Ahh, summer has arrived. No more homework. No more packed lunches. No more rushing around. Just relaxation and…a road trip with kids, gulp.
Kids trapped in a contained space for hours and hours on end – with no escape. Yikes! Surviving a road trip with kids is all about pre-planning. I can’t guarantee it won’t be painful, but here are some tips to at least stack the deck in your favor!
PACK EACH CHILD A SMALL BACKPACK
Get a small backpack for each child. Fill up the backpack with stuff to keep each child entertained. For younger children you might put small plastic animals or action figures in a baggie.
For older children you can put a small collection of Legos or those cool adult coloring books. The key is to have each activity separated in different baggies so your child can grab each activity and start playing.
DOLLAR STORES ARE YOUR FRIEND
I love dollar stores – but I especially love them on trips! To really survive a long road trip with kids stock up on dollar store toys. If you want to go crazy – wrap each toy in wrapping paper.
You can present a road trip “surprise” each hour of your trip. This will help refresh your children’s excitement each hour – instead of them slowly morphing into a whiny mess!
Use what you have at your disposal. Your children are staring out the window for hours on end – why not make that a bit more fun? You can buy gel clings that stick to the windows. Normally dollar stores have some of those (I told you those stores are awesome)!
If you want to get even more creative you can buy clear contact paper (liner for shelves) and tape it to the window (sticky part facing out).
You can give your kids baggies of art material that can be used for an art collage on the windows. If you want to get really crazy you can buy window markers and let your kids have at it.
BREAK UP THE TRIP
This should go without saying, but breaks are key. I know you might think if I floor it to our destination all this pain will end, but it is not so. Don’t disappoint yourself with a 20-something, single-life mentality. You have kids. They are going to have to pee. Again and again.
PRE-MADE SMALL BAGS OF SNACKS
You want to know what kills time even better than toys – snacks, and lots of them. Snacks break up the trip and keep those little mouths busy. After all, the quiet game isn’t going to work for hours on end.
Get small bags and make snack baggies. Put a few snacks in each of your child’s backpacks at the beginning of the trip. Every hour or so, add a few more. You don’t want your kids to see or have access to all of the snacks at once – that wouldn’t be much fun at all.
Whoever said it is the journey not the destination – obviously had no kids! But in all seriousness, a road trip with kids can be fun. They are about building memories and spending quality time together. Just don’t let the road trip be a buzz kill! Happy traveling!
Read about 5 Iconic Road trips to take before your kids grow up