Traveling with kids can be exhausting, but you can make it fun!
Don’t let your family trip feel like a frustrating chore. On a road trip, the journey is half the fun! If you put some thought into your trip beforehand, you’ll have a much easier time managing your kids on the road.
Here are some suggestions for taking an amazing trip with your kids.
Take lots of breaks
Start by adjusting your own expectations. While you alone may be able to take a marathon drive and get to your destination in record time, that is almost certainly impossible with your kids.
Don’t try to rush everyone and get there quickly. Instead, take it slow. Build in lots of stops, interesting breaks, and chances to run around.
Rest stops are ideal for getting some energy out. Why not play Frisbee or tag to get out those wiggles?
Instead of eating in the car, why not park in a shady spot and have an outdoor picnic? Let these breaks be an opportunity to slow down, and enjoy the family time.
You can even plan some fun pit stops, such as neat parks or monuments. Doing this gives your kids a chance to connect with the open road and experience the joy of traveling to new places.
Get your kids engaged with the map
It’s hard for kids to visualize long distances. While you may have a great grasp of your trip, hours in the car can feel as long as a trip to Mars for kids.
This inevitably leads to boredom and a sense of hopelessness for them. How much longer can they stand waiting for the destination? Avoid this anxiety, and the accompanying, “are we there yet?” questions by engaging them with a map.
Bring along a map or atlas and help them follow along as you drive. You can even have them color in the route so they can see where they started and where they are headed. If you have GPS, you can turn it on and let your kids see your trip in real time.
It’s a great way to help kids visualize the trip and get a geography lesson at the same time!
Pack good snacks ahead of time
If you listen to nothing else, listen to this: pack good snacks. Create a multitude of healthy and fun tastes for your kids to distract them or keep their hunger at bay.
If you don’t, continue at your own peril. Hungry kids will quickly become grumpy, tired, and fussy. Don’t let simple hunger bring out the worst in your family.
Pack baggies with different snacks for kids to choose from. Good options include whole grain crackers, trail mix, pre-sliced fresh fruits, and string cheese.
Take turns in the backseat with the kids
If your children are very young, consider taking turns with your partner to sit with them in the backseat. With a grown-up in the back of the car, kids feel excited at the chance to have some fun with a captive audience.
Look at it as a chance to spend some quality, uninterrupted time with your kids. Coloring, imagination games, or watching a show on a tablet are great ways to occupy your kids when you’re hanging out in the backseat together.
Limit screen time, but play fun audio-books
Don’t give in to the temptation of letting your children stare at screens for the whole drive. It may keep things relatively quiet, but you’ll be missing out on a chance to make family memories.
Plus, excessive car screen time can lead to headaches and car sickness. Set time limits for screens and only use them when you truly need a few moments of peace and quiet.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use any electronic entertainment. One great option is to put on an audiobook for your kids. This is a way for the whole family to be calm and quiet and enjoy a story together.
With a few simple tricks, you can enjoy your family road trip
Taking these steps can help you limit boredom in the car and make your road trip fun and exciting!
With careful planning, you can turn your travels into something fun for the whole family. If you have any amazing or funny experiences or cool tips and tricks you’d like to share, we’d love to have you submit your story!