Family trips make the perfect and quite often inexpensive way to spend vacation time using your children. However, they can also be immensely aggravating for the complete family whenever your children start to get bored and restless. As an avid road warrior and a parent of three young kids, I've been through numerous ups-and-downs while on a trip by car. As a result, I've mentally designed a lot of "lessons learned" in relation to striking the highway. Here are a few of my tips for helping adults and children survive - and enjoy - a fantastic journey.
1. Break up longer trips into small sections. If you can limit your time and energy with respect to 5-6 hours each day, you can save yourself a lot of stress. Getting to your first stop will also present you with and your children time for play and relaxation. Many children can't sit in the vehicle all night at a time, then go straight to bed inside a strange hotel room. So try to stop prior to being too tired, to ensure that everyone call relax finally, enjoy yourself before bedtime.
2. If you will be stopping for your night before one further destination, pack the bare minimum to get a single night inside a separate bag from the main luggage. This way, there's less to transport into the hotel, plus less stuff to climb over as long as you're with your room. When we travel, we pack a pair of pjs and a single change of clothes per child and minimal toiletries (their toothbrushes are very important to remember!) inside a carrying case. It's much simpler to cope with to get a single overnight hotel stay than bringing inside a large bag with your entire wardrobe for your trip.
3. If your children argue over a certain seat (or row of seats inside the minivan), build an agenda beforehand to ensure that everyone considers their time inside the special seat to be equal and fair to everyone else's time. It can save a lot of arguing over who sits where after each hold you back make.
4. If there is more than one adult and extra room inside the back, sit using your children for at least section of the trip. They may believe they just don't get enough attention from Mom and Dad in case you are both inside the front seat, using a conversation which doesn't include them.
5. Stop at rest areas whenever feasible, not just to get a bathroom break, but in addition snacks. If the weather conditions are good, it's also a fantastic possibility to let kids stretch their legs and have rid of the restless energy from sitting for hours on end. Bring along a soccer ball or frisbee and permit them to play near a picnic area to get a bit. It helps stretch cramped muscles, relieve stress through recreation, and simply breaks the monotony to be inside the car.
6. Cultivate a knowledge of great journey games. Some examples are discovering license plates from every state, looking for all of the letters with the alphabet (to be able!) on road signs, and looking for fun shapes in clouds. You can find many car games for youngsters with a simple online search, of course, if you add a few new game ideas to each trip, you'll keep the selection fresh plus more exciting to your kids.
7. Make a sing-along CD with the kids' the latest music, and have a family karaoke-style sing-along because you head as time goes on. Include age-appropriate CDs made for youngsters, but make an attempt to find some that you can enjoy too. One great line to take into consideration is "Kidz Bop", which features remakes of well-known pop songs with children singing along. We also have developed a CD of songs which our family would rather "perform" on the Band Hero game titles.
8. Get each child an age-appropriate activity book and pens/pencils/crayons. Coloring books are great for toddlers, teenagers may like multi-game books, and teenagers often enjoy crossword puzzles or Sudoku (a minimum of, when they are trapped in the vehicle with no phone or game console)! With smaller children, it's a good idea to limit their time with crayons and pencils though; don't permit them to get so bored that they start drawing on the inside of your car!
9. Get a portable DVD player if your vehicle doesn't have one. Bring along a few of their favorites, and also grab a brand new movie from the store or the local video rental place. Try NetFlix should you travel often; you can keep your selections as long because you want, and that means you need not concern yourself with payment dates and overdue fees. You can also look at DVDs from many public libraries free of charge.
10. Pack low-sugar snacks to maintain hunger at bay without causing a sugar rush as well as the inevitable crash. Small bags of baby carrots, apple slices, or air-popped porpcorn ease a rumbling tummy. Healthy snacks may also be important if your children tend to snack if they're bored as opposed to just hungry.