Most parents love the idea of a road trip but cringe at the thought of going on a long road trip with young kids. Perhaps the below comic is a reminder of why we're hesitant...
Comic Courtesy of FowlLanguageComics.com
But there are a few tricks to make road trips bearable and even fun! A mommy blogger from Kids Safety Network put together these helpful tips.
It’s definitely not going to be the trip you had before you had kids…. It’s going to take a lot out of you. You need tons of patience and you’ve got to be on call all of the time. There’s no spontaneity and you have to have a plan… BUT at the end of the day it really is great to share the experience with the little ones.
Here are some tips to make road trips with kids a tad bit easier.
Get a bag full of cheap toys (trinkets/dolls/stickers etc.). to keep them entertained for a part of the journey.
Photographer on Board
Depending on your child’s age, let them take pictures of landmarks on your way or anything that amuses them.
Have on hand
First aid kit, Disposable wipes, spill-proof cups and ziplock bags for leftovers are all essential. Also pack in a blanket for any spur of the moment picnics or for naps in the car.
Munch, munch, munch
Portable healthy snacks like pretzels, nuts, fruit-rolls and crackers are easy to eat and are not as messy.
Leave as early as you can and rather pack the night before and if you are lucky the kids will sleep through most of the morning.
Try to limit your stops as far as possible, but when you do stop plan on stopping for at least an hour so the kids can burn some energy.
Countdown to arrival
Kids love countdowns of any kind so the idea of a countdown to arrival is sure to make them happy. You could have an activity ready for every hour of the countdown. This will also (hopefully) avoid the famous “Are we there yet” question.
This is a great game to pass the time and the whole family can play along.
Our daughter who is 2.5 years old has just finished potty training. This could mean loads of stops for her tiny little bladder! We always limit drinks until half an hour before our next stop. Having a potty in the car means that we don’t have to unpack the kids, we could just pull off into a rest area or onto the side of the road, let her go in the training potty chair, dump it (if it was liquid, solids we disposed of) and get back on the road within a few minutes.
If you are at your wits end… then a DVD and a portable player will come in handy