Surviving road trips with kids: six tips
A long road trip with your family may seem like a harrowing prospect but here are six tips to help make the experience more exciting for the kids and less stressful for the adults:
1) Involve them in the journey
Kids love asking “are we there yet?” so why not let them work it out for themselves? Trace out the route on a map so they can do their own navigation and feel part of the driving process. Place a timer on the dashboard with a rough estimation of how long it will take you to arrive at your destination.
2) Organise rest stops in advance
It is important for the driver to have several breaks along the way to help avoid fatigue. But there is nothing worse than stopping somewhere and spending hours waiting for your kids to leave a toy shop or dodging multiple requests for hot chips and lollies. Stop at places that have toilets and areas to run around but try to avoid distractions that will make your trip longer than it needs to be.
3) Healthy Snacks
Bring lots of fruit and vegetable sticks for kids to snack on. Don’t forget tissues and wipes for if things get sticky.
4) Books and electronics
Portable DVD players can be your saviour. I always recommend books over ipads and gaming devices but I make an exception for long trips. By reserving electronic devices for holidays only, hopefully your kids will see the journey as special and fun.
5) Car Games
From classics like “I Spy” through to “Celebrity Heads”, car games are a great bonding exercise, whilst also providing a great distraction for everybody.
6) Focus on the world outside the car
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A cramped, claustrophobic environment leads a lot of kids to experience car sickness or simply get fed up quickly. Don’t draw attention to how uncomfortable the situation is, but rather get your kids to talk about what they can see outside or what they will do at the destination.
Drive safely and enjoy the road trip as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be as stressful as you think it will be. It will all be worth it when you arrive and start having fun.