When you drive to and from work, you know how driving can be impossibly painful even when you're sitting in the car alone. So when the time comes that you have to take a road trip with the kids, you know it can get even more challenging.
As a mom of two, I've been able to survive one road trip only with my toddler (but there's more to come!). It was a tough but a beautiful experience, one that has made me admire other parents with more than one kid (I salute you!). More importantly, it taught me a number of lessons about how we, parents, can survive road trips with our inquisitive and talkative kids.
1. Bring snacks.
Don't you ever bring chips and popcorn. You'll regret it. Instead, bring fruits that they'll enjoy munching during the card ride. This way, the car will still look like a car when you all get off, not a dumpster.
2. Bring books.
Depending on your kids' interests, bring books that you know will keep them learn and be entertained at the same time. Also stick pens, notebooks, and coloring books in the car so in case they feel like doodling or coloring (even inside a moving vehicle), you're ready for anything they may ask.
3. Turn on the music.
If you know a radio station that plays music your kids love, go for it. You can also turn on your car stereo and play some CDs or DVDs (but this can be a hassle since you'll have to bring them all in the car). If you're driving an old car, you'll be glad to know that you can also convert its old stereo into a Bluetooth capable car stereo system. Doing so helps you avoid wires and makes things easy by playing music straightly from your phone (which houses all kinds of music your inquisitive kids can ask for).
4. Bring along all the devices.
Charge all phones and tablets your family has and bring them all along for the ride. This way, if the kids get bored with books and music, they can play educational and entertaining games on the device or watch their favorite movie until boredom strikes them hard and they begin asking "Are we there yet?"
5. Play the Silent Game.
If your kids have gotten bored with everything you've prepared to keep them occupied during the trip, and they begin complaining about all things they feel like complaining about, use your last but not the least strategy: let them play the Silent Game. The mechanics of the game is very simple: Whoever talks, loses. Whoever wins gets an exciting prize from you (because bribery almost always works with kids, right?). Just be sure to tell them about the rules, first before beginning the game. Make sure to also highlight the prize they'll win if they don't speak a word until you reach your destination. This game should allow you few minutes or hours (if your kids are really competitive) of peaceful driving.
Family road trips are one of the best memories you can give your children. Make all the preparations before you buckle up and drive so it will not just be unforgettable, but safe for everyone.