Unless you have a large travel budget (that lets you fly everywhere you go) or a strong desire to never leave home, you probably have had to load your kids up in the car for a long drive. When your children love riding in cars, this is great, but if you are like many parents who have one or more children who hate long car journeys, you may dread long road trips. Fear not; these tips for travelling with reluctant riders could make your next family car trip a much calmer one.
Car-friendly snacks that aren't sticky or messy are a great distraction for cranky kids. Hungry kids can quickly become cranky ones, so stop a hunger meltdown in its tracks with the right snacks. Let your little ones help choose the "menu" for the journey's snacking and stick with foods that are not too messy. Pretzels, fruit, and cereal bars are good choices for car trips. Make sure you pack a bag or two for stashing wrappers and other trash, add drinks with lids, since they'll be less likely to spill, and you're all set.
If you have any unexpected delays on your journey, or if you have car problems and end up having to call for roadside assistance, having snacks and drinks can be a real lifesaver. With drinks and snacks on hand, you won't have to worry about travelling on foot with a cranky child just to find a cool drink or something to eat.
Mobile entertainment must-haves
Tablets, computers, and other electronic devices are great for long car trips, but even these can become boring after a while, especially if the battery runs down and you don't have a travel charger. Instead of relying on electronic devices to entertain your child, focus their attention on something else they enjoy. Beyond books and games, try giving your child a digital camera to document their journey. Or, if you are travelling with another adult, have one grownup sit in the back with the kids and share the journey from their perspective.
Stop often and make it a game
Plan several stops into your drive, even if it slows you down. When you stop, give your kids a chance to run, jump, and do active things to burn off the pent up energy they'll have after being in the car for ages. Add extra fun by completing a family scavenger hunt, searching for objects at every stop you make.
While planned stops are great, unexpected ones can be stressful for kids and parents alike. Keep one activity aside just in case of an unplanned stop (breakdowns, flat tires, etc.) and you'll have a way to keep the kids busy while you deal with the emergency. Contact a local company like Ragans Mac Auto Sales And Service if you have any problems.
Plan ahead and try to pack in plenty of distractions and you might just be able to enjoy those long car trips with the kids after all.