Road trips are amazing, right? You get to spend quality time with your family, crack jokes, sing along to catchy tunes, share fun stories and have a jolly good time. Well, maybe in movies. In reality, too much time together cooped up in a car leads to yelling and fighting between nervous children who have too much energy and no place to go, you get tired of answering the same old question ‘Are we there yet?!’ and it seems like every five miles someone needs to go to the bathroom. Not to worry, a road trip with your kids doesn’t have to make your hair fall off. In fact, here are several strategies that will help you make your vacation less stressful and a lot more fun.
Road trip necessities
When you are traveling with your friends you can just wing it and throw caution to the wind. However, when you are a parent traveling with kids, you need to be prepared for anything that might pop up. Therefore, make sure you pack portable chargers for tablets and smartphones, a first aid kit, baby wipes (even if your kids aren’t babies anymore these things will come in handy), hand sanitizer and a plastic bag for garbage. In case you have kids aged between two and four, pack a travel potty to make your stops fast and stress-free.
Say goodbye to car sickness
If your kids are prone to motion sickness, your road trip can easily turn into a messy situation. Of course, nowadays there are medicinal products that prevent car sickness, but there are other remedies you can try out. It is important that you keep in mind that spicy foods can cause an upset stomach so don’t give them to your kids before the trip. On the other hand, feeding your child ginger or peppermint can help settle a stomach and avoid car sickness.
Bring loads of entertainment
The right apps and games can take your trip from nerve-wracking to amazing. You know how those fun Wii games for kids keep your children occupied for hours and hours when you are at home? Well, great apps you can download on your phone can do the same and help you survive this road trip and avoid any backseat squabbling. On the other hand, families around the world have been taking road trips long before cell phones have been invented, and they managed to keep their kids entertained. Therefore, if you don’t like the idea of your kids staring at the screen for a long time, consider going old-school and playing classic car games. I spy, Alphabet game and the State license plate game are just some of the ways your kids can have fun on the road.
Find healthy alternatives to junk food
Who says your kids need to eat burgers and other junk food on the road trip? Of course, you can find fast-food chains anywhere and they are relatively cheap, but with just a little effort and minimal planning you can track down healthier and even less expensive options that your children will love. Before you hit the road, pack a cooler with healthy snacks and low-sugar beverages so you won’t be at the mercy of roadside food stops.
Optimize your stops
Make sure you don’t make just bathroom breaks and spend the rest of the time in your car because your kids will quickly get bored. Therefore, take breaks at roadside parks where your children can get enough exercise and you can have a nice, quick picnic. If you want to make this whole road trip experience way more fun and create memories your kids will always cherish, consider including some splashy fun into your schedule. In every country there are amazing water parks your kids will simply love, so plan your trip so you breaks involve zooming down the water slides.
Road trips with kids don’t have to be your worst nightmare. In fact, with a little planning, your journey could be even better than your destination.