The mention of a road trip with your kids makes you start to sweat. Your heart starts beating faster. You might even feel sick to your stomach.
It does not have to be a nightmare or create those feelings in you.
We have traveled with our kids since they were just a few months old. Here are 6 tips to make a road trip, not only bearable, but very enjoyable.
1. Have a game PLAN
The truth be told, I am a big planner. My family is well aware of this. But those plans have created some amazing memories for the family. And the planning is some of the fun of a trip.
Start at least 6 weeks before your trip. I, being the obsessive planner that I am, will start as much as a year before (all the more time to dream and anticipate).
2. Create a list of ACTIVITIES
It is very important to have activities planned for the actual time spent in the car. You want to keep the kids engaged to minimize the quarreling and whining. A few examples of fun activities are: Car Bingo, ISpy, books, UNO etc. Also, you can visit Pintrest websites that offers an array of fun and creative ideas.
Check out my list of car games post.
Research your destination to find the historical landmarks, museums, zoos, amusement parks, nature activities, etc. If your children are older, this can be a great learning time for them. You can explore different cultures, historical events, and artistic expressions.
3. Pack the ESSENTIALS
You will need a lot of healthy snacks and fluids. Make these snacks non-messy, fun, and something your kids will consume. Bring water, juice, and any other beverage that your family enjoys. If you have an infant, be sure to pack enough bottles for the whole trip.
I divide my treats in small treat baggies so that I can just pull out one at a time for each child. This also eliminates the “what to do with a large open bag of pretzels?” dilemma.
There is nothing like a cranky hungry child that will destroy the enjoyment of the trip.
Check out my list of travel snacks post
4. STOP often
During the planning stage be sure and map out your stops. We stopped every 3 hours and let the kids play and run. It is easy to find a park to let them play in. The stop can also be a landmark along the way.
This is also a time of a potty break and a diaper change.
5. Bring the ENTERTAINMENT
We have had a portable DVD player for a long time. This has been a life saver on numerous trips. There is nothing like a movie to engage a child. Many times, the children will even fall asleep during the movie.
Bring MUSIC. A road trip is a great time to have a family sing along or car karaoke…. Talk about fun! My children still sing the old folk music we taught them on those road trips.
6. Bring lots of BLANKETS & PILLOWS
Nothing is more soothing and comforting to a child than their blankie or a soft blanket. You want to create a comfortable nest for the children. Just keep the amount to a reasonable one.
I feel the need to add one more necessary item to this list, so DO NOT FORGET A FIRST AID KIT!! I guarantee there will be skinned knees, cuts, and headaches. We have never been on a trip where we did not use at least a band-aid or an aspirin.
The sweating, the heart palpitations, and the nausea can be a thing of the past when you use these tried and proven suggestions. You can enjoy those road trips with you kids. You might even look forward to them.
So, get planning your road trip.
Leave me a comment on where you have gone and how these tips worked for you.
See Ya Makin’ Memories!