Family road trips make the perfect and sometimes inexpensive way of spending vacation time with your children. However, they can even be immensely aggravating for the whole family once your children start to get bored and restless. As an avid road warrior as well as a parent of three small children, I've been through numerous ups-and-downs while on a trip by car. As a result, I've mentally designed a large amount of "lessons learned" in relation to hitting the highway. Here are a few of my methods for helping kids and parents survive - and get - an incredible journey.
1. Break up longer trips into small sections. If you can limit your time and energy in relation to 5-6 hours a day, you save your large amount of stress. Getting to your first stop will even offer you as well as your children some time for play and relaxation. Many children can't sit in a vehicle for hours on end, then go straight to bed inside a strange accommodation. So attempt to stop prior to being too tired, so that everyone call relax finally, enjoy yourself before bedtime.
2. If you will be stopping to the night before any destination, pack the minimum for a single night inside a separate bag from a main luggage. This way, there's less to carry into the hotel, as well as less stuff to climb over while you're with your room. When we travel, we pack a set of pjs as well as a single change of clothes for each child and minimal toiletries (their toothbrushes are very important to consider!) inside a duffel bag. It's much simpler to handle for a single overnight hotel stay than bringing inside a large bag with your entire wardrobe to the trip.
3. If your children argue over a specific seat (or row of seats in the minivan), create an agenda in advance so that everyone considers their time in the special seat to get equal and fair to everyone else's time. It can save a large amount of arguing over who sits where after each hold you back make.
4. If there is more than one adult and additional room in the back, sit with your children for about area of the trip. They may believe that they don't get enough attention from Mom and Dad in case you are both in the front seat, developing a conversation that doesn't include them.
5. Stop at rest areas anytime you can, not simply for a bathroom break, but in addition for snacks. If the weather conditions are good, it is also an incredible possibility to let kids stretch their legs and acquire eliminate the restless energy from sitting all day. Bring along a soccer ball or frisbee and allow them to play near a picnic area for a bit. It helps stretch cramped muscles, relieve stress through recreation, and simply breaks the monotony for being in the car.
6. Cultivate a knowledge of great journey games. Some examples find license plates from every state, seeking each of the letters from the alphabet (to be able!) on road signs, and seeking fun shapes in clouds. You can find a huge selection of car games for kids by using a simple online search, and if you add one or two new game tricks to each trip, you'll keep your selection fresh plus much more exciting to your kids.
7. Make a sing-along CD from the kids' songs, and also have a family karaoke-style sing-along when you head later on. Include age-appropriate CDs made for kids, but try to find some you could enjoy too. One great line to consider is "Kidz Bop", which features remakes of well-known pop songs with children singing along. We also have made a CD of songs that the family wants to "perform" around the Band Hero video gaming.
8. Get each child an age-appropriate activity book and pens/pencils/crayons. Coloring books are ideal for toddlers, older kids may like multi-game books, and teenagers often enjoy crossword puzzles or Sudoku (no less than, if they are trapped in a vehicle without a phone or game console)! With smaller children, it's wise to limit their time with crayons and pencils though; don't allow them to get so bored which they start drawing around the inside of your vehicle!
9. Get a portable DVD player if the vehicle doesn't already have one. Bring along a few of their favorites, but also pick up a new movie in the store or local video rental place. Try NetFlix if you travel often; you can keep your selections as long when you want, and that means you don't need to be worried about due dates and overdue fees. You can also have a look at DVDs from many public libraries free of charge.
10. Pack low-sugar snacks to help keep hunger away without causing a sugar rush along with the inevitable crash. Small bags of baby carrots, apple slices, or air-popped porpcorn ease a rumbling tummy. Healthy snacks can also be important if the children have a tendency to snack if they are bored in lieu of just hungry.