Tips: Road Trips With Kids
Spring is here, and that means road trip season is just around the corner. We know that adding children to a lengthy road trip can be a recipe for disaster if you aren't adequately prepared, so here are some strategies to keep them entertained and you sane.
Have patience. Holding your bladder, or waiting to eat are small things for an adult, but huge issues for a child. Remember that children perceive time differently than adults. An entire day for them is like a week for us. Keep this in mind when you holler back, “We'll be there in fifteen minutes!” That might seem like an hour for them.
Anticipate everything. Kids get hungry and bored at random times. Your key to success is to be ready for these unpredictable events. Pack snacks before your trip so that hunger pangs aren't a reason for an unscheduled stop. Also, keep the snacks varied so that no one becomes 'sick' of them. If you stop for a bathroom break, make sure everyone tries to go. You don't want to get 10 miles down the road and have someone else suddenly remember that they also need to go.
Bring distractions. Don't assume any form of entertainment will keep your kids busy for a long trip. Bring a variety of options, such as puzzle books, stories, toys, and keep screens such as iPads, phones, and DVD players as a late-game option, since those are generally the most desirable. If you start with DVDs, it'll be a fiasco shutting it off for 'lesser' entertainment.
Share information. It wouldn't be a road trip without hearing “Are we there yet?” at least once. However, you can reduce the number of times you hear that, simply by educating your kids on the trip. Before you leave you can outline the length of the trip, and landmarks you may pass on the way. As you drive and see new information, relay it to your passengers. You can even make a game of it: Tell them how many miles away you are, and ask them how long they think it will take.