BY KAYLA BEIRNE
The car is packed, the road lies ahead, and the kids are…bored already. How do you handle it ? Here’s how to travel with kids on a road trip.
Whenever you travel with children, you’re adding an element of chaos and crankiness. Even if they’re excited about the destination, the journey there will be filed with various gripes, moans, fights, and endless questions about when they are going to get there and when they are coming back. It’s enough to drive any parent or guardian crazy, and a good way to make a fun trip a lot less fun. Running out of ideas? Avoid the mistakes many folks make with road trips and consider these few tips on how to travel with kids on a road trip.
Make Travel Kits
Most parents’ first instinct is to plug the kids into electronic devices from the get-go, allowing hours of supposedly noiseless and care-free driving. But too much time spent passively operating laptops, tablets, and phones is time wasted. Surprise kids with travel kits packed with arts, crafts, puzzles, and other fun activities. If you have the time, individually wrap these and disperse them one at a time whenever attention spans are flagging or grumpiness levels are rising. Consider holding an art exhibition in the back seat, allowing kids to post their work on the back of the front seats.
Pack (Healthy) Snacks
Kids are going to get bored, and boredom is going to make them want to eat. Fun, sugary snacks have their place, but you’ll get as much mileage, if not more, with more health-conscious fare. Pack snack bags of nuts, dried fruit, beef jerky, carrots, snap peas, granola bars, string cheese, grapes, and others. Pace giving out the snacks as you drive, but time it with meals on the road. When you do stop for meals, watch the caffeinated drinks and anything that might require an emergency trip to the bathroom.
Make Roadside Stops Exercise Stops
As you plan the trip, look for attractions along the way that won’t just entertain the kids, but that will get their little legs moving. Every pitstop at a traveler’s center should be accompanied by a quick walk to stay limber and work out kinks. Larger attractions like theme parks, natural wonders, and the like are another opportunity to take a breather, stretch out, and escape the car’s confines. Even a basic local playground is a welcome break from the road.
Adults Should Switch Off
Want to know how to travel with kids on a road trip? Travel with them in the back seat at least partway. A big part of any trip is having more time with the children, and there are few better opportunities to do that than in a car on a long, long trip. At different points, switch off with a fellow adult and spend time with the young ones in back. Bring travel games, sing songs, point out interesting sites along the way, and of course, talk about how much fun you’ll have with them wherever you’re all going. Switching drivers is a good way for them to stay fresh and alert, too !