We're veterans of the "Road Trip" now! We survived... and thrived our summer road trip with our children. And they don't hate us. We didn't hate them. Want to know how we did it?
Here are my tips to surviving a road trip with your kids:
- Pack a cooler full of their favourite snacks and small meals. Fruits, trail mixes and granola bars are big hits with my children, so I was sure to have a lot of hand... reason being - they like to snack and nothing is worse than being away from home, without their normal comforts and no cheese strings.
- Charge that iPad and iPhone because as much as we ask them to look out the window and play games like "I spy" with us, it only lasts so long, especially when you are spending 4-7 hours in one day driving. Spare me the "I'd never let my kids do that...", I'd rather they zone out on the Lion King then yell at each other while I am driving on a highway in a place I've never been before.
- Stop often. I know, it slows you down. You don't get anywhere quickly, but not everyone pees at the same time, not everyone needs to stretch their legs at the same time, not everyone wants lunch at the same time. Try to accommodate as much as possible by planning stops every couple hours. Seek out historical monuments in advance to make a stop out of... or a road stop with a big moose statue to pose for pictures at!
- Let them eat the damn ice cream. Dessert every day is maybe not the best idea, but dessert every other day while on vacation, especially if it's a "try a new flavour" adventure might buy you a pass.
- Scream therapy... allow me to explain this one. You're in the wilderness, you've been in the car with your littles for a few hours, they're arguing about how long they have been in the car, what day it is, what to watch on the iPad, what colour the jack of hearts is (I know, I know...), and you need an outlet! It can become a game to see who's voice travels the farthest at a beach, in a valley, on a hill, by a waterfall, etc, etc, etc... think of how much better that will make you feel!
- Take them on something they've never been on before to break up the road trip - for us, it was the Ms. Chi-Cheemaun ferry from Tobermory to South Baymouth on Manatoulin Island. Total novelty! See video below.
- Take them hiking in the wilderness. Run around on a beach. Wander around a marina and marvel at boats. Get them out and expending energy.
What about you? Any tips and tricks to add? What is your fail safe survival technique?
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.