know how difficult it can be when a child’s stomach is growling in hunger. This is where being prepared for the long ride ahead is important. To avoid stopping at a fast food joint off the highway, packing healthy and satisfying snacks is a must. Putting together an assortment of easy to eat finger foods, like string cheese, fruit, pre-made sandwiches, and vegetables are all great snacks that are filling and won’t result in a sugar high. It’s fine to pack a small treat or two, like a cookie or an ice pop, but in general it is best to reduce the sugar for a stress free car ride.
Family Friendly Activities
There is only so much window gazing a child can do before it gets boring. This is where it pays to pack fun activities to keep children occupied. This means making sure that a child’s favorite toy is not left behind. As for things to do, technology has sure made it easy to bring along handheld devices, like video games, movies, and music to avoid boredom. For younger kids, packing a little surprise like a new toy will be sure to catch their attention right away.
Don’t Skip Those Rest Stops
After a long ride, sometimes children just become too antsy and no amount of toys, treats, or coloring books can do the trick. That is why it is important to make time to pull off the road and stretch your legs for five or ten minutes. Many people assume that traveling at full speed ahead is the best way to reach a destination faster, but it may came as a surprise to know that quite the opposite is true. Those rest stops are there for a reason and it gives travelers the opportunity to get out of the car and take a break from sitting so long. Have you ever passed a rest stop and then twenty minutes later someone has to go to the bathroom? Rest stops are often few and far between, depending on the location. That is why it is important to pull over and make sure everyone has everything they need before traveling on. Plus, letting a kid run around for a bit might just tire them out for a nap.
Surprise and Entertain
Creativity can go a long way when planning a fun filled trip for the whole family. Often times, it is the little things that can get children easily excited about a trip. Involving children in the traveling plans gives them the opportunity to feel a part of the process. You may be surprised to find out how much more excited a child can be when given the opportunity to have a say in what is happening. Having older children help with the directions, for instance, may even give you the opportunity to sneak in a geography lesson or two while making them feel a part of the trip. Putting together an entertaining playlist for the road is another great idea for surprising and occupying the whole family. No matter what idea comes to mind, being creative and thoughtful will be sure to make any road trip a fun-filled one.
Getting lost on the road, even with a GPS on hand, has happened to everyone at one time or another. It may seem like an obvious tip, but it pays to be prepared before heading out, especially when traveling far with the family. Having some sort of itinerary planned out can come in handy. Every step of your trip doesn’t have to be planned out to perfection, but having somewhat of an idea where you are going can save a lot of time and headaches in the long run. This includes planning around rush hour. Getting stuck in traffic is no fun and is often a surefire way to dampen the spirits of any person in the car. It may also help to take into account what time best suits everyone to travel. Driving on the road at night may mean that children are prone to falling asleep and the traffic is a bit lighter, but this also means that the driver has to stay awake. Having more than one driver and taking turns every couple of hours can be a solution to this problem. Again, it just depends on the particulars of the trip you are taking and what you need to avoid any major bumps along the road.