Planning a Road Trip with Your Kids While Keeping Your Sanity
If you happen to be a big fan of road trips, you might find it difficult to put all of your plans on hold once you have kids. In the middle of the pandemic, we are all learning to rediscover our own countries and counties, which means that family road trips are all the rage. Planning a road trip with your kids might make you feel like you’re losing both your patience and your mind, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how you can plan a successful trip with your kids:
Double the time
When travelling with kids, you are going to need twice as much time to do anything than you did before. If it took you eight hours to get from point A to point B before, it’s going to take an entire day when kids are with you. You’re constantly going to be adjusting the time you have originally intended to spend visiting a place or simply being on the road. Just when you thought that the next attraction is going to keep the kids occupied, they suddenly get bored out of their minds and want to go on, and vice versa. You will be spending more time in parks and playgrounds than you originally thought, and you’ll be making much more stops than you thought in the beginning.
Stack the snacks
When you’re on the road, it’s not exactly easy to prepare your kids nice soup or fresh salad, which is why many parents think that fast food restaurants are their only option. Luckily, it is not the case. Even though fast-food restaurants might be cheap and easily accessible, it’s always better to prepare a healthy alternative instead. Whenever possible, make stops at big supermarkets and use their salad bars or deli counters to get your kids to eat something healthy and fresh. It’s also a great idea to prepare a cooler before you start your trip and to pack it with fresh fruit, veggies, and other healthy snacks that you can easily distribute among your kids.
Make your car comfy
Even though kids are very energetic and will most likely fidget in their seats, there will come a time when they’ll want to rest a bit. Making them physically comfortable will help keep them calm and relaxed throughout the trip, so plan ahead. Sunshades should be attached to the un-tinted side windows to help keep the back seats cool, but make sure there is a small blanket for each child in case the air conditioning is too cold. If you’re travelling with a small child, you might want to install an exhaust muffler to keep the noise level in the car to a minimum, as it will help them sleep better. Also, children should have small pillows they can use to nap comfily, and neck pillows might be the best solution.
Encourage offline games
Long before the invention of the cell phone or an iPad, people were taking super-long trips with kids, which means there are many (and we mean many) classic car games you can use to keep your kids entertained and occupied. Classic offline games will protect their eyesight and minimize most of the backseat squabbling, much to the joy of adults in the front seats. A road trip staple that never gets old is I Spy: Player one starts by saying: “I spy with my little eye something…” and providing small clues about something that they can see and that will help other participants successfully find it. The Alphabet Game is also a classic: players have to go through the entire alphabet looking for objects that begin with each of the letters.
Trips with your kids might not be easy to plan out, but once you get the hang of it you will soon realize that they provide you with plenty of freedom and options. You can travel as fast or as slow as you’d like, and your ideal pace will allow you to take the most pleasure in every trip, no matter how long it ends up being. Keep your flexibility and use any chance to explore a hidden gem or two with your kids by preparing for your trips early and always having a backup plan.