How To Survive A Family Road Trip
Family vacations on the road can be a great way to explore the country, experience something new and bond as a family. When you have small children, however, they can also be a bit of a nightmare. Between screaming toddlers and endless bathroom breaks, road trips can begin to feel like a bad idea when the kids are involved. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way! Use this survival guide to ensure that your family road trip is just as much fun as it should be.
Sit In The Back
None of us like the backseat, but if you have a small infant who gets restless and anxious when stuck in the back for an extended period of time, you can save yourself some hassle and your baby some tears by sitting next to them in the backseat. Many babies settle more easily when their parent is in eyesight, and this will also help them avoid the inevitable boredom that comes with being stuck in a rear-facing car seat.
If you have more than one child and are stuck in the front seat, enlist the help of the older child to entertain and distract the smaller ones. Sit them down before the trip and explain that you need their help to make the trip a success- many kids will likely feeling involved and enjoy being given a responsibility.
Have A Clear Sense Of Direction
Don’t leave your road trip up to chance- make a clear plan long before you leave about what timings you’re going to aim for and where you want to stop along the way. Winging it may work when it’s just you and your partner, but when small children are involved it can get stressful if you’re not properly organized.
Don’t rush the trip- enjoy it while it lasts. Kids need plenty of stops for bathroom breaks, snacks and a chance to run around and let their energy out. Make sure you’ve scheduled in plenty of time to enjoy yourselves along the way during your road trip, and don’t get caught up in a hurry to get where you’re going. The journey is as much a part of the vacation as the final destination.
Bring Plenty Of Distractions
The key to a successful family road trip is all in the distractions. Allow your kids to get bored and they’ll be crawling out of their seats in no time. Bring along games, cards, books (if they don’t get car sick), music and activity books. Audio books played out loud can also be a great way to get everyone relaxed and enjoying their favorite stories. Above all else, make sure you have plenty of food and water on board to keep the kids’ blood sugar stable and cranky hunger tantrums at bay.
Don’t Take It Too Seriously
When it comes to road trips with kids, expect the unexpected. Don’t get too hung up on everything going perfectly- it’s okay for there to be some hiccups along the way. If tears and sibling fights ensue, take it as it comes and don’t take it personally. Learn from your mistakes and your next family road trip will be even better than the last.