Family vacations are wonderful and driving to your destination makes them even more special. No matter what country you live in, the chances are good that you’ve only seen a small portion of it. Driving on vacation allows you to experience the countryside first hand rather than simply flying over it. In addition, you can set your own schedule and take time to see the sights as you travel. Of course the first step is to make sure that your car is in tip top shape, but your second consideration should be keeping your kids happy during the ride. Just as with other forms of transportation, a road trip with children takes some planning and imagination if you want to get through it with your sanity intact. Here are a few tips for keeping you kids happy during your road trip:
Pack a Well-Stocked First Aid Kit
No matter how careful you are, kids get scrapes and scratches. Make sure your first aid kit is equipped to handle any boo boo that comes your way. Have a good supply of adhesive bandages, allergy medication, alcohol wipes, and motion sickness medication. It might also be a good idea to pack some cold pills and pain relievers.
Bring Toys or other Activities
No matter what their age, kids aren’t going to be happy unless they have some activities to keep them occupied. Let younger kids bring one or two of their favorite toys or picture books. Older kids may choose to bring books, video games, etc. You may want to invest in a portable charger to keep everyone fully charged. Another way to occupy your kids is to let them pick the music. Take turns allowing them to choose and stipulate that no on may comment on the other’s choice. Many board games come in travel versions that are designed specifically for the car. For some interactive fun, try “I Spy” or seeing who can spot license plates from the widest variety of states.
Make Plenty of Stops
Whether you stop at a rest area, a scenic spot, or simply to eat, everyone needs a chance to stretch their legs and work off some energy every few hours. At rest areas, engage your kids in a game of tag or catch in order to give everyone a little exercise and tire them out. Plan ahead and make a point to stop at roadside attractions or let the kids take turn choosing where to stop. It may seem like you’re wasting vacation time, but often the most memorable moments are unplanned.
Use your imagination to come up with other ideas to keep your kids occupied. Let them have a voice in planning your schedule as well. If they are looking forward to getting to a place that they chose to stop, they’ll have less time to be bored or argue with each other. No trip with children ever goes exactly as planned, but with some planning and preparation it can go as smoothly as possible.