Road trips can be loads of fun. However, when you add children to the equation it can be a very daunting and often times stressful event. Imagine being in a car for an extended period of time in small quarters and hearing “he touched me” “are we there yet?” It’s enough to suck the fun out of any trip. As a mother of three, I don’t know which is more stressful... planning a roadtrip with children or the actual trip itself. The trip is the fun part, it’s the 6 plus hours in the car that no parent looks forward to. Not to worry, I have devised a list of 10 tips to making road trips alot more enjoyable.
1. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation. Began preparing at least 4-6 weeks in advance of your trip. When possible, rent an SUV or van to allow for more space and leg room.
2. If you can invest in a portable dvd player, then do it. I’ve seen some at Walmart for just under $100 dollars. My children love them. They are a great distraction for atleast 2-3 hrs of a road trip. Oh! and don’t forget to pack head phones.
3. Create an itinerary of activities. Come up with a list of creative activities to engage your children while on the road. A few examples of fun activities are: Car Bingo, ISpy, books, uno etc. Also, you can visit Pintrest a website that offers an array of fun and creative ideas.
4. Don’t forget the important essentials: lots of healthy snacks, juice and sandwiches to stave off hunger. When traveling with small babies, be sure to have enough bottles packed to last for the duration of the trip. There is nothing like a cranky hungry child during a long road trip.
5. When possible, travel at night. In my experience traveling at night has often times been the best time. I find that when you travel at night, children will typically sleep for the majority of the car ride (The same way they would at home) So for example, if their bed time is 8:30, and your traveling during that time, their bodies which are programed to sleep during that time, they will 9 times out of 10 fall asleep.
6. Don’t forget to pack pillows and small blankets. You want to make the trip as comfortable as possible, especially for that napping child.
7. For long car rides, especially lasting 3 hours or longer, it is important to stop at least every 3 hours to allow your child(ren) to take potty breaks and stretch their legs.
8. Music is always fun. Its a great time to have family sing alongs or car karaoke.... Talk about fun!
9. If traveling near landmarks, use this time to discuss the landmarks and their significance i.e. The Golden State Bridge, Yellowstone National Park to name a few.
10. Lastly, be sure to pack a travel medicine kit, equipped with Bandaids, Neosporin, children’s Advil or Tylenol and medication for mom and dad as well. It’s better to have it, and not need it, then to need it and not have it.